Hoboken, New Jersey

Hoboken, New Jersey
City of Hoboken
Nickname(s): The Mile Square City[1]

Location of Hoboken within Hudson County and the state of New Jersey

Census Bureau map of Hoboken, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°45′N 74°02′W / 40.75°N 74.03°W / 40.75; -74.03Coordinates: 40°45′N 74°02′W / 40.75°N 74.03°W / 40.75; -74.03[2][3]
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Hudson
Incorporated April 9, 1849
  Type Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council)
  Body City Council
  Mayor Dawn Zimmer (term ends December 31, 2017)[5][6]
  Administrator Quentin Wiest[7]
  Clerk James J. Farina[8]
  Total 2.011 sq mi (5.208 km2)
  Land 1.275 sq mi (3.303 km2)
  Water 0.736 sq mi (1.905 km2)  36.58%
Area rank 412th of 566 in state
6th of 12 in county[2]
Elevation[9] 26 ft (8 m)
Population (2010 Census)[10][11][12][13]
  Total 50,005
  Estimate (2015)[14] 53,635
  Rank 34th of 566 in state
5th of 12 in county[15]
  Density 39,212.0/sq mi (15,139.8/km2)
  Density rank 4th of 566 in state
4th of 12 in county[15]
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC−5)
  Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC−4)
ZIP code 07030[16]
Area code(s) 201[17]
FIPS code 3401732250[2][18][19]
GNIS feature ID 0885257[2][20]
Website www.hobokennj.org

Hoboken (/ˈhbkən/ HO-bo-ken;[21] Unami: Hupokàn[22]) is a city in Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 50,005,[10][11][12] having grown by 11,428 (+29.6%) from 38,577 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 5,180 (+15.5%) from the 33,397 in the 1990 Census.[23] Hoboken is part of the New York metropolitan area and is the site of Hoboken Terminal, a major transportation hub for the region.

Hoboken was first settled as part of the Pavonia, New Netherland colony in the 17th century. During the early 19th century the city was developed by Colonel John Stevens, first as a resort and later as a residential neighborhood. It became a township in 1849 and was incorporated as a city in 1855. Hoboken is the location of the first recorded game of baseball (although this is disputed) and of the Stevens Institute of Technology, one of the oldest technological universities in the United States.

Located on the Hudson Waterfront, the city was an integral part of the Port of New York and New Jersey and home to major industries for most of the 20th century. It is also well known for being the birthplace and hometown of American singer Frank Sinatra, one of the most popular and most influential musical artists of the 20th century, and there are parks and streets located in the city that are named for him. The character of the city has changed from a blue collar town to one of upscale shops and condominiums.[24]

On October 29, 2012, Hoboken was devastated by the storm surge and high winds associated with Hurricane Sandy, leaving 1,700 homes flooded and causing $100 million in damage after the storm "filled up Hoboken like a bathtub". In June 2014, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated $230 million to Hoboken as part of its Rebuild by Design initiative, adding levees, parks, green roofs, retention basins and other infrastructure to help the low-lying riverfront city protect itself from ordinary flooding and build a network of features to help Hoboken survive storms that arrive once every 500 years.[25]



The name "Hoboken" was chosen by Colonel John Stevens when he bought land, on a part of which the city still sits. The Lenape (later called Delaware Indian) tribe of Native Americans referred to the area as the "land of the tobacco pipe", most likely to refer to the soapstone collected there to carve tobacco pipes, and used a phrase that became "Hopoghan Hackingh".[26][27][28] Like Weehawken, its neighbor to the north, Communipaw and Harsimus to the south, Hoboken had many variations in the folks-tongue. Hoebuck, old Dutch for high bluff and likely referring to Castle Point, was used during the colonial era and later spelled as Hobuck,[29] Hobock,[30] Hobuk[31] and Hoboocken.[32] The origin of Hoboken's name was not related to the Hoboken district of Antwerp. However, in the nineteenth century, a folk etymology had emerged linking the town of to the similarly-named Flemish town.[33]

Today, Hoboken's unofficial nickname is the "Mile Square City",[1] but it actually covers about 1.25 square miles (3.2 km2) of land and an area of 2 square miles (5.2 km2) when including the under-water parts in the Hudson River.[2] During the late 19th/early 20th century the population and culture of Hoboken was dominated by German language speakers who sometimes called it "Little Bremen", many of whom are buried in Hoboken Cemetery, North Bergen.[34][35]

Early-European arrival and colonial

The Hudson River during the 1880s, offshore from Hoboken and Jersey City

Hoboken was originally an island, surrounded by the Hudson River on the east and tidal lands at the foot of the New Jersey Palisades on the west. It was a seasonal campsite in the territory of the Hackensack, a phratry of the Lenni Lenape, who used the serpentine rock found there to carve pipes.

The first recorded European to lay claim to the area was Henry Hudson, an Englishman sailing for the Dutch East India Company, who anchored his ship the Halve Maen (Half Moon) at Weehawken Cove on October 2, 1609.[36] Soon after it became part of the province of New Netherland.

