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Van Vorst Park Neighborhood & Historic District

The Van Vorst Park area of Jersey City is both a historically preserved district as well as a de facto neighborhood. The historic district is a specialized zoning ordinance designed to protect the look of the brownstone lined streets. These zones throughout the downtown list specific lots that fall within the zoned district. Alterations to the exterior of the buildings are essentially prohibited without first getting approval from the historic commission.

Below, a rough map of the district. The official boundaries are defined by specific lots which are not included on this map.

Van Vorst Park Historic District and Neighborhood Map

However, there is more to the Van Vorst Neighborhood than simply the historic district. The neighborhood is essentially the blocks south and west of the Grove Street Path Station, bounded by Christopher Columbus Drive to the North and Marin Blvd. to the East. The Western border is perhaps best defined as the elevated portion of the Turnpike, though some residents would declare Brunswick Street both the official western most portion of the historic district as well as the end of the neighborhood.

For many years the southern border of the neighborhood was also the edge of the city, bound by Grand Street. However, the Liberty Harbor North project will develop 27 city blocks south of the Van Vorst neighborhood. Grand Street then will be in essence the border between Van Vorst and Liberty Harbor North.

The centerpiece of the historic district is Van Vorst Park, a one square block park located on Montgomery Street and Jersey Avenue. The Victorian era park includes playgrounds, a dog run, and gardens. The summer months also bring "Jersey Fresh" sponsored Farmer's markets, and weekend rummage sellers.

City Hall and the main branch of the Jersey City Library are both located within the district. The Jersey City Museum is also located on the western edge of the neighborhood.

The area of Grove Street that runs through the neighborhood is also a busy shopping district. Cafes and restaurants line this section of Grove Street.

Planned for the neighborhood in 2007 are two new mid sized apartment complexes. The Majestic II is planned for the corner of Grove and Montgomery Streets. The project will redevelop several vacant lots and restore a number of historic brownstones. A second project known as Columbus Corner is planned for the corners of Wayne and Barrow and Barrow and Christopher Columbus Drive. That project will develop a parking lot as well as restore a Victorian era house and older apartment building.

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All original photographs and content copyright 2006 to Ian MacAllen, unless otherwise attributed.
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