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Weehawken, New Jersey
Township of Weehawken

Weehawken on the Hudson River

Weehawken highlighted in Hudson County. Inset: Location of Hudson County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.

Census Bureau map of Weehawken, New Jersey

Coordinates: 40°46′08″N 74°00′56″W / 40.768903°N 74.015427°W / 40.768903; -74.015427Coordinates: 40°46′08″N 74°00′56″W / 40.768903°N 74.015427°W / 40.768903; -74.015427[1][2]

Country United States
State New Jersey
County Hudson
Incorporated March 15, 1859
 • Type Faulkner Act (Council-Manager)
 • Mayor Richard F. Turner (term ends June 30, 2014)[3]
 • Manager James V. Marchetti[4]
 • Clerk Rola Dahboul[4]
 • Total 1.477 sq mi (3.826 km2)
 • Land 0.796 sq mi (2.063 km2)
 • Water 0.681 sq mi (1.764 km2)  46.10%
Area rank 453rd of 566 in state
7th of 12 in county[2]
Elevation[6] 3 ft (0.9 m)
Population (2010 Census)[7][8][9][10]
 • Total 12,554
 • Estimate (2012[11]) 12,832
 • Rank 194th of 566 in state
10th of 12 in county[12]
 • Density 15,764.6/sq mi (6,086.7/km2)
 • Density rank 13th of 566 in state
7th of 12 in county[12]
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 07086-07087[13]
Area code(s) 201/551
FIPS code 3401777930[14][2][15]
GNIS feature ID 0882224[16][2]

Weehawken is a township in Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 12,554,[7][8][9] reflecting a decline of 947 (-7.0%) from the 13,501 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,116 (+9.0%) from the 12,385 counted in the 1990 Census.[17]


Weehawken is part of the New York metropolitan area. Situated on the western shore of the Hudson River, along the southern end of the New Jersey Palisades across from Midtown Manhattan, it is the location of the western terminus of the Lincoln Tunnel.[18] Weehawken is one of the towns that comprise North Hudson, sometimes called NoHu in the artistic community.[19]

Weehawken is located at 40°46′08″N 74°00′56″W / 40.768903°N 74.015427°W / 40.768903; -74.015427 (40.768903,-74.015427). According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 1.477 square miles (3.826 km2), of which, 0.796 square miles (2.063 km2) of it is land and 0.681 square miles (1.764 km2) of it (46.10%) is water.[1][2]

As the emergent Palisades define Weehawken's natural topography, so too the Lincoln Tunnel (which cuts the town in half) looms as an inescapable man-made feature. Geographically, Weehawken has distinct neighborhoods: Downtown (or The Shades), The Heights, Uptown (which includes Kingswood Bluff), and The Waterfront, which since 1990s has been developed for transportation, commercial, recreational and residential uses.[20] Though some are long abandoned (e.g., Grauert Causeway), there are still several outdoor public staircases (e.g., Shippen Steps) throughout the town, and more than 15 "dead-end" streets. At its southeastern corner is Weehawken Cove which, along with the rail tracks farther inland, defines Weehawken's border with Hoboken. Its northern boundary is shared with West New York. Traversing Weehawken is Boulevard East, a scenic thoroughfare offering a sweeping vista of the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline.[21] Local zoning laws prohibit the construction of high-rise buildings that would obstruct sight-lines from higher points in town.[22][23][24]

Weehawken has a retail district along Park Avenue (its boundary with Union City) and large office and apartment/townhouse developments along the Hudson River. Weehawken is a mostly residential community, but has business district at Lincoln Harbor between the Lincoln Tunnel and Weehawken Cove.[25][26] UBS,[27] Swatch Group USA,[28] Hartz Mountain[29] Telx (colocation center)[30][31] are among the corporations which maintain offices in the neighborhood, which also hosts a Sheraton Hotel.[32]


The name Weehawken is generally considered to have evolved from the Algonquian language Lenape spoken by the Hackensack and Tappan. It has variously been interpreted as rocks that look like trees, which would refer to the Palisades, atop which most of the town sits, or at the end[33] (of the Palisades).

Three U.S. Navy ships have been named for the city. The USS Weehawken, launched on November 5, 1862, was a Passaic-class monitor, or ironclad ship, which sailed for the Union Navy during the American Civil War, encountered battles at the Charleston, South Carolina coast, and sank in a moderate gale on December 6, 1863. The Weehawken was the last ferry to The West Shore Terminal on March 25, 1959 at 1:10 am, ending 259 years of continuous ferry service.[34] Weehawken Street in Manhattan's Greenwich Village was the site of a colonial Hudson River ferry landing.