In 1630, Michael Pauw, a burgemeester (mayor) of Amsterdam and a director of the Dutch West India Company, received a land grant as patroon on the condition that he would plant a colony of not fewer than fifty persons within four years on the west bank of what had been named the North River. Three Lenape sold the land that was to become Hoboken (and part of Jersey City) for 80 fathoms (146 m) of wampum, 20 fathoms (37 m) of cloth, 12 kettles, six guns, two blankets, one double kettle and half a barrel of beer.[36] These transactions, variously dated as July 12, 1630 and November 22, 1630, represent the earliest known conveyance for the area. Pauw (whose Latinized name is Pavonia) failed to settle the land, and he was obliged to sell his holdings back to the Company in 1633.

It was later acquired by Hendrick Van Vorst, who leased part of the land to Aert Van Putten, a farmer. In 1643, north of what would be later known as Castle Point, Van Putten built a house and a brewery, North America's first. In series of Indian and Dutch raids and reprisals, Van Putten was killed and his buildings destroyed, and all residents of Pavonia (as the colony was known) were ordered back to New Amsterdam. Deteriorating relations with the Lenape, its isolation as an island, or relatively long distance from New Amsterdam may have discouraged more settlement.

In 1664, the English took possession of New Amsterdam with little or no resistance, and in 1668 they confirmed a previous land patent by Nicolas Verlett. In 1674–75 the area became part of East Jersey, and the province was divided into four administrative districts, Hoboken becoming part of Bergen County, where it remained until the creation of Hudson County on February 22, 1840. English-speaking settlers (some relocating from New England) interspersed with the Dutch, but it remained scarcely populated and agrarian.

Eventually, the land came into the possession of William Bayard, who originally supported the revolutionary cause, but became a Loyalist Tory after the fall of New York in 1776 when the city and surrounding areas, including the west bank of the renamed Hudson River, were occupied by the British. At the end of the Revolutionary War, Bayard's property was confiscated by the Revolutionary Government of New Jersey. In 1784, the land described as "William Bayard's farm at Hoebuck" was bought at auction by Colonel John Stevens for £18,360 (then $90,000).[36]

19th century

Upper Bloomfield Street between 9th and 10th (1900)
Hoboken Terminal shortly after it opened in 1907

In the early 19th century, Colonel John Stevens developed the waterfront as a resort for Manhattanites. On October 11, 1811, Stevens' ship the Juliana, began to operate as a ferry between Manhattan and Hoboken, making it the world's first commercial steam ferry.[37] In 1825, he designed and built a steam locomotive capable of hauling several passenger cars at his estate. Sybil's Cave, a cave with a natural spring, was opened in 1832 and visitors came to pay a penny for a glass of water from the cave which was said to have medicinal powers.[38] In 1841, the cave became a legend, when Edgar Allan Poe wrote "The Mystery of Marie Roget" about an event that took place there.[39] The cave was closed in the late 1880s after the water was found to be contaminated, and it was shut and in the 1930s and filled with concrete, before it was reopened in 2008.[40] Before his death in 1838, Stevens founded the Hoboken Land and Improvement Company, which laid out a regular system of streets, blocks and lots, constructed housing, and developed manufacturing sites. In general, the housing consisted of masonry row houses of three to five stories, some of which survive to the present day, as does the street grid.[41]

Hoboken was originally formed as a township on April 9, 1849, from portions of North Bergen Township. As the town grew in population and employment, many of Hoboken's residents saw a need to incorporate as a full-fledged city, and in a referendum held on March 29, 1855, ratified an Act of the New Jersey Legislature signed the previous day, and the City of Hoboken was born.[42] In the subsequent election, Cornelius V. Clickener became Hoboken's first mayor. On March 15, 1859, the Township of Weehawken was created from portions of Hoboken and North Bergen Township.[42]

Based on a bequest from Edwin A. Stevens, Stevens Institute of Technology was founded at Castle Point in 1870 site of the Stevens family's former estate as the nation's first mechanical engineering college.[43] By the late 19th century, shipping lines were using Hoboken as a terminal port, and the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad (later the Erie Lackawanna Railroad) developed a railroad terminal at the waterfront, with the present NJ Transit terminal designed by architect Kenneth Murchison constructed in 1907.[44] It was also during this time that German immigrants, who had been settling in town during most of the century, became the predominant population group in the city, at least partially due to its being a major destination port of the Hamburg America Line, though anti-German sentiment during World War I led to a rapid decline in the German community.[45] In addition to the primary industry of shipbuilding, Hoboken became home to Keuffel and Esser's three-story factory and in 1884, to Tietjen and Lang Drydock (later Todd Shipyards). Well-known companies that developed a major presence in Hoboken after the turn-of the-century included Maxwell House, Lipton Tea, and Hostess.

Birthplace of baseball

Early baseball game played at Elysian Fields, Hoboken (Currier & Ives lithograph)
A historical marker stands at the intersection of 11th and Washington Streets, former site of Elysian Fields

The first officially recorded game of baseball took place in Hoboken in 1846 between Knickerbocker Club and New York Nine at Elysian Fields.[46] In 1845, the Knickerbocker Club, which had been founded by Alexander Cartwright, began using Elysian Fields to play baseball due to the lack of suitable grounds on Manhattan.[47] Team members included players of the St George's Cricket Club, the brothers Harry and George Wright, and Henry Chadwick, the English-born journalist who coined the term "America's Pastime".

