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Weequahic Park Historic District

Residential street in the Weequahic neighborhood, Newark, NJ.

Photo: Residential street (Wilbur Avenue looking southeast toward Elizabeth Avenue), Weequahic Park Historic District, Newark, NJ. The Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. Photographed by User:Dinopup (own work), 2010, [cc-by-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed February, 2014.

The Weequahic Park Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2014, The Gombach Group.

Weequahic Park (within the Weequahic Park Historic District) is a major element of the Essex County Park System, the oldest county park system in the United States, and an important embodiment in New Jersey of the City Beautiful Movement. This socially progressive movement encouraged the introduction of park systems and parkways into rapidly developing American cities, and introduced the concept of comprehensive city planning and social order through beauty. The creation of Weequahic Park was the impetus for the development of what became an important residential neighborhood along the western edge of the park. The intact core of this early twentieth-century neighborhood, together with the park itself, comprise the Weequahic Park Historic District. The district is significant for landscape architecture because the park is a substantially intact major example of the work of the Olmsted Brothers, the pre-eminent landscape design firm in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century. It is in the form of a scenic park, one of the three types of green spaces advocated by the firm's founder, Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. (the others being small urban parks and reservations). The residential portion of the Weequahic Park Historic District, which contains an extensive collection of period revival mansions and middle-class housing primarily from about 1910 to 1930, as well as wide, tree-lined streets and landscaped street medians, is locally significant for architecture. The emergence of the neighborhood, an important event in twentieth-century Newark, is locally significant in the area of community planning and development.

The Building of Weequahic Park

Weequahic Park, the second largest park in the county system with 311.33 acres, including an 80-acre lake, and the largest park within the Newark city boundaries, is one of the most complicated parks in the County system. It was built in a piecemeal fashion, through various phases of land addition, construction and redesign. It was also constructed over a long period of time, beginning in 1899 and ending around 1931. The first twelve parcels of land — some 265 acres of farmlands, fairgrounds and swampland — were purchased between 1896 and 1899 at a cost of $220,000. The land was located on the east side of the Lehigh Valley Railroad right-of-way, and extended in an eastward direction to Frelinghuysen and Dayton Avenues. Except for a small finger of land connecting Elizabeth Avenue with the rest of the park, none of the land fronting Elizabeth Avenue was included in the original park.

Acquisition of this land was a controversial matter in 1895. Critics described it as a mosquito-laden bog and wondered who would use it. Even the Commissioners, who pushed hard for the purchase of the land, believed it would not be heavily used for a number of years. Originally intended as a reservation to serve future population growth, the rapid development of residential areas surrounding the park and the ready availability of mass transportation soon put that question to rest. The "reservation" as it was first defined and named, rapidly evolved into a popular park with a variety of recreational activities.

The commissioned landscape design firm, Olmsted Brothers of Brookline, Massachusetts, began work on the park in the spring of 1899. The park was assigned Job Number 2132 by the Olmsted firm. By May 1899, the Olmsted Brothers, had drawn up a topographical map, and the following month, they had taken soundings and water surface elevations of Lake Weequahic. John Charles Olmsted felt that the southeast and southwest portions of Weequahic Reservation were wide enough for an open-style park, and that the marsh could be drained into a lake by damming the water at Waverly Avenue on the north end. Certain areas would be left unexcavated creating islands in order to reduce the water area. The reservation was divided into four main features: the lake completely surrounded by trees with a waterside path and boathouse; a "playstead" containing little shrubbery with a field house at the east end and an entrance near the street for cars; a speedway surrounded by a walk for visitors containing a kite-shaped bicycle track and an existing Grandstand to later be improved on; and lastly, a pastoral district consisting of three hills and three valleys with short-bladed grass. The grass would be kept short by pasturing sheep on it.

In the summer, the firm was instructed to prepare a plan for the reservation with improvements not exceeding $100,000, The landscape architects worked up the grading plans for the park, and began designing the very first elements, the "playstead" in the northeast corner of the park, and a temporary circuit drive around the lake. Vistas and view lines were established. In November 1899, the firm began redesigning the outline of the lake and the islands. By February 1900, the location for the field house was established in the northeast corner of the park and by the summer of 1900, a lighting plan was in place. Planting plans for borders, mounds and the Lehigh Valley Railroad embankment were worked out by the end of 1900. The following spring, the landscape architects designed a site for the boathouse at the northernmost extension of the lake, as well as plantings along Dayton Street, an administration building on the eastern end of the park, and a superintendent's cottage with sheds and laundry yard. During the summer, the Olmsted Brothers designed the lake drives, boathouse, reconfigured the lake and thought up the place names. Although the overall plan for the park was fairly established by the end of 1901, the actual construction of the park would continue over the next three decades.

