Edgewater is a borough located along the Hudson River in Bergen County,New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough had a population of 11,513,reflecting an increase of 3,836 (+50.0%) from the 7,677 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 2,676 (+53.5%) from the 5,001 counted in the 1990 Census. Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
The borough’s history has featured the founding of the first colony in Bergen County, contribution to theRevolutionary War, a period as a “sleepy, pastoral little town” with resort hotels in the 19th century;industrialization in the early 20th century and a transition to a rapidly growing residential community in the late 20th century.
Edgewater was incorporated as a municipality on December 7, 1894, from portions of Ridgefield Township as the Borough of Undercliff, based on the results of a referendum that passed two days earlier.The borough was formed during the “Boroughitis” phenomenon then sweeping through Bergen County, in which 26 boroughs were formed in the county in 1894 alone. The borough’s name was changed to Edgewater on November 8, 1899. The borough was named for its location on the Hudson River.
Native American people are known to have lived in the vicinity before the arrival of colonists in the 17th century. The Lenape were a local tribe of Native Americans associated with the neighboring borough of Fort Lee.David Pietersz Devries (also transliterated as David Pietersen de Vries), the first European settler, bought 500 acres (202 ha) of land from the Tappan tribe and established the settlement of Vriessendael in what is now Edgewater. A historical plaque placed in Veteran’s Field by the Bergen County Historical Society names Vriessendael as the first known colony in Bergen County with a founding date of 1640. Vriessendael was destroyed in 1643 in Kieft’s Warby Indians reacting to foolish actions by the Director General of the Dutch West India Company, who lived across the river in New Amsterdam, as Manhattan was then known. In pioneer days, River Road was known as the Hackensack Turnpike, and Ox [sic] Hill Road was an important route to the top of the Palisades Cliff. While Oxen Hill Road still exists as a thoroughfare, another Colonial hallmark and major local industry has only recently disappeared: shad fishing. The Undercliff section in the northern section of Edgewater was originally a colony of fishermen. In the 1980s there were still about 100 commercial fishermen in New Jersey harvesting shad from their annual spring run from the Atlantic Ocean up the Hudson River to spawn. Now there are none. Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
Etienne Burdett began ferry service between north Edgewater and the island of Manhattan in 1758. His gambrel-roofed house in what is now the Edgewater Colony stood until 1899. The ferry service at Burdett’s Landing, which was located at the southern base of the bluff of Fort Lee, proved valuable to the American cause during the Revolutionary War. The ferry functioned as the link for supplies, information and transportation between Fort Lee on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River and Fort Washington on the New York side. In the century following the Revolutionary war, north Edgewater developed into a resort area with large hotels built in the mid- and late 19th century. It was in the 19th century that Burdett’s Landing became known as “Old Stone Dock”, as cobblestones quarried from the Palisades Cliffs by Russell & Read were shipped across the Hudson to fill the demand for paving Manhattan streets. Concern over the destruction caused by quarrying operations led to the formation of the Palisades Interstate Park in 1900, which was effective in preserving the cliffs. Although the first chemical plant was founded in 1843 in the south section of the borough, throughout the 19th century the town retained a bucolic character. Early in the 20th century the addition of landfill to the Hudson River changed the borough’s appearance. Until that time, the Hudson River lay closer to River Road from just above Veteran’s field southward to what is now the Binghamton Ferry Plaza.