By the 1850s, several Manhattan-based members of the National Association of Base Ball Players were using the grounds as their home field while St. George's continued to organize international matches between Canada, England and the United States at the same venue. In 1859, George Parr's All England Eleven of professional cricketers played the United States XXII at Hoboken, easily defeating the local competition. Sam Wright and his sons Harry and George Wright played on the defeated United States team—a loss which inadvertently encouraged local players to take up baseball. Henry Chadwick believed that baseball and not cricket should become the national pastime after the game drawing the conclusion that amateur American players did not have the leisure time required to develop cricket skills to the high technical level required of professional players. Harry Wright and George Wright then became two of the first professional baseball players in the United States when Aaron Champion raised funds to found the Cincinnati Red Stockings in 1869.

In 1865 the grounds hosted a championship match between the Mutual Club of New York City and the Atlantic Club of Brooklyn that was attended by an estimated 20,000 fans and captured in the Currier & Ives lithograph "The American National Game of Base Ball".[48]

With the construction of two significant baseball parks enclosed by fences in Brooklyn, enabling promoters there to charge admission to games, the prominence of Elysian Fields diminished. In 1868 the leading Manhattan club, Mutual, shifted its home games to the Union Grounds in Brooklyn. In 1880, the founders of the New York Metropolitans and New York Giants finally succeeded in siting a ballpark in Manhattan that became known as the Polo Grounds.

World War I

When the U.S. entered World War I, the Hamburg-American Line piers in Hoboken (and New Orleans) were taken under eminent domain.[49] Federal control of the port and anti-German sentiment led to part of the city being placed under martial law, and many German immigrants were forcibly moved to Ellis Island or left the city of their own accord.[50] Hoboken became the major point of embarkation and more than three million soldiers, known as "doughboys", passed through the city.[51] Their hope for an early return led to General Pershing's slogan, "Heaven, Hell or Hoboken... by Christmas."[52]

Following the war, Italians, mostly stemming from the Adriatic port city of Molfetta, became the city's major ethnic group, with the Irish also having a strong presence.[53] While the city experienced the Great Depression, jobs in the ships yards and factories were still available, and the tenements were full. Middle-European Jews, mostly German-speaking, also made their way to the city and established small businesses. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which was established on April 30, 1921, oversaw the development of the Holland Tunnel (completed in 1927) and the Lincoln Tunnel (in 1937), allowing for easier vehicular travel between New Jersey and New York City, bypassing the waterfront.

Post-World War II

The war facilitated economic growth in Hoboken, as the many industries located in the city were crucial to the war effort. As men went off to battle, more women were hired in the factories, some (most notably, Todd Shipyards), offering classes and other incentives to them. Though some returning service men took advantage of GI housing bills, many with strong ethnic and familial ties chose to stay in town. During the 1950s, the economy was still driven by Todd Shipyards, Maxwell House,[54] Lipton Tea, Hostess and Bethlehem Steel and companies with big plants were still not inclined to invest in huge infrastructure elsewhere. Unions were powerful and the pay was good.

By the 1960s, though, things began to deteriorate: turn-of-the century housing started to look shabby and feel crowded, shipbuilding was cheaper overseas, and single-story plants surrounded by parking lots made manufacturing and distribution more economical than old brick buildings on congested urban streets. The city appeared to be in the throes of inexorable decline as industries sought (what had been) greener pastures, port operations shifted to larger facilities on Newark Bay, and the car, truck and plane displaced the railroad and ship as the transportation modes of choice in the United States. Many Hobokenites headed to the suburbs, often the close-by ones in Bergen and Passaic Counties, and real-estate values declined. Hoboken sank from its earlier incarnation as a lively port town into a rundown condition and was often included in lists with other New Jersey cities experiencing the same phenomenon, such as Paterson, Elizabeth, Camden, and neighboring Jersey City.

The old economic underpinnings were gone and nothing new seemed to be on the horizon. Attempts were made to stabilize the population by demolishing the so-called slums along River Street and build subsidized middle-income housing at Marineview Plaza, and in midtown, at Church Towers. Heaps of long uncollected garbage and roving packs of semi-wild dogs were not uncommon sights.[55] Though the city had seen better days, Hoboken was never abandoned. New infusions of immigrants, most notably Puerto Ricans, kept the storefronts open with small businesses and housing stock from being abandoned, but there wasn't much work to be had. Washington Street, commonly called "the avenue", was never boarded up, and the tight-knit neighborhoods remained home to many who were still proud of their city. Stevens stayed a premiere technology school, Maxwell House kept chugging away, and Bethlehem Steel still housed sailors who were dry-docked on its piers. Italian-Americans and other came back to the "old neighborhood" to shop for delicatessen.