The 1901 plan for the park consisted of a series of landscaped units set around Lake Weequahic. The Olmsteds were hampered by the location of the Lehigh Valley Railroad embankment to the west and the development of factories to the north, east and south of the park perimeter. Both the railroad and industrial development would have to be hidden by the various plantings. The only element remaining from the Waverly Fairgrounds that the landscape architects chose to retain (based on heavy pressure from the Essex County Park Commissioners) was the grandstand and its half-mile track, and the keeper's cottage, which was occupied by the foreman. The remaining structures were taken down over the course of several years.

The landscaped units set around the lake took the form of peninsulas that extended into the lake. These were landscaped with particular trees and plantings, for instance on the west of the lake, the southernmost extension was called "Beechwood" and the middle peninsula was called "Oakwood." On the east side of the lake, across from "Oakwood" was "Chestnut Knoll." The larger, more open, landscaped units included the "Playstead" in the northeast corner of the park, the "South Down" in the southeast corner of the park, the "West Down" in the southwest corner, and the speedway with its grandstand and infield. Smaller landscaped areas between the larger units consisted of the "North Bourne Wood" between Oakwood and the north entrance on Waverly Avenue; the "South Bourne Wood" along the southwest perimeter of the park, and "Goldenrod Hollow" west of the Oakwood unit. The circuit drive around the lake was called "Westlake Drive" on the west side, and "Eastlake Drive" on the east side. The road around the speedway was called "Speedway Drive." The west entrance was on Elizabeth Avenue at the bottom of the present day Grumman Avenue.

In October 1902, the extension of the park in a westerly direction towards Elizabeth Avenue and over the Lehigh Valley Railroad came to the forefront. A bridge over the railroad embankment was planned to carry the park traffic to an entrance on Elizabeth Avenue. The bridge was to be a steel girder structure of three spans, with a pipe railing. Prior to this bridge proposal, the connection to Elizabeth Avenue consisted of a former farm lane, consisting of a twenty foot wide crossing with steep temporary side slopes and a grade crossing at the railroad tracks. The bridge was completed in 1906.

In 1904, the Commissioners decided to look into building a golf course within Weequahic Park. Although John Charles Olmsted did not seem in favor of the idea, stating that use of the playstead and track should not be denied to local residents, the Commission decided to proceed with feasibility plans. In early 1905, Olmsted wrote to the Commission that it could be possible to lay out a golf course without interfering with the piaystead and track. Olmsted felt that it would be possible to make a six-hole golf course in the southern section of the park, but it would not be satisfactory to most golfers.

The years 1906-1907 were some of the busiest years for construction in Weequahic Park. The boathouse at the north end of the lake was completed. The frame structure was 88 by 30 feet with a stucco finish, red shingle roof, and a dock running the entire length of the building. An additional boat storage building further west along the lake was also completed. The road from the Meeker Avenue entrance around the lake, to the bridge connecting with Elizabeth Avenue was paved. Afield house, canoe shed, six new horse-training stables, and an administrative horse stable and yard were also built. An electrical cable was laid in the lake and arc light poles erected.

The most controversial issue of the time was whether to extend the park in a westerly direction and include the land between the Lehigh Valley Railroad and Elizabeth Avenue. In the fall of 1906, the State Legislature granted an appropriation to the Park Commission of $175,000 to purchase this land. The Essex County Park Commission asked John Charles Olmsted for his opinion as to this new purchase. The Commission's position was that purchase of the land would prevent factories from locating along Elizabeth Avenue. In his journal, Olmsted wrote: "I gave it as my opinion that so large an expenditure as the purchase and improvement of the land in question would require was not a wise one for the county to undertake, that the same sum spent in additional parks elsewhere would be far wiser." The Commission responded that Olmsted's advice was sought solely on the question, would the proposed addition be an advantage to Weequahic Reservation. "I said it would not be owing to the existence of the noises and conspicuous Lehigh Valley Railroad," Olmsted responded. Olmsted continued: "I did not say, but it seemed to me that if this land is taken for a park, it would cost a great deal to improve and maintain and that all this expenditure would be worth a great deal more if spent on other parks in other parts of the County. This land would result in effect in having a great railroad on a high embankment much of the way 100 feet wide, unusually conspicuous, unusually noisy and unusually smoky running straight through one of the great landscape parks of the County and this addition would practically require a large expense for park bridges over the railroad. It seemed to me the scheme must have originated largely in the selfish interest of the land owners on the upper side of Upper Elisabeth (sic) Avenue who are selling lots for residences and who think they would get better prices without the menace of factories and cheap residences which may occupy the land along the railroad."