The 20th century brought great change to Edgewater with industrialization, which overwhelmed the borough and filled 3 miles (4.8 km) of the shoreline with its operations. Transportation of factory goods was facilitated when the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway cut the Edgewater Tunnel through the Palisades in 1894 to connect the borough to its main line. Edgewater was also well situated for shipping, with deep water piers on the Hudson River and access to abundant labor from Manhattan.Generally, industrial development occurred in the southern end of the borough, while the northern end remained residential. As industrialization increased in the borough, picnic grounds lost their appeal and resort hotels faded. By 1918, there were 8,044 workers employed by Edgewater’s manufacturing facilities, producing primarily chemicals, dyes, and confectionery products such as oils and sugars. Prominent industries of Edgewater included a Ford assembly plant, Alcoa, Valvoline, and theAmerican Can Company. Railroad trains served various factories, traversing tracks laid in River Road. During the first 30 years of the century, Edgewater’s population quadrupled, and the transient workforce increased tenfold.Eventually the factories closed. The reasons were varied, but they included the globalization of industry, obsolete facilitiesand the replacement of railroad shipping by trucking, which could not run its large tractor trailer trucks on Edgewater’s narrow streets. Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
Joseph Mitchell’s essay The Rivermen, which was published in The New Yorker and is included in his book The Bottom of the Harbor, provides an evocative portrait of life in Edgewater in the early 20th century. Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
The late 20th century history of Edgewater was one of change from an industrialized town to a residential one. With the closing of the factories, development initially came to Edgewater in the 1960sand grew exponentially in the early 1980s, as developers began projects to convert the industrial sites that had historically led to Edgewater not being considered as an option for development. As condominiums were built along the Hudson where industry had formerly operated, the population of Edgewater grew rapidly. The population had been mostly in the 4,000 to 5,000 range from 1930 to 1990, then increased by 50% to 7,677 in 2000 and again by 50% to 11,513 in the 2010 Census. Borough council members and residents acknowledge that population growth has exacerbated the problem of increased traffic.With the transition from industrial to residential, crime statistics were down, with the police chief describing how bar fights between factory workers were commonplace in the early 1970s, while real estate values are up. Because of the expense of buying property, some currently refer to Edgewater as part of the Gold Coast. A photographic history of Edgewater describes the population and demographics change and its possible consequence this way:"
Now a good number of residents live on the river in condominiums and rental apartments and town houses on land that was once the province of heavy industry. Some see this as the creation of a town divided, with the newcomers living on the east side of River Road by the Hudson River and the old-timers living on the west side of River Road."
Although the borough is unrecognizable as the industrial town it once was, growing pains have left marks. When the old Alcoa plant site from 1916 began to be converted to condominiums, construction was forced to halt for cleanup of industrial contaminants, including excessively high concentrations of PCBs.In another case, construction of a condominium/shopping center in south Edgewater was interrupted for six months by safety measures to protect workers from chemical exposure in the lead- and arsenic-riddled soil. Next to this structure, behind a chain link fence lies a Superfund site. Operational Hess Oil tanks, beside the derelict Alcoa rolling mill, once the second-largest in the world, are a reminder of the borough’s industrial phase. The building, occupying 1,100,000 square feet (100,000 m2) of space, was designed in 1914 and was used to roll ingots of aluminum into sheets that were used to create everything from toothpaste tubes to aircraft frames, before the facility was abandoned in 1967 due to lack of space needed to expand the facility. Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 2.421 square miles (6.272 km2), including 0.935 square miles (2.422 km2) of land and 1.486 square miles (3.850 km2) of water (61.38%). Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
The borough is a narrow strip of land along the Hudson River, with 3.5 miles (5.6 km) of waterfront.The Palisades Cliffrises dramatically and forms a natural border on its western side, running roughly parallel to the Hudson. The towns atop the cliff are Fort Lee andCliffside Park, north and south, respectively. Edgewater abuts Fort Lee Historic Park in the borough of Fort Lee on the north. On the south it shares a border with the township of North Bergen, which lies in Hudson County. Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
River Road, which overlooks the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline, runs into and out of the town from the north and south, lying just above the level of the Hudson. Three roads lead up the Palisades Cliff: Route 5, with one switchback, ascends to Palisades Avenue, which leads north into Fort Lee and south into Cliffside Park. Gorge Road and Edgewater Road, the latter still referred to by many local residents by its Colonial-era name as Oxen Hill Road, lead up the Palisades to Cliffside Park. Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
Edgewater was the location of the Lever Brothers research center where chemist Vincent Lamberti, a holder of over 118 patents, spent most of his 40 years for the company, and where he invented Dove soap, the first soap not made with animal fat.
