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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Part 1 of a Hoboken Walking Tour

A few weeks ago, I was googling things to do in Hoboken, when I stumbled across the Hoboken Historical Museum's waking tour.  I thought it would be a fantastic way for Nicole and I to spend an afternoon, and I knew she would be game.  When we started out, neither of us knew what we would be getting into.  The day we picked was super hot, and the tour is longer than it looks on the map!  It turned out that we had to split it into two days, which made for two awesome days of wandering through one of my favorite places, and a couple awesome iced coffees and slices of pizza.  So, here is the first half of the stops on our tour!

1. Since we were coming from Jersey City, we actually started the tour from the opposite side that you are supposed to.  On the map above, we started on the left hand side at the Erie-Lakawanna Terminal, (I had no idea this was the actual name, we just call it the Hoboken Train Station) built in 1907.   The photo below is the waiting room of the main terminal.  It is modeled after Grand Central Station and is beautiful.  The station is home to six ferry slips and fourteen rail lines that will take you anywhere from NYC, to  anywhere in Jersey, to most of the Northeastern US.  The terminal also has some restaurants, a bar and street vendors.

2.  Up next was the Hoboken Land and Improvement Company building, built in 1889.  It originally housed the real estate company that oversaw all of the development of the city of Hoboken.  Apparently, the inside is the oat impressive part, with a huge staircase, and a terra cotta clock surrounded by sea motifs and the company's monogram.  I'm pretty sure now that it is a daycare.

3.   The World War One Boulder was dedicated in 1925 by the Knights of Columbus  to honor the two million troops that passed through hoboken on their way to fight in WW1.  The slogan posted here "Heaven, Hell or Hoboken by Christmas" reflects the soldier's wish for a speedy return.

4.  The Frank Sinatra Post office was built in 1931 and has been an active post office since then.  the exterior of the building has not changed at all since it was built either.  It was renamed the Frank Sinatra Post Office in 2003, after Hoboken's most famous resident.  He was born only a few blocks away on Monroe St. just a few blocks away.  

5. Hoboken City Hall was built in 1883 and was originally a public marketplace.  In 1911 it was modified to make it larger and was turned into city hall.  Fun fact: the two  gold eagles on the top are named Hobo and Ken.

6.  The Assembly of Exempt Firemen, was built in 1864 and is currently a museum housing Hoboken Firefighting memorabilia.  Inside the gas line is designed to look like a firehose and there is a Rondel with plaster  firefighters.

These are just a couple really beautiful Brownstones in hoboken.

7. The United Synagogue of Hoboken, dedicated in 1915 is modeled after the Great Synagogue of Frankfurt-am-Main in Germany.

8. The Jefferson Trust Company Building was built in 1912 to house the already established bank of the same name.  It was created by a group of immigrant business men and named to demonstrate their Democratic and community service ideals.  The bank failed during the Great Depression and restored by the present owners in recent years.

9. The Keuffel and Esser Complex is named after that two men, that in 1867, started importing precision instruments for engineering, architecture and drafting professions.  Their instruments were used in the planning of the Brooklyn Bridge and in 1891 they produced the first slide rule in the USA.  The supplied periscopes for WW1 and Army Range finders in WW2.  This actual building was erected in 1906 and spiders were raised in the basement to make crosshairs for gun sites.   The building is now used for housing.   

10. Our lady of Grace Church, built in 1878 is one of the largest Roman Catholic churches in New Jersey.  Gifts and paintings were sent over from Emperor Napoleon III and other Italian and French royalty when the church was dedicated.  The original pipe organ from 1899 is still used every week.

11. Church Square Park is a popular park in the heart of Hoboken and sits on land given by Colonel John Stevens in 1804.  The park was founded in 1873.  There are several monuments in the park, and the one I have posted is the Four Chaplains Monument that honors clergy who died while attending the crew of the torpedoed USS Dorchester in WW2.  The pedestal commemorates Marconi, the inventor of the wireless.  There was also a very friendly squirrel who wanted to visit.

12. Unfortunately, The Free Public Library is under extensive renovations, as you can see, but it is a gorgeous building.  It was dedicated in 1897, becoming the third library in New Jersey.

13. The Church of the Holy Innocents was dedicated to Julia Stevens, a girl who died in Rome of Typhoid Fever at the age of 7.  It was built in 1874 to serve Irish and German  immigrants.  the church is no longer in use, but is kept up because it is so unique and beautiful.

14.  Willow Terrace is a private street with rows of compact houses that were commissioned by the Stevens family (see part 2 of the Walking Tour blog, for more on the Stevens family) for workers at Stevens Castle and the Hoboken Land and Improvement Company.  They are modeled after workers houses in Scotland and are now private residences.

15. the Steven Collins Foster Home is where composer Steven Collins lived in in 1854 when one of his most famous works, "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair" was published. Stevens also penned the famous "Camptown Races."

After our morning of touring, Nicole and I stopped at Napolis Pizza for a delicious lunch.  This pizzeria was started by the same family who started the world famous Lombardi's on Bleeker St in NYC,  (It's also half the price).

Check in next week for part two of our walking tour.  We are headed to Maine for a wedding this weekend, but I am hoping to do a blog there or as soon as I get a chance.  Have a great week, darlings!

1 comment:

  1. I love Hoboken! You also get a fantastic view over Manhattan there. Great post with loads of great tips.