Olmsted was, of course, correct in his assumptions. Much of the land along upper Elizabeth Avenue was owned by Alderman Frank Bock, a real estate developer and principal of the "Weequahic Park Tract," a residential development west of the proposed addition to the park. The State Legislature of 1907 passed an act permitting the county to expend $200,000 for the enlargement of the Weequahic boundaries. This extension would extend the reservation from Meeker Avenue on the north to the county line on the south, and from Dayton Street on the east to Elizabeth Avenue on the west, resulting in a total area of 315.58 acres.

While Olmsted was laying out the park extension along Elizabeth Avenue, work continued on the old part of the park. A macadam roadway was constructed around the racetrack, an administration building was constructed near the southern end of the railroad tracks, and a bridle path began to take shape. The commission could no longer consider the Weequahic Reservation, a "reservation" meant for the future development of the city. In 1909, the commission formally changed the name of the park to Weequahic Park. In 1910, a flock of Dorset sheep was purchased for the pastoral part of the park, in the southeast corner. The herd of sheep added to the picturesque nature of the park, which already had considerable waterfowl. The sheep were very popular and were visited by thousands of people every week.

The years immediately preceding World War I were a busy time for the development of Weequahic Park. Plans were formalized and work begun on the park addition. Along with connecting roads, Olmsted planned a bridle path to join the two sections of the park. A children's playground, wading pool, formal garden and tennis courts were also planned for the addition. The Commissioners decided to pursue their dream of placing a golf course within the park boundaries, and hired Mr. George Low Sr., the head professional of the Olmsted-designed, Baltusrol Club, to design a nine-hole golf course. Mr. Low had been the runner up in the 1899 U.S. Open and had previously designed courses in the northeast, including the rustic Rutland Country Club, in Vermont in 1902. The golf course was located in the southeastern section of the park. A deer paddock was erected next to the boathouse and stocked with deer from the larger preserve in South Mountain Reservation.

In 1914, plans were made to erect a railroad shelter in the park for the Park View Station on Elizabeth Avenue. At the same time, the racetrack was extensively rebuilt and a new grandstand with a much larger seating capacity, and a judges' stand opposite the grandstand were built. The nine-hole golf course was completed, and opened on July 4th, 1914, with its requisite clubhouse, and water system to irrigate the greens. The following year, the Elizabeth Avenue addition to the park was nearly complete. Plans were made to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the City of Newark with a historical pageant in the park. The southern end of the park received an amphitheater with seats and a stage placed against the background of the trees. To celebrate the sesquicentennial, the park commission hired architect Frank A. Wright to design a monumental pavilion for Divident Hill, the original location of the division between the cities of Newark and Elizabeth. Wright also designed a Gothic-inspired comfort station and a children's shelter at the southerly end of the playground. A wading pool, sand court, and hardy plant garden were also included. All three glazed terra cotta buildings were placed within the Elizabeth Avenue addition. A new structure to house waterfowl was built on the lakeshore southwest of the grandstand.

By the end of World War I, the golf course had become so popular, that the commissioners were planning on expanding it. However, their attention was turned to constructing a memorial to governor Franklin Murphy, who had been so instrumental in founding the Park Commission and had been such an advocate of Weequahic Park. The Commission hired H. Van Buren Magonigle as a consultant to consider a Murphy Memorial. Mr. Magonigle's task was to make general suggestions as to how Franklin Murphy could be commemorated. In the end it was J. Massey Rhind who won the commission to sculpt a life-size figure of Murphy in bronze. The National Sculptor Society approved his design. Henry Bacon and James Betelle served as architects for the memorial, and the Olmsted Brothers landscaped it. The Olmsteds also planned a formal rose garden for the Elizabeth Avenue extension, a pet project of Mr. Robert Sinclair's, the president of the park commission. The rose garden was completed in 1922, with over 1,400 rose bushes in 86 varieties.