The name and the place have inspired mention in literature such as in The Lorax by Dr. Seuss,[35] and in Carl Sandburg's Pulitzer Prize–winning book of poetry, Cornhuskers.[36]


Weehawken was formed as a township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 15, 1859, from portions of Hoboken and North Bergen (see map). A portion of the township was ceded to Hoboken in 1874. Additional territory was annexed in 1879 from West Hoboken.[37]

The township's written history began in 1609 when Henry Hudson, on his third voyage to the New World, sailed down what was later named The North River on the Half Moon and weighed anchor in Weehawken Cove.[38] At the time it was the territory of the Hackensack and Tappan, of the Turtle Clan, or Unami, a branch of the Lenni Lenape. They were displaced by immigrants to the province of New Netherland, who had begun to settle the west bank of the Hudson at Pavonia in 1630. On May 11, 1647, Maryn Adriansen received a patent for a plantation (of 169 acres) at Awiehaken. In 1658, Director-General of New Netherland Peter Stuyvesant negotiated a deal with the Lenape to purchase all the land from "the great rock above Wiehacken", west to Sikakes (Secaucus) and south to Konstapels Hoeck (Constable Hook).[39] In 1661, Weehawken become part of Bergen when it (and most of northeastern New Jersey) came under the jurisdiction of the court at Bergen Square.

In 1674, New Netherland was ceded to the British, and the town became part of the Province of East Jersey. John Luby, in 1677, acquired several parcels comprising 35 acres (140,000 m2) along the Hudson.[40] Most habitation was along the top of the cliffs since the low-lying areas were mostly marshland. Descriptions from the period speak of the dense foliage and forests and excellent land for growing vegetables and orchard fruits. As early as 1700 there was regular, if sporadic ferry service from Weehawken.[41] In 1752, King George II made the first official grant for ferry service, the ferry house north of Hoboken primarily used for farm produce, and likely was sold at the Greenwich Village landing that became Weehawken Street.[42]

During the American Revolutionary War, Weehawken was used as a lookout for the patriots to check on the British, who were situated in New York and controlled the surrounding waterways. In fact, in July 1778, Lord Stirling asked Aaron Burr, in a letter written on behalf of General George Washington, to employ several persons to "go to Bergen Heights, Weehawk, Hoebuck, or any other heights thereabout to observe the motions of the enemy's shipping" and to gather any other possible intelligence.[43] Early documented inhabitants included a Captain James Deas, whose stately residence at Deas' Point was located atop a knoll along the river.[44] Lafayette had used the mansion as his headquarters and later Washington Irving came to gaze at Manhattan.

Not far from Deas' was a ledge 11 paces wide and 20 paces long, situated 20 feet (6.1 m) above the Hudson on the Palisades. This ledge, long gone, was the site of 18 documented duels and probably many unrecorded ones in the years 1798–1845. The most famous was that between General Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury, and Colonel Aaron Burr, sitting third Vice President of the United States, which took place on July 11, 1804. The duel was re-enacted on July 11, 2004, the 200th anniversary of the fatal duel, by descendants of Hamilton and Burr.[45] In the mid-19th century, James G. King built his estate Highwood on the bluff that now bears his name, and entertained many political and artistic figures of the era, including Daniel Webster.[46]

With the ferry, the Hackensack Plank Road (a toll road that was a main artery from Weehawken to Hackensack), and later, the West Shore Railroad, built during the early 1870s, the waterfront became a transportation hub. The wealthy built homes along the top of the New Jersey Palisades, where they might flee from the sweltering heat of New York, and breathe the fresh air of the heights. Weehawken became the playground of the rich during the middle to late 19th century. A series of wagon lifts, stairs, and even an elevator designed by the same engineer as those at the Eiffel Tower (which at the time was the world's largest) [34] were put in place to accommodate the tourists and summer dwellers. The Eldorado, a pleasure garden, drew massive crowds.[47]

The turn of the 20th century saw the end of the large estates, casinos, hotels, and theaters as tourism gave way to subdivisions[48] (such as Highwood Park and Clifton Park) and the construction of many of the private homes still seen in town. This coincided with the influx of the Germans, Austrians, and Swiss, who built them and the breweries and embroidery factories in nearby Union City and West New York. While remaining essentially residential, Weehawken continued to grow as Hudson County became more industrial and more populated. Shortly after the First World War, a significant contingent of Syrian immigrants from Homs (a major textile center in its own right) moved into Weehawken to take advantage of the burgeoning textile industry.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201212,832[11]2.2%
Population sources:
1860-1920[49] 1860-1870[50] 1870[51]
1880-1890[52] 1890-1910[53]
1890-1900[54] 1910-1930[55]
1930-1990[56] 2000[57][58] 2010[7][8][9]

