What a fun thing to do on a gorgeous April Saturday. A walking tour of downtown Newark, NJ with Have You Met Newark tours. Newark is where I was born and grew up and it’s exciting to see what’s going on there. Here are some pictures of our tour.
The Old First Presbyterian Church was established in 1666 by the founders of Newark, NJ. My 10 times great-grandfather was one of the founders of Newark and he, along with some of my other ancestors were buried there.
The City Hall, and Broad and Market streets, known as the 4 corners.
The Prudential buildings. The Prudential came to Newark in the late 1800’s, the original building was demolished in 1956 to make way for Prudential Plaza which opened in 1960. A few blocks away in July 2016 the Prudential Tower opened.
Prudential Plaza Prudential Tower
Right in downtown Newark are three lovely parks. Lincoln Park, Military Park and here is Washington Park. The Newark museum and library are located on one side of the park.
Newark always had lots of department stores. Pictured here are Bamberger’s (which became Macy’s).. and Kresge (which is the K in K-Mart ), there was also Orbach’s and S. Klein all within a two block radius.
But the department store that was always a bit above the others, literally and figuratively was Hahne & Co. Hahne’s closed its doors in 1987 and sat empty for 30 years, it has been totally renovated and is gorgeous. In addition to retail space the new renovation includes 160 apartments. Note the original Hahne & Co sign.
I’m a big fan of Newark, not just because I was born and raised there but because it’s a terrific place to visit. Learn about what Newark is planning for the future, like this beautiful new park. But also learn about Newark’s place in our history. A fun way to do that is with a group from Have You Met Newark.
This week we are to share a photo of something that says “heritage” to us. My daughter Deb and I have been deep into genealogy and tracing our roots. On my father’s side our family, the Freeman’s go back to the original founding fathers of Newark, New Jersey. My 8th times great grandfather (not sure of the number), Robert Treat and a host of other men from Milford and Branford, CT founded the city of Newark in 1666. I am the last of our particular Freeman line to be born in Newark as was my father, my grandfather etc.
There are two monuments to the founders of Newark in the city. One is in Fairmont Cemetery where many of my family are buried. That’s Robert Treat on the top.
The other monument, which had fallen into disrepair was restored and put in its new location last year for the 350th anniversary of the founding of Newark. This monument has the founders names on it… there’s my 8times great grandfather, Stephen Freeman.
Newark, New Jersey is where I was born and grew up. As you can tell by the clock it’s a timeless city 🙂 Last week my daughter Deb, our cousin Kris, our friend Dawn and I went off on our adventure
Our family, the Freeman’s go back to the original founding fathers of Newark. My 8th times great grandfather (not sure of the number), Stephen Freeman, along with Robert Treat and a host of other men from Milford and Branford, Ct founded the city of Newark in 1666. It has just celebrated its 350 birthday in 2016. I am the last of our particular Freeman line to be born in Newark as was my father, my grandfather etc.
The monument to the founding fathers fell into disrepair and actually disappeared for many years.
(The 9-foot-tall monument, which weighs 13,000 pounds, was lying on its back underneath a tattered blue tarp in a city lot at the city’s Division of Traffic and Signals. Without further inspection, you’d think it was discarded junk.The marble base was detached. The wooden pallet that held the monument was in standing water between a trash bin and a gaggle of inoperable traffic lights.Not exactly what Newark’s stakeholders had in mind when they gave it to the city in 1916 to celebrate its 250th anniversary.) You can read more of that article by CLICKING HERE…
Thankfully it was restored and put in its new location in 2016 for Newark’s 350th anniversary.
There is also another founding fathers statue which is located in Fairmont Cemetery. Just so happens many of our ancestors are buried there but that will be in another blog post.
My daughter Deb, myself, our cousin Kristan.
We headed to the Court House to see the ‘Seated LIncoln’ statue of Abraham Lincoln sculpted by Gutzon Borglum who was the creator of the Mount Rushmore sculpture of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. CLICK HERE to read about the Seated Lincoln statue in Newark.
The main reason I wanted to visit this sculpture was to try and recreate a picture my mother and grandmother had taken in the 1920’s.
My grandmother and mother Me with daughter Deb.
Surprising to many who don’t know much about the city of Newark, it has some beautiful parks in it. Washington Park, Lincoln Park and the newly revitalized Military Park. CLICK HERE PLEASE…
The newly revitalized park reopened in June 2014. There are outdoor tables, walking paths, statue of John F Kennedy, ping-pong tables, nice umbrellas which my group utilized to get out of the 87 degree heat the day we were there, and the Liberty Pole.
*From Wikipedia — Military Park is a 6-acre city park in downtown Newark, New Jersey. From 1667, when the city was planned, until 1869 it was a training ground for soldiers. In 1869 it became the town commons.*
The most impressive thing in Military Park is the ‘Wars Of America’ sculpture by Gutzon Borglum (who also sculpted the above mentioned statue of Lincoln).
*From NJ.com -The bronze masterpiece consists of forty-two human beings and two horses and commemorates America’s participation in the Revolution, War of 1812; Indian Wars; Mexican War, the Civil War, Spanish American War and World War I.
It is in Military Park, which dates back to 1667–when the park was a training ground for soldiers and, later, a drill field for the Colonial and Continental armies–where the colossal Wars of America statue stands in striking relief. It is the centerpiece of the park.
Thus ends my latest trip back to Newark. Since we’ve been delving into our family ancestry and our connection to the city I come from we’ve been back to Newark more times in the past two years than I had been in the last maybe 30 years. I have a feeling we’re not done yet 🙂
The above pictures (thanks to Google) are of The Howard Savings Institution bank in Newark, New Jersey. I’m guessing that these pictures are from the early 1900’s ! The Howard Savings Institution received its charter in 1857 and met its demise in Oct 1992. (That’s a whole other post). I worked at the Howard in the mortgage department from Feb 1960 until Feb 1964.
Last weekend I was in Newark and I took the following pictures of what this once beautiful and stately bank building looks like now… it’s very sad.
The next time I go back to Newark I think I’ll go inside the store that’s there now and see if any remnants of the inside of the bank remain ! I think not though.
Wandering a little further down Broad Street we come to the National Newark & Essex bank building which is where my mother worked.
The following information was taken from an article on Google – “The beginning of the rebirth of the 744 Building, now referred to as the “National Newark Building” began in November 1997 when the Helmsley estate sold the 744 Broad Street building to Cogswell Realty Group, which announced that it would restore and reconstitute the building to its former glory.
The end result was a $55 million total renovation of the building and the integration of 21st century technologies that converted the building into an ideal and inviting modern office environment.
Among the new improvements were 1,500 new openable thermal windows, 15 high speed elevators, removal of the escalators, and the lobby given a complete facelift with restored 25 feet high plaster ceilings and grand chandeliers.
The classical style facade in the lobby was scrubbed and repainted and the art deco interior and giant mezzanine level murals restored.”
The restored building slowly has been regaining its earlier popularity and has been referred to as the “crown jewel of Newark’s renaissance.”
The article that I cited before also mentioned..”Among the new improvements were 1,500 new openable thermal windows, 15 high speed elevators, removal of the escalators, and the lobby given a complete facelift with restored 25 feet high plaster ceilings and grand chandeliers”.
I remember those chandeliers from my childhood when I used to visit the bank with my mother.
I’m also looking forward to doing future posts about more of the rebirth of my home town, Newark, New Jersey