During the 1920s, Weequahic Park was very heavily used. A wide variety of entertainments kept park patrons busy, such as outdoor concerts, floral displays, and model yacht contests. In 1928, clay tennis courts were added to the Elizabeth Avenue extension, and a new field house was built. The following year, twelve additional tennis courts were added to the old part of the park in the infield of the trotting track.

One of the most significant changes occurred to the park in 1931, when the construction of Route 29 (now Route 22) along the Lehigh Valley Railroad right-of-way necessitated the construction of an underpass under the tracks of the railroad. This road construction necessitated extensive structural changes to the existing bridge over the tracks. It was determined that it would be in the best public interest to construct a new bridge, and construction began in the latter part of 1931. The new bridge was completed the following year.

Little work was done on the park during the Depression and the early years of World War II; most of it was just maintenance. In 1937, the Works Progress Administration worked on a project to relocate ten large elm trees, widen curbing, paving the entrance roadway from Elizabeth Avenue, and constructing a large parking area near the golf course clubhouse. The following year, an additional parking lot at the south end of the racetrack was built. Concrete steps and a new putting green were built in the circular area fronting the golf house. The path encircling the lake was improved. In 1942, the wooden dock at the boathouse was so deteriorated it had to be replaced. Due to serious wartime restrictions and to labor and material shortages only vital repairs were made throughout the park system.

In February 1943, a proposal was made by the War Department that the park commission lease a portion of the park as a housing site for Army personnel. It was one of only two parks in Newark taken over by the Army, the other being Riverbank Park, which was converted to an air defense contingent of the Coast Artillery. The War Department took over a tract of 164 acres including the lake area. The Army placed barracks and created newly cleared areas in the park. A military hospital was built on the site of the former half-mile trotting track and infield, and a WAC encampment group of structures occupied the former archery range on the north end of the lake near Route 29 (now Route 22). The Atlantic Overseas Technical Air Service Command vacated Weequahic Park on November 29,1946. The buildings were left on the site to provide emergency veteran housing. As part of the lease agreement, in mid-1947, the Army began restoring the park in preparation for civilian use. Paths, roads, and concrete curbing were restored, grounds and sod were refurbished, boat-landing docks at the boathouse were replaced, and buildings were reconditioned. Although families were still occupying 181 buildings, and the field house was used as a health clinic center for housing activities, Weequahic Park was reopened in a limited way to the public in 1948. It was not until 1952, however, that the army buildings and roads were removed, allowing the remainder of the park to be open for public use. After much reconditioning of the track, racing finally started again on the 4th of July 1956. The park commission also began adding baseball fields, combination soccer and football fields and additional tennis courts.

The last major phase of construction in Weequahic Park occurred in the mid-to-late 1960s. In 1965, a plan was adopted to open new recreation areas in the park, reflecting the trend toward more active pursuits rather than passive enjoyment of the park. This plan included additional tennis courts, picnic areas, new baseball diamonds, new playground equipment, a new police and maintenance center, and an expansion of the nine-hole golf course to a regulation eighteen holes. The golf course was completed in 1968.

Along with the other parks in the county system, Weequahic Park began a long decline. As maintenance costs increased and county tax revenues decreased, the County cut back on its maintenance schedules and personnel. Rather than repair buildings in Weequahic Park, the county adopted a policy of demolishing the buildings rather than restoring them. All of the original buildings in the old part of the park, east of the railroad, were demolished. The last building to be bulldozed, the grandstand, was taken down as late as 1993. By some miracle, the buildings in the Elizabeth Avenue portion of the park survived.

In August 1992, a group of concerned park patrons founded the non-profit Weequahic Park Association (WPA). Modeled on the Central Park Conservancy in Manhattan, the group has strived to attract grants to help in the restoration and maintenance of the park. In 1998, the WPA won a $3 million grant from the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) to stabilize shoreline erosion and to install a state-of-the-art jogging track. Since that time the WPA has strived to become a model for urban park restoration on a national level. They have sponsored cultural programs, stage and music productions, literary events, and also have an at-risk youth training program for landscape maintenance. The organization sponsors conferences and symposia and runs a summer day camp in the park.

Although under-maintained, Weequahic Park has fairly good integrity, and retains features from both of the major building phases. The first phase, 1899-1908, included the initial purchase of acreage on the east side of the Lehigh Valley Railroad tracks, and the development of the park design by the Olmsted Brothers. Weequahic Lake, the playstead, the drives, the trotting track and the entranceways, remain from the original plan: The remainder of the park, including the layout, plantings and remaining buildings is from the second campaign (1908-1932), which increased the park's size to its present 311 acres. Weequahic Park is an excellent example of a scenic Olmsted park. It is part of the visionary master plan, known as the Essex County Park System, and encompasses the full range of uses within this system.