2010 Census


The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $62,435 (with a margin of error of +/- $6,887) and the median family income was $90,903 (+/- $17,797). Males had a median income of $53,912 (+/- $7,426) versus $50,129 (+/- $3,238) for females. The per capita income for the township was $45,206 (+/- $5,011). About 10.1% of families and 12.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.2% of those under age 18 and 20.4% of those age 65 or over.[59]

2000 Census

As of the 2000 United States Census[14] there were 13,501 people, 5,975 households, and 3,059 families residing in the township. The population density was 15,891.3 people per square mile (6,132.7/km²). There were 6,159 housing units at an average density of 7,249.4 per square mile (2,797.7/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 73.05% White, 3.58% African American, 0.20% Native American, 4.67% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 13.94% from other races, and 4.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 40.64% of the population.[57][58]

There were 5,975 households, out of which 20.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.1% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.8% were non-families. 35.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 3.02.[57][58]

In the township the population was spread out with 16.6% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 42.4% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 95.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.9 males.[57][58]

The median income for a household in the township was $50,196, and the median income for a family was $52,613. Males had a median income of $41,307 versus $36,063 for females. The per capita income for the township was $29,269. About 9.3% of families and 11.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.0% of those under age 18 and 11.3% of those age 65 or over.[57][58]

Weehawken, with a population density about equal to that of Jersey City, is among the most densely populated municipalities in the United States .[60]

Points of interest

Though the panoramic view (from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to George Washington Bridge) may be its most famous attraction, Weehawken is also home to other sites of historic, aesthetic, and engineering importance:

Hamilton Memorial

The Alexander Hamilton Memorial, which was the first memorial to the duel with Aaron Burr, was constructed in 1806 by the Saint Andrew Society, of which Hamilton had been a member. A 14-foot (4.3-m) marble cenotaph, consisting of an obelisk, topped by a flaming urn and a plaque with a quote from Horace, surrounded by an iron fence, was constructed approximately where Hamilton was believed to have fallen.[68] Duels continued to be fought at the site, and the marble was slowly vandalized and removed for souvenirs, leaving nothing remaining by 1820. The tablet itself did survive, turning up in a junk store and finding its way to the New York Historical Society in Manhattan, where it still resides.[69]

From 1820 to 1857, the site was marked by two stones, with the names Hamilton and Burr, placed where they were thought to have stood during the duel. When a road from Hoboken to Fort Lee was built through the site in 1858, an inscription on a boulder where a mortally wounded Hamilton was thought to have rested—one of the many pieces of graffiti left by visitors—was all that remained. No primary accounts of the duel confirm the boulder anecdote. In 1870, railroad tracks were built directly through the site, and the boulder was hauled to the top of the Palisades, where it remains today,[70] located just off the Boulevard East.[71] In 1894, an iron fence was built around the boulder, supplemented by a bust of Hamilton and a plaque. The bust was thrown over the cliff on October 14, 1934 by vandals, and the head was never recovered;[72] a new bust was unveiled on July 12, 1935.[73][74]

The plaque was stolen by vandals in the 1980s, and an abbreviated version of the text was inscribed on the indentation left in the boulder, which remained until the 1990s, when a granite pedestal was added in front of the boulder, and the bust was moved to the top of the pedestal. New markers were added on July 11, 2004, the 200th anniversary of the duel.[75]


Local government

Weehawken operates under the Faulkner Act (Council-Manager) form of municipal government.[5]

As of 2013 members of Weehawken's Township Council are Mayor Richard F. Turner, Carmela Silvestri Ehret (1st Ward), Rosemary J. Lavagnino (2nd Ward), Robert J. Sosa (3rd Ward) and Robert Zucconi (at large).[76]

James V. Marchetti is the Township Manager.[4]

Federal, state and county representation

Weehawken is located in the 8th Congressional District[77] and is part of New Jersey's 33rd state legislative district.[8][78][79] Prior to the 2010 Census, Weehawken had been part of the 13th Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections.[80]

New Jersey's Eighth Congressional District is represented by Albio Sires (D, West New York).[81] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark)[82] and Bob Menendez (D, North Bergen).[83][84]

The 33rd Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Brian P. Stack (D, Union City) and in the General Assembly by Sean Connors (D, Jersey City) and Ruben J. Ramos (D, Hoboken).[85] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township).[86] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[87]

