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.
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.
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.
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.
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!