Aerial view of Hoboken Terminal

The waterfront defined Hoboken as an archetypal port town and powered its economy from the mid-19th to mid-20th century, by which time it had become essentially industrial (and mostly inaccessible to the general public). The large production plants of Lipton Tea and Maxwell House, and the drydocks of Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation dominated the northern portion for many years. On June 30, 1900, a large fire at the Norddeutscher Lloyd piers killed numerous people and caused almost $10 million in damage.[56][57] The southern portion (which had been a U.S. base of the Hamburg-American Line) was seized by the federal government under eminent domain at the outbreak of World War I, after which it became (with the rest of the Hudson County) a major East Coast cargo-shipping port.

With the development of the Interstate Highway System and containerization shipping facilities (particularly at Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal), the docks became obsolete, and by the 1970s were more or less abandoned.[36] A large swath of River Street, known as the Barbary Coast for its taverns and boarding houses (which had been home for many dockworkers, sailors, merchant mariners, and other seamen) was leveled as part of an urban renewal project. Though control of the confiscated area had been returned to the city in the 1950s, complex lease agreements with the Port Authority gave it little influence on its management. In the 1980s, the waterfront dominated Hoboken politics, with various civic groups and the city government engaging in sometimes nasty, sometimes absurd politics and court cases. By the 1990s, agreements were made with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, various levels of government, Hoboken citizens, and private developers to build commercial and residential buildings and "open spaces" (mostly along the bulkhead and on the foundation of un-utilized Pier A).[58]

The northern portion, which had remained in private hands, has also been re-developed. While most of the dry-dock and production facilities[59][60] were razed to make way for mid-rise apartment houses, many sold as investment "condos", some buildings were renovated for adaptive re-use (notably the Tea Building, formerly home to Lipton Tea,[61] and the Machine Shop, home of the Hoboken Historic Museum).[62] Zoning requires that new construction follow the street grid and limits the height of new construction to retain the architectural character of the city and open sight-lines to the river. Downtown, Frank Sinatra Park and Sinatra Drive honor the man most consider to be Hoboken's most famous son, while uptown the name Maxwell recalls the factory with its smell of roasting coffee wafting over town and its huge neon "Good to the Last Drop" sign, so long a part of the landscape. The midtown section is dominated by the serpentine rock outcropping atop of which sits Stevens Institute of Technology (which also owns some, as yet, undeveloped land on the river). At the foot of the cliff is Sybil's Cave (where 19th century day-trippers once came to "take the waters" from a natural spring), long sealed shut, though plans for its restoration are in place. The promenade along the river bank is part of the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, a state-mandated master plan to connect the municipalities from the Bayonne Bridge to George Washington Bridge and provide contiguous unhindered access to the water's edge and to create an urban linear park offering expansive views of the Hudson with the spectacular backdrop of the New York skyline.

Panorama of Manhattan from Pier A


During the late 1970s and 1980s, the city witnessed a speculation spree, fueled by transplanted New Yorkers and others who bought many turn-of-the-20th-century brownstones in neighborhoods that the still solid middle and working class population had kept intact and by local and out-of-town real-estate investors who bought up late 19th century apartment houses often considered to be tenements. Hoboken experienced a wave of fires, some of which were arson.[63][64] Applied Housing, a real-estate investment firm, used federal government incentives to renovate "sub-standard" housing and receive subsidized rental payments (commonly known as Section 8), which enabled some low-income, displaced, and disabled residents to move within town. Hoboken attracted artists, musicians, upwardly mobile commuters (known as yuppies), and "bohemian types" interested in the socioeconomic possibilities and challenges of a bankrupt New York and who valued the aesthetics of Hoboken's residential, civic and commercial architecture, its sense of community, and relatively (compared to Lower Manhattan) cheaper rents, and quick, train hop away. Maxwell's (a live music venue and restaurant) opened and Hoboken became a "hip" place to live. Amid this social upheaval, so-called "newcomers" displaced some of the "old-timers" in the eastern half of the city.

This gentrification resembled that of parts of Brooklyn and downtown Jersey City and Manhattan's East Village, (and to a lesser degree, SoHo and TriBeCa, which previously had not been residential). The initial presence of artists and young people changed the perception of the place such that others who would not have considered moving there before perceived it as an interesting, safe, exciting, and eventually, desirable. The process continued as many suburbanites, transplanted Americans, internationals, and immigrants (most focused on opportunities in NY/NJ region and proximity to Manhattan) began to make the "Jersey" side of the Hudson their home, and the "real-estate boom" of the era encouraged many to seek investment opportunities. Empty lots were built on, tenements became condominiums. Hoboken felt the impact of the destruction of the World Trade Center intensely, many of its newer residents having worked there. Re-zoning encouraged new construction on former industrial sites on the waterfront and the traditionally more impoverished low-lying west side of the city where, in concert with Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and New Jersey State land-use policy, transit villages[65] are now being promoted. Once a blue collar town characterized by live poultry shops and drab taverns, it has since been transformed into a town filled with gourmet shops and luxury condominiums.[64]

In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused widespread flooding in Hoboken, with half the city flooded.[66] In December 2013 Mayor Dawn Zimmer testified before a U.S. Senate Committee on the impact the storm had on Hoboken's businesses and residents,[67][68] and in January 2014 she stated that Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and Richard Constable, a member of governor Chris Christie's cabinet, deliberately held back Hurricane Sandy relief funds from the city in order to pressure her to approve a Christie ally's developmental project,[69][70] a charge that the Christie administration denied.[71][72][73]


Image of Hoboken taken by NASA (red line shows where Hoboken is)

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 2.011 square miles (5.208 km2), including 1.275 square miles (3.303 km2) of land and 0.736 square miles (1.905 km2) of water (36.58%).[2][3]

Hoboken lies on the west bank of the Hudson River between Weehawken and Union City to the north and Jersey City (the county seat) to the south and west.[74][75] Directly across the Hudson River are the Manhattan, New York City neighborhoods of West Village and Chelsea.