Template:Hudson County Executive Template:Hudson Freeholder District 7


As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 7,335 registered voters in Weehawken, of which 3,717 (50.7%) were registered as Democrats, 850 (11.6%) were registered as Republicans and 2,753 (37.5%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 15 voters registered to other parties.[88]

In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 72.4% of the vote here (3,895 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 26.1% (1,406 votes) and other candidates with 1.0% (52 votes), among the 5,381 ballots cast by the township's 8,230 registered voters, for a turnout of 65.4%.[89] In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 65.0% of the vote here (3,250 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 33.8% (1,688 votes) and other candidates with 0.4% (26 votes), among the 4,997 ballots cast by the township's 7,293 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 68.5.[90]

In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 69.9% of the vote here (2,209 ballots cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 25.1% (792 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 3.8% (119 votes) and other candidates with 0.9% (27 votes), among the 3,161 ballots cast by the township's 7,220 registered voters, yielding a 43.8% turnout.[91]

Public safety

Weehawken Volunteer First Aid and the Weehawken Police Department were among the many Hudson County agencies that responded to the January 2009 crash of Flight 1549, for which they received accolades from the survivors.[92]


The Weehawken School District serves public school students in prekindergarten through twelfth grade. Schools in the district (with 2010-11 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[93]) are Daniel Webster School (387 students in PreK through 2nd grade),[94] Theodore Roosevelt School (346 students in grades 3–6),[95] and Weehawken High School (518 students in grades 7–12).[96] The school system is known for its small classes and high ratings.[97]

The Woodrow Wilson School (grades 1-8), located in Weehawken, is part of the Union City School District.[98]

The Weehawken Public Library has a collection of approximately 43,000 volumes and circulates 40,60 items annually.[99] and is a member of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System.[100] The landmark building, extensively renovated and updated in 1999, is home to the Historical Commission.


Public transportation in Weehawken is provided by bus, ferry, and light rail.

Bus service is provided along busy north-south corridors on Park Avenue, Boulevard East and Port Imperial Boulevard by New Jersey Transit (NJT) and privately operated guagua (minibus) within Hudson County, and to Manhattan and Bergen County. Route 495 travels east-west between the Lincoln Tunnel and the New Jersey Turnpike with interchanges for Route 3 and U.S. Route 1/9.

NJT 123, 126, 128, 156, 158, 159, 165, 166, 168 originate/terminate at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. NJT 23 and 89 travel between Nungessers and Hoboken Terminal, where transfer is possible to PATH and NJT commuter rail. NJT 84 and 86 travel between Nungessers and Journal Square or Pavonia/Newport in Jersey City.[101] NJT 68 and 67 provide minimal peak service from Lincoln Harbor to the Jersey Shore.[101]

Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) service is available westbound to Bergenline and Tonnelle Avenue and southbound to Hoboken, Jersey City and Bayonne at Lincoln Harbor and Weehawken Port Imperial, where transfer to NY Waterway ferries to Midtown and Lower Manhattan is possible. New York Waterway headquarters are located at Port Imperial.[102]

Media and culture

Weehawken is located within the New York media market, with most of its daily papers available for sale or delivery. The Jersey Journal is a local daily paper covering news in the county. Local weeklies include the free bilingual paper, Hudson Dispatch Weekly,[103] (named for the former daily Hudson Dispatch),[104] the Hudson Reporter, the Spanish language El Especialito.[105] and the River View Observer.

The Weehawken Sequence, an early 20th-century series of approximately 100 oil sketches by local artist John Marin, who worked in the city, is considered is considered among, if not the first, abstract paintings done by an American artist. The sketches, which blend aspects of Impressionism, Fauvism and Cubism, have been compared to the work of Jackson Pollock.[106]

The Hudson Riverfront Performing Arts Center is a non-profit organization whose mission is to build a world-class performing arts center on the waterfront. Since 2004, it has presented both indoor and outdoor events at Lincoln Harbor.[107]

Formula One plans to host a street race on a circuit stretching 3.2 miles (5.1 km) in Weehawken and West New York called Grand Prix of America, that was planned to start in June 2013.[108] The three-day event is expected to attract 100,000 people and bring in approximately $100 million in economic activity.[61]

Notable people

(B) denotes that the person was born there

See also


External links

  • Township of Weehawken website
  • Weehawken School District
  • New Jersey Department of Education
  • National Center for Education Statistics
  • Map of Township
  • Weehawken Time Machine – historic images
  • AM New York special report on Weehawken
  • Weehawken and You Homepage
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