Edgewater has five main shopping areas. From north to south they are Town Centre, the Binghamton Shopping Plaza, Mitsuwa Marketplace, Edgewater Commons and City Place. All are located on the river side of River Road and bordered by the River Walk. As recently as 1984 the town had no supermarket. Now groceries may be purchased at Whole Foods Market in Town Centre, Trader Joe’s at the Binghamton Plaza, Japanese-labeled groceries at Mitsuwa Marketplace and at Acme Markets in Edgewater Commons. Company-operated shuttle buses that ran on Wednesdays and Thursdays, bringing shoppers to Mitsuwa from Manhattan, were terminated as of December 31, 2014. Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
Parks and recreation
22-acre (89,000 m2) Veterans’ Field offers residents recreational opportunities and provides space for a Community Center and American Legion Post 116. Veterans’ Field is located on River Road (County Route 505) in the north section of Edgewater, lying along the Hudson River. It has indoor and outdoor basketball courts, three softball fields, a 1/3 mile-long track which accommodates runners, walkers and skaters; tennis courts, a Little League field and a playground. It is also the site of a large American flag which can easily be seen from across the river in Manhattan. A plaque commemorating the New Netherland plantation of David Pietersen de Vries, Vriessendael, is located at the entrance to the field on the west. Although the field extends well to the east, it did not exist in de Vries’s day. In 1922, landfill was dumped into the Hudson River from the construction site of Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, which gives Veteran’s Field its current dimensions. As of September 16, 2011, Veteran’s Field was closed due to soil contamination in the fill brought to the site. Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
Arts and culture
Borough Hall, the Binghamton Ferry and the Edgewater Public Library are listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the New Jersey Register of Historic Places. Constructed in 1904, Borough Hall was granted $406,000 by Senate and General Assembly of New Jersey in August 2009 for restoration of the building.Among other renovations, the missing gargoyles were returned to the 1902 edifice. Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
The Binghamton Ferry, permanently anchored at the Binghamton Shopping Plaza, was built in 1904–1905 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry dock Company, Newport News, Virginia The only double-ended Steam powered ferry boat still on the Hudson River, the Binghamton ferried passengers from New Jersey to Barclay Street in Manhattan for many years and was retired in 1967. Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
The last remaining of 15 Carnegie libraries in New Jersey built with $15,000 in funds from the Carnegie Foundation, the Edgewater Free Library was dedicated on February 8, 1916.Edgewater opened its library in 1910, prior to the donation from the Carnegie Foundation, with 817 books on its shelves. Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
In addition to these sites, the Eleanor Van Gelder School is listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places. Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
The River Walk
The promenade along the Hudson is part of the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway. In 1988, construction of a waterfront walkway was mandated by state law that would allow walkers a path along the Hudson River fromBayonne up to the George Washington Bridge. Although property owners were required to build and maintain it, many gaps remain. Of the 18.5 miles (29.8 km) called for, only 11 miles (18 km) are complete, and many of the gaps occur in Edgewater. The completed stretches offer paths for walking along the Hudson River with views of Manhattan. Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
Edgewater is the home of a free-flying colony of monk parakeets, also known as Quaker parrots, which are native to South America. These small, green parrots have lived in Edgewater since at least 1980 and were numbered at 200 to 230 in a 2008 article in The New York Times. They are easily seen in Memorial Park and its vicinity at River Road and Route 5. The parrots build large nests of twigs and down which become permanent residences. Nests four-feet long can be seen near the intersection. How the birds came to Edgewater is unknown, though a widely accepted story traces their origin to an escape from a damaged crate at John F. Kennedy Airport in the 1960s. Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
The birds have built nests against transformers on utility poles. Citing the risk of fire, the utility PSE&G has destroyed such nests. This has brought the utility into conflict with parrot advocates. As of 2008, PSE&G has agreed not to take down nests during breeding season. Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
Edgewater is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-largeon a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. The Borough form of government used by Edgewater, the most common system used in the state, is a “weak mayor / strong council” government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.
As of 2016, the mayor of Edgewater is Democrat Michael McPartland, whose term of office ends December 31, 2019. Members of the Edgewater Borough Council are Council President Anthony Bartolomeo (D, 2018), Duane Fischetti (D, 2016; elected to serve an unexpired term), Michael H. Henwood (D, 2017), Dolores Lawlor (D, 2018), Vincent Monte (D, 2016) and Jose Luis Vidal (D, 2017). Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
In January 2015, Dolores Lawlor was selected from the Borough Council from a list of three candidates nominated by the Democratic municipal committee to fill the vacant seat expiring in December 2015 of Kevin Doran, who resigned from office earlier that month after announcing that he was moving out of the borough. Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
Democrat Agnes “Nancy” Merse, whose term as mayor was to expire on December 31, 2011, died due to complications from cancer on March 10, 2011. Councilmember James Delaney was chosen in April 2011 to fill Merse’s vacancy as mayor. Michael H. Henwood was chosen to fill Delaney’s vacant council seat, and served the remainder of that term until December 2011 before he was elected to serve a full term in office.
The Edgewater administrative offices and police department moved from 916 River Road to the new Borough Hall, 55 River Road, in 2011, with a dedication ceremony on October 16. The new building includes 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) of space, offering relief from cramped conditions with 150% more floor space, and expanded parking facilities.
Federal, state and county representation
Edgewater is located in the 9th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey’s 32nd state legislative district. Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Edgewater had been in the38th state legislative district.