Hoboken has 48 streets laid out in a grid. Many north-south streets were named for United States presidents (Washington, Adams, Madison, Monroe), though Clinton Street likely honors 19th century politician DeWitt Clinton. The numbered streets running east-west start two blocks north of Observer Highway with First Street, with the grid ending close to the city line with 16th near Weehawken Cove and the city.[75] Neighborhoods in Hoboken often have vague definitions making Downtown, Midtown, and Uptown subjective. Castle Point, The Projects, Hoboken Terminal, and Hudson Tea are distinct enclaves at the city's periphery. As it transforms from its previous industrial use to a residential district, the "Northwest" is a name being used for that part of the city.[76][77]

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the city include Stevens Point.[78]

Hoboken's ZIP code is 07030[16] and its area code is 201.


Climate data for Hoboken
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 72
Average high °F (°C) 38
Average low °F (°C) 27
Record low °F (°C) −6
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.65
Average snowfall inches (cm) 7.5
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 6.0 5.6 6.8 7.3 7.3 7.1 7.1 6.4 6.2 5.5 6.0 6.3 77.6
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 8.0 6.5 2.3 0.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 3.0 20.4
Source: [79]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201553,635[14][80]7.3%
Population sources: 1850-1920[81]
1860-1930[21] 1850-1870[82]
1850[83] 1870[84] 1880-1890[85]
1890-1910[86] 1910-1930[87]
1930-1990[88] 2000[89][90] 2010[10][11][12]

The homelessness problem is addressed by the Hoboken Homeless Shelter, one of the three homeless shelters in the county.[91]

2010 Census

At the 2010 United States Census, there were 50,005 people, 25,041 households, and 9,465 families residing in the city. The population density was 39,212.0 per square mile (15,139.8/km2). There were 26,855 housing units at an average density of 21,058.7 per square mile (8,130.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 82.24% (41,124) White, 3.53% (1,767) Black or African American, 0.15% (73) Native American, 7.12% (3,558) Asian, 0.03% (15) Pacific Islander, 4.29% (2,144) from other races, and 2.65% (1,324) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 15.20% (7,602) of the population.[10]

There were 25,041 households, of which 15.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.8% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 62.2% were non-families. 39.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.93 and the average family size was 2.68.[10]

In the city, 12.2% of the population were under the age of 18, 12.1% from 18 to 24, 55.9% from 25 to 44, 13.5% from 45 to 64, and 6.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31.2 years. For every 100 females there were 101.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.7 males.[10]

The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $101,782 (with a margin of error of +/- $3,219) and the median family income was $121,614 (+/- $18,466). Males had a median income of $90,878 (+/- $6,412) versus $67,331 (+/- $3,710) for females. The per capita income for the city was $69,085 (+/- $3,335). About 9.6% of families and 11.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.7% of those under age 18 and 24.4% of those age 65 or over.[92]

2000 Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 38,577 people, 19,418 households, and 6,835 families residing in the city. The population density was 30,239.2 inhabitants per square mile (11,636.5/km2), fourth highest in the nation after neighboring communities of Guttenberg, Union City and West New York.[93] There are 19,915 housing units at an average density of 15,610.7 per square mile (6,007.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city is 80.82% White, 4.26% African American, 0.16% Native American, 4.31% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 7.63% from other races, and 2.78% from two or more races. Furthermore, 20.18% of the total residents also consider themselves to be Hispanic or Latino.[89][90]

There are 19,418 households out of which 11.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 23.8% are married couples living together, 9.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 64.8% are non-families. 41.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.0% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 1.92 and the average family size is 2.73.[89][90]

In the city the age distribution of the population shows 10.5% under the age of 18, 15.3% from 18 to 24, 51.7% from 25 to 44, 13.5% from 45 to 64, and 9.0% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 30 years. For every 100 females, age 18 and over, there are 103.9 males.[89][90]

The median income for a household in the city as of the 2000 census was $62,550, while the median income for a family was $67,500. Males had a median income of $54,870 versus $46,826 for females. The per capita income for the city was $43,195. 11.0% of the population and 10.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 23.6% of those under the age of 18 and 20.7% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.[89][90]

The city is a bedroom community of New York City, where most of its employed residents work. Based on the 2000 Census Worker Flow Files, about 53% of the employed residents of Hoboken (13,475 out of 25,306) work in one of the five boroughs of New York City, as opposed to about 15% working within Hoboken.[94]