Residential Development Around Weequahic Park

As the City of Newark began to reclaim parts of Clinton Township in the 1870s, horse cars began to appear and farms began to disappear. A shift began to occur in the population distribution of Newark (and of many industrialized cities throughout the United States): high income groups began moving to the outer wards, while lower income groups migrated to the city's center. The introduction of railroads into the city beginning in the 1850s contributed to the reversal; by the 1870s much of Newark's economy was dependent on moving freight by one of five railroad lines that entered the city from the east, west, and south. Although the train lines improved the economy of the city by linking Newark with markets throughout the country, they simultaneously degraded the immediate surroundings with noise, dirt, and visual pollution. Terminals, depots, warehouses, and industrial plants were erected near the tracks, resulting in a continuous belt of concentrated industry along the rights-of-way throughout the city. By the 1890s, many newly prosperous business executives and self-employed professionals began to flee to the outer fringes, preferring to endure the thirty minute trip by horse drawn or electrified street car from new middle class enclaves such as Roseville, Forest Hill [see Forest Hill Historic District], and Weequahic, to the congestion and pollution of the central city. As they fled the city, their former homes were bought or rented by newly arriving Eastern and Southern European immigrants, who unable to afford the high prices, were forced to tolerate as many as four families, visiting relatives, and boarders in what had been designed as a single family house. The unhealthy conditions resulting from overcrowding caused further movement of the affluent to the suburbs.

The importance of the horse drawn trolley was an essential factor in the suburban migration. Eventually reaching from the center of the city to within a traveling distance of thirty minutes (at the rate of four to six miles per hour), the horse train gave access to the nearby suburbs. However, because of the relatively high fares in the early years, it was available primarily to the affluent. By 1870, Newark had seven horsecar routes closely paralleled by suburban development. Houses were commonly built within a five- minute walk of the nearest track. By the mid-1880s, the streetcars had changed Newark's residential living pattern drastically, and most places in the thirty-minute radius had been fully developed.

Along with the increased accessibility of the outer fringes came the increased demand for suburban home sites. Land prices rose and real estate speculators continued to profit. The exodus of the upper-middle class to the northern and western wards was so rapid, that by the end of the 1880s, these areas were completely filled. By the turn-of-the-century, Weequahic was starting to feel the effects of the tremendous growth experienced elsewhere in the city. As the streetcars penetrated Newark further and further south, housing began appearing along the streetcar routes. The Lehigh Valley Railroad gained access to Newark in 1889 in order to shorten its anthracite route from the Pennsylvania coalfields to a shipment point across Newark Bay in Jersey City. Within the next several years, the railroad built the "Park View" passenger train station at Meeker Avenue and Elizabeth Avenue, within the boundaries of the future western division of Weequahic Park.

In 1906, the Weequahic area was still quite rural with large estates clustered along Elizabeth Avenue. Only Lyons Avenue, Weequahic Avenue and Prospect Avenue (now Chancellor Avenue) were cut through as cross streets. However, developers were already present. Weequahic was the last open area left in the city to be developed, and it was inevitable that with the tremendous pressure for housing in the city, that the area would not be left undeveloped. It was also impossible for the Essex County Park Commissioners to hide that they were purchasing the land along the eastern side of Elizabeth Avenue for an extension to Weequahic Park. One of the city's aldermen, Frank Bock, had purchased much of the land along Elizabeth Avenue, forcing the commission to pay higher prices for the acreage. As principal of the Weequahic Park, Land and Improvement Company, Bock led the largest real estate operation on record in Newark, known as the "Weequahic Park Tract." Along with his partner George O. Scheerer, Bock purchased 250 acres of land along Elizabeth Avenue, and cut it up into 3,500 building lots. By 1907, they had succeeded at building over 500 houses, all of it considered "high-class restricted property." Their promotional pamphlet touted the location as "directly opposite Weequahic Park, Lehigh Valley Park View Station" at the property. Rather than divide the land into cookie cutter 25 x 100 foot lots as was typical of Newark developers of the time, Bock and Scheerer created a variety of lots, based on their distance from the park and the railroad station. The uniform restrictions placed on the development included a uniform distance from the streetline, no house could be more than 2-1/2 stories in height, no more than one house per lot, and all had to be residential. Sections were laid out with 50' wide lots, ranging down to 25' wide lots for two-family houses. Streets were graded, paved and curbed, and were laid out with planting medians. Walkways along all the streets as well as street trees were provided. The entire area received sewers and all necessary utility lines. According to the principals "the nature of our street improvements produce a uniform appearance which is pleasing and gives a certain distinctive character to the area.".