New Jersey’s Ninth Congressional District is represented by Bill Pascrell (D,Paterson). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate byCory Booker (D, Newark, term ends 2021)and Bob Menendez (D,Paramus, 2019). Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
For the 2016–2017 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 32nd Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Nicholas Sacco (D, North Bergen) and in the General Assemblyby Angelica M. Jimenez (D, West New York) and Vincent Prieto (D,Secaucus). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno(R, Monmouth Beach). Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
Bergen County is governed by a directly elected County Executive, with legislative functions performed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders. As of 2015, the County Executive is James J. Tedesco III(D, Paramus; term ends December 31, 2018). The seven freeholders are elected at-large in partisan elections on a staggered basis, with two or three seats coming up for election each year, with a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Chairman Pro Tempore selected from among its members at a reorganization meeting held each January. Bergen County’s Freeholders are Freeholder Chairwoman Joan Voss (D, 2017; Fort Lee),Vice Chairman Steve Tanelli (D, 2015; North Arlington) Chairman Pro Tempore John A. Felice (R, 2016; River Edge), David L. Ganz (D, 2017;Fair Lawn), Maura R. DeNicola (R, 2016; Franklin Lakes) Thomas J. Sullivan Jr., (D, Montvale, 2015; serving the unexpired term of office that had been occupied by James Tedesco before he was sworn in as County Executive) and Tracy Silna Zur (D, 2015; Franklin Lakes).Countywide constitutional officials are County Clerk John S. Hogan (D,Northvale), Sheriff Michael Saudino (R) and Surrogate Michael R. Dressler (D, Cresskill). Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 5,120 registered voters in Edgewater, of which 2,250 (43.9% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 514 (10.0% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 2,352 (45.9% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 4 voters registered to other parties.Among the borough’s 2010 Census population, 44.5% (vs. 57.1% in Bergen County) were registered to vote, including 54.1% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide). Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 2,392 votes (68.1% vs. 54.8% countywide), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 1,031 votes (29.4% vs. 43.5%) and other candidates with 36 votes (1.0% vs. 0.9%), among the 3,511 ballots cast by the borough’s 5,877 registered voters, for a turnout of 59.7% (vs. 70.4% in Bergen County). In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 2,694 votes (67.5% vs. 53.9% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 1,224 votes (30.7% vs. 44.5%) and other candidates with 23 votes (0.6% vs. 0.8%), among the 3,989 ballots cast by the borough’s 5,714 registered voters, for a turnout of 69.8% (vs. 76.8% in Bergen County). In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 2,405 votes (65.1% vs. 51.7% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 1,237 votes (33.5% vs. 47.2%) and other candidates with 28 votes (0.8% vs. 0.7%), among the 3,696 ballots cast by the borough’s 5,135 registered voters, for a turnout of 72.0% (vs. 76.9% in the whole county). Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 49.9% of the vote (704 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 48.7% (687 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (19 votes), among the 1,446 ballots cast by the borough’s 5,148 registered voters (36 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 28.1%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 1,282 ballots cast (61.3% vs. 48.0% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 692 votes (33.1% vs. 45.8%), Independent Chris Daggett with 82 votes (3.9% vs. 4.7%) and other candidates with 12 votes (0.6% vs. 0.5%), among the 2,092 ballots cast by the borough’s 5,482 registered voters, yielding a 38.2% turnout (vs. 50.0% in the county). Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
On the local level, Edgewater has its own two-party system, split between the Democratic Party and the Independent Coalition for a Better Edgewater. The Republican Party has minimal presence and doesn’t always run a slate in local elections. The perennial local political issue is managing growth. Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
The Edgewater Public Schools serves public school students in Kindergarten through sixth grade. As of the 2012-13 school year, the district’s two schools had an enrollment of 695 students and 54.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.76:1. With district enrollment increasing rapidly, George Washington School opened in September 2012, having been constructed with a third floor to accommodate enrollment growth in the district that was anticipated to rise from 628 in 2011 to as much as 925 in 2015. Schools in the district (with 2012-13 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are
For seventh through twelfth grades, 380 public school students from the borough are sent to the Leonia Public Schools as part of a sending/receiving relationship. Schools in the district attended by Edgewater students (with 2013-14 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Leonia Middle School for grades 7 and 8 (which had 482 students in grades 6 – 8), and Leonia High School which had 696 students in grades 9 – 12. Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
Public school students from the borough, and all of Bergen County, are eligible to attend the secondary education programs offered by the Bergen County Technical Schools, which include the Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, and the Bergen Tech campus in Teterboro or Paramus. The district offers programs on a shared-time or full-time basis, with admission based on a selective application process and tuition covered by the student’s home school district. Edgewater NJ Homes for Sale
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