The first centrally air-conditioned public space in the United States was demonstrated at Hoboken Terminal.[95] The first Blimpie restaurant opened in 1964 at the corner of Seventh and Washington Streets.[96][97] Today, Hoboken is home to one of the headquarters of publisher John Wiley & Sons, which moved from Manhattan in 2002.[98]

According to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Hoboken's unemployment rate as of 2014 was 3.3%, compared to a 6.5% in Hudson County as a whole.[99] And a 2016 study by Fundera ranked Hoboken as the 2nd best city in New Jersey for entrepreneurs.[100]

A 2014 study showed that Stevens Institute of Technology contributed $117 million to Hoboken's economy in 2014, reflecting the university's nearly $100 million payroll for salaries and wages, as well as other goods and services acquired, construction and off-campus spending by students and visitors. The university is responsible for 1,285 full-time jobs.[101]

Parks and recreation

Lower Frank Sinatra Drive
Clock at Eleventh Street

The four parks were originally laid out within city street grid in the 19th century were Church Square Park, Columbus Park, Elysian Park and Stevens Park. Four other parks that were developed later but fit into the street pattern are Gateway Park, Jackson Street Park, Legion Park and Madison Park.

The Hudson River Waterfront Walkway is a state-mandated master plan to connect the municipalities from the Bayonne Bridge to the George Washington Bridge creating an 18-mile (29 km)-long urban linear park and provide contiguous unhindered access to the water's edge. By law, any development on the waterfront must provide a public promenade with a minimum width of 30 feet (9.1 m). To date, completed segments in Hoboken and the new parks and renovated piers that abut them are at Hoboken Terminal, Pier A, the promenade and bike path from Newark to 5th Streets, Frank Sinatra Park, Castle Point Park, Sinatra Drive to 12th to 14th Streets, New York Waterway Pier, 14th Street Pier, and 14th Street north to southern side of Weehawken Cove. Other segments of river-front held privately are not required to build a walkway until the land is re-developed.

The Hoboken Parks Initiative is a municipal plan to create more public open spaces in the city using a variety of financing schemes including contributions from and zoning trade-offs with private developers, New Jersey State Green Acres funds, and other government grants. It is source of controversy with various civic groups and the city government. Among the proposed projects, the only one to that has yet materialized is at Maxwell Place, whose developer is obligated to build a public promenade on the river. The parks that are planned to be built are Hoboken Island, Pier C, 1600 Park Avenue, Hoboken Cove, 16th Street Pier, Green Belt Walkway and Upper West Side Park.

Arts and culture

Since 1992, the Hudson Shakespeare Company has been the resident Shakespeare Festival of Hudson County performing a free Shakespeare production for each month of the summer. Since 1998, the group has performed "Shakespeare Mondays" at Frank Sinatra Park (410 Frank Sinatra Drive) as part of their annual Shakespeare in the Park tour.[102]

Annual cultural events

Hoboken has many annual events such as the Frank Sinatra Idol Contest,[103] Hoboken Comedy Festival,[104] Hoboken House Tour,[105] Hoboken International Film Festival,[106] Hoboken Studio Tour,[107] Hoboken Arts and Music Festival, Hoboken (Secret) Garden Tour[108] and Movies Under the Stars.[109] The Hoboken Farmer's Market occurs every Tuesday, June through October.[110] There are also numerous festivals such as the Saint Patrick's Day Parade,[111] Feast of Saint Anthony's,[112] Saint Ann's Feast[113] and the Hoboken Italian Festival.[114]

Hoboken is home to the Macy's Parade Studio, which houses many of the floats for the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.[115][116]

Government and public service

Local government

Hoboken City Hall, on Washington Street between First Street and Newark Street

The City of Hoboken is governed within the Faulkner Act (formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law) under the mayor-council (Plan D) system of municipal government, implemented based on the recommendations of a Charter Study Commission as of January 1, 1953.[117] The governing body consists of a mayor and a nine-member city council. The city council consists of three members elected at-large from the city as a whole, and six members who each represent one of the city's six wards.[118] All of the members of the city council are elected to four-year terms in nonpartisan elections on a staggered basis, with the six ward seats up for election together and the three at-large and mayoral seats up for vote two years later.[4]

In July 2011, the city council voted to move municipal elections from May to November. The first shifted election were held in November 2013, with all officials elected in 2009 and 2011 having their terms extended by six months.[119]

As of 2016, the Mayor of Hoboken is Dawn Zimmer, whose term of office ends December 31, 2017.[5] Zimmer had been the city council president and first took office as mayor on July 31, 2009, after her predecessor, Peter Cammarano,[120] was arrested on allegations of corruption stemming from a decade-long FBI operation.[121] Zimmer, who lost a June 9, 2009, runoff election to Cammarano by 161 votes, served as acting mayor until winning a special election to fill the remainder of the term on November 3, 2009. She was sworn in as mayor on November 6 as is the first female mayor of Hoboken.[122] Zimmer won re-election in November 2013 to a second term of office and began her second term in January 2014.[123]