Combined with the construction of the passenger station on the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and the extension of the Elizabeth Avenue trolley to Weequahic, real estate values in Weequahic skyrocketed. Developers purchased the old Weequahic farms and began creating subdivisions of single and multi-family housing. Peter Ballantine, of brewery and real estate fame (the family had been a major developer in Forest Hill in the North Ward), owned nineteen acres on Elizabeth Avenue around Renner, Watson and Peshine Avenues. Other principals hid behind corporate names such as the United Real Estate Company and the Weequahic Park Tract Company. By 1912, the entire Weequahic area had been subdivided. The largest lots were between Elizabeth Avenue and Bergen Street, from Chancellor Avenue to Lyons Avenue, and were part of the "Weequahic Park Tract" (this subdivision actually extended as far north as Mapes Avenue). The "Weequahic Park Front Realty Company" owned the area between Chancellor Avenue and the City of Elizabeth border. The area west of Bergen Street, between Chancellor and Lyons Avenue was called the "Clinton Park South Tract." New cross streets, such as Pomona, Goldsmith and Vassar, were laid out with planting islands extending down the middle of the streets from Maple Avenue to Elizabeth Avenue. By the time the 1926 city atlas was published, the Weequahic area was completely developed.

The availability of large lots near the new Weequahic Park extension allowed for larger single-family homes and mansions to be built within the first block, between Elizabeth Avenue and Bergen Street. The homes within the second block, between Bergen Street and Parkview Terrace, were also large single family homes, but slightly more modest in scale. Between Parkview Terrace and Maple Avenue, the homes were slightly closer together and in some cases were two-family. Beyond Maple Avenue, the homes were predominantly multi-family.

One of the most famous houses to be built in Weequahic was the L. Bamberger Department Store's "Ideal Home," located at the southwest corner of Elizabeth and Vassar Avenues. Built on one of the largest "estate" lots on Elizabeth Avenue, facing Weequahic Park, the "Ideal Home" was the brainchild of Louis Bamberger, owner of one of the largest downtown Newark department stores. Bamberger envisioned the ideal setting for the store's furniture and electrical appliances, in a large, home setting that would accommodate the public. In late 1922, he hired Montclair architect Francis A. Nelson to design the building as the "Ideal Home." While the architect considered the house modest, the Colonial Revival home had two floors dedicated to family living and a third floor for servants. According to the Newark News, in January 1924, Bamberger's "Ideal Home" was the product of the cooperative efforts of more than 100 manufacturers, designers, contractors and decorators. The display house possessed many novel electrical features such as water heaters for the bathtubs, burglar alarms, burglar lights in the eaves, electric range, inter-house telephone, call bells, baseboard outlets, washing machine, a complete modern radio and a 2-car garage with electric lathe. The house contained ten rooms and three baths, plus a solarium and breakfast room. Ground was broken March 10,1923, with the mayor, city officials, Chamber of Commerce members and heads of various Bamberger's departments present. The house was built at a cost of $75,000. The house opened in January 1924, hosting over 200,000 people during the course of the year. The success of the house was short-lived however, as Bamberger's decided to sell the house in late 1924. By the mid-1930s, Bamberger's opened a series of five "Charm" homes throughout suburban Union and Essex County, including Short Hills, Glen Ridge, South Orange, Elizabeth and Westfield.

† Ulana D. Zakalak, Historic Preservation Consultant, Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee, Weequahic Park Historic District, Essex County, NJ, nomination document, 2002, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Weequahic Park Historic District Map

Street Names
Bergen Street • Chancellor Avenue • Elizabeth Avenue • Goldsmith Avenue • Hansbury Avenue • Keer Avenue • Lyons Avenue • Maple Avenue • Maple Place • Parkview Terrace • Pomona Avenue • Van Velsor Place • Vassar Avenue • Weequahix Avenue • Wilbur Avenue

**Information is curated from a variety of sources and, while deemed reliable, is not guaranteed.
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