As of 2016, the members of the city council are Council President Jennifer Giattino (term ends December 31, 2019; 6th Ward), Ravinder Bhalla (2017; At-Large), Peter Cunningham (2019; 5th Ward), Michael DeFusco (2019; 1st Ward), James J. Doyle (2017; At-Large), Tiffanie Fisher (2019; 2nd Ward), David Mello (2017; At-Large), Ruben J. Ramos Jr. (2019; 4th Ward) and Michael Russo (2019; 3rd Ward).[124][125][126][127][128]

Federal, state, and county representation

Hoboken Post Office

Hoboken is located in the 8th Congressional District[129] and is part of New Jersey's 33rd state legislative district.[11][130][131] Prior to the 2010 Census, Hoboken had been part of the 13th Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections.[132]

New Jersey's Eighth Congressional District is represented by Albio Sires (D, West New York).[133] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark, term ends 2021)[134] and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus, 2019).[135][136]

For the 2016–2017 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 33rd Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Brian P. Stack (D, Union City) and in the General Assembly by Raj Mukherji (D, Jersey City) and Annette Chaparro (D, Hoboken).[137] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township).[138] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[139]

The Hudson County Executive, elected at-large, is Thomas A. DeGise.[140] Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders District 5 comprises Hoboken and parts of the Heights in Jersey City[141] and is represented by Anthony Romano.[142][143]


As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 35,532 registered voters in Hoboken, of which 14,385 (40.5%) were registered as Democrats, 3,881 (10.9%) were registered as Republicans and 17,218 (48.5%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 48 voters registered to other parties.[144]

In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 66.1% of the vote (14,443 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 32.4% (7,078 votes), and other candidates with 1.5% (325 votes), among the 22,018 ballots cast by the city's 40,209 registered voters (172 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 54.8%.[145][146] In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 71.0% of the vote here (17,051 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 27.5% (6,590 votes) and other candidates with 0.9% (225 votes), among the 24,007 ballots cast by the city's 38,970 registered voters, for a turnout of 61.6%.[147] In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 65.0% of the vote here (13,436 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 33.4% (6,898 votes) and other candidates with 0.5% (161 votes), among the 20,668 ballots cast by the city's 31,221 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 66.2.[148]

In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 53.0% of the vote (6,562 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 45.0% (5,565 votes), and other candidates with 2.0% (243 votes), among the 16,331 ballots cast by the city's 41,094 registered voters (3,961 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 39.7%.[149][150] In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 62.3% of the vote here (9,095 ballots cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 29.5% (4,307 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 4.6% (673 votes) and other candidates with 0.9% (138 votes), among the 14,593 ballots cast by the city's 34,844 registered voters, yielding a 41.9% turnout.[151]

Fire Department

Hoboken Fire Department (HFD)
Agency overview
Established 1891
Annual calls ~3,500
Employees 132
Staffing Career
EMS level First Responder BLS
Facilities and equipment
Battalions 1
Stations 4
Engines 3
Trucks 2
Rescues 1
Fireboats 1
Fire Station # 1 on Washington Street

The city is protected by the 132 paid firefighters of the city of Hoboken Fire Department (HFD). Established in 1891, the HFD currently operates under the command of a Department Chief, to whom two Deputy Chiefs report.[152] The department reported to 3,352 emergency calls in 2010, arriving in an average of 2.6 minutes from the time the original call was received.[153] The HFD has been a Class 1 rated fire department since 1996 as determined by the Insurance Services Office, the only one of its kind in New Jersey and one of only 24 in the United States.[154] HFD's firehouses, including its fire museum, are on the National Register of Historic Places.[155]

The department is part of the Metro USAR Strike Team, which consists of nine North Jersey fire departments and other emergency services divisions working to address major emergency rescue situations.[156]

Fire station locations and apparatus

Below is a complete listing of all fire station and company locations in Hoboken.[157][158][159]

Engine Company Ladder Company Special Unit Command Unit Address Neighborhood
Engine 5 Ladder 1 Fire Boat 1 1313 Washington Street Uptown
Engine 2 Ladder 2 43 Madison Street Downtown
Engine 3 Rescue 1 (part of the Metro USAR Collapse Rescue Strike Team) 801 Clinton Street Uptown
Hazmat 1 Car 155 (Deputy Chief/Tour Commander) 201 Jefferson Street Midtown

The Fire Museum is located at 213 Bloomfield Street.[159][160]

Emergency Medical Services

EMS in the city of Hoboken is provided primarily by the members of the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps (HVAC), which was established in 1971. HVAC is the county's only all-volunteer EMS organization and does not charge for the services it provides. HVAC has seven emergency vehicles, in addition to six bicycles that can be used to provide coverage at outdoor events.[161]


Hudson Bike Share
The trackage of Hoboken Terminal

Hoboken has the highest public transportation use of any city in the United States, with 56% of working residents using public transportation for commuting purposes each day.[162] Hoboken Terminal, located at the city's southeastern corner, is a national historic landmark originally built in 1907 by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. The terminal is the origination/destination point for several modes of transportation and an important hub within the NY/NJ metropolitan region's public transit system.

Partly due to car sharing services, the number of residents parking on Hoboken streets decreased from 2010 to 2015.[163] Hudson Bike Share, a bicycle sharing system operated by nextbike, opened in 2016.[164]


NJ Transit's Main Line, Bergen County Line, Pascack Valley Line, Montclair-Boonton Line, Morris and Essex Lines and Meadowlands Rail Line terminate at the Hoboken Terminal.[165] The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail has three stations in Hoboken. The three stations are Hoboken Terminal, 2nd Street and 9th Street-Congress Street. PATH is a 24-hour subway system that operates from Hoboken Terminal to 33rd Street Manhattan, World Trade Center, Journal Square and Newark Penn Station.


NY Waterway ferry service makes Hudson River crossings from Hoboken Terminal and 14th Street to Battery Park City Ferry Terminal, Wall Street-Pier 11 and the West Midtown Ferry Terminal in Manhattan.[166]


New Jersey Transit buses 22, 22X, 23, 64, 68, 85, 87, 89, and 126 terminate at Hudson Place/Hoboken Terminal.[167] Taxi service is available for a flat fare within city limits and negotiated fare for other destinations. Zipcar is located downtown at the Center Parking Garage on Park Avenue, between Newark Street and Observer Highway.[168]

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the city had a total of 31.79 miles (51.16 km) of roadways, of which 26.71 miles (42.99 km) were maintained by the municipality and 5.08 miles (8.18 km) by Hudson County.[169]

The 14th Street Viaduct connects Hoboken to Paterson Plank Road in Jersey City Heights. Two highway tunnels that connect New Jersey to New York are located close to Hoboken. The Lincoln Tunnel is north of the city in Weehawken. The Holland Tunnel is south of the city in downtown Jersey City.


Hoboken has no airports. Airports which serve Hoboken are operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. These airports are Newark Liberty International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy Airport.


Public schools

Hoboken's public schools are operated by Hoboken Public Schools, and serve students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The district is one of 31 Abbott districts statewide,[170] which are now referred to as "SDA Districts" based on the requirement for the state to cover all costs for school building and renovation projects in these districts under the supervision of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority.[171][172]

As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's five schools had an enrollment of 1,730 students and 187.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 9.25:1.[173] Schools in the district (with 2010-11 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[174]) include Joseph F. Brandt Primary School[175] for Kindergarten (58 students), three elementary schools - Salvatore R. Calabro Elementary School[176] (136; K-7), Thomas G. Connors Elementary School[177] (268; K-7) and Wallace Elementary School[178] (633; PreK-7) – along with Hoboken High School[179] for grades 9-12 (635 students) and A.J. Demarest High School, a vocational high school offering such programs as Culinary Arts, Construction and Cosmetology.[180][181][182] Hoboken High School was the 187th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 322 schools statewide, in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2010 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", after being ranked 139th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[183]

In addition, Hoboken has three charter schools, which are schools that receive public funds yet operate independently of the Hoboken Public Schools under charters granted by the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education. Elysian Charter School serves students in grades K-8, Hoboken Charter School in grades K–12 and Hoboken Dual Language Charter School (HoLa) in grades K-6 (K-8 by 2016).[184]

Private schools

The Castle Gatehouse at Stevens Institute of Technology

Private schools in Hoboken include All Saint's Episcopal Day School, The Hudson School, Mustard Seed School, Stevens Cooperative School and Hoboken Catholic Academy, a K-8 school operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.[185]


Stevens Institute of Technology, which was founded in 1870, is located in the Castle Point section of Hoboken.[186] The university is composed of three schools and one college; the Charles V. Schaefer Jr. School of Engineering and Science, School of Business, School of Systems and Enterprises and the College of Arts and Letters.[187] Total enrollment is more than 6,400 undergraduate and graduate students across all schools.[188] Stevens is also home to three national research centers of excellence and joint research programs focusing on healthcare, energy, finance, defense, STEM education and coastal stability.


Hoboken is located within the New York media market, most of its daily papers available for sale or delivery. Local, county, and regional news is covered by the daily The Jersey Journal. The Journal also operates the website NJ.com, which includes the blog Hoboken Now.[189] The Hoboken Reporter is part of the The Hudson Reporter group of local weeklies. Other weeklies, the River View Observer and the Spanish-language El Especialito[190] also cover local news, as does The Stute, the campus newspaper at Stevens Institute of Technology. Magazines that cover Hoboken include the lifestyle magazine hMAG, which launched in 2009.[191] and The Digest, which covers local restaurants and events.[192]

The production company for the 2009 film Assassination of a High School President was based in Hoboken.[193]

Appearances in media

Carlo's Bake Shop, which is the setting for the reality television show Cake Boss, is now a local tourist attraction

Notable people

See also


  1. 1 2 Rodas, Steven. "Is Hoboken officially the 'Mile Square City'? Delving into the longstanding nickname", The Hudson Reporter, January 17, 2016. Accessed June 2, 2016. "The same way New Yorkers call their city The Big Apple, many people refer to Hoboken as the 'Mile-Square City' or 'Mile Square City'. Despite the fact that the city covers 1.27 square miles on land (close to 2 if you count the water), the nickname has stuck through the years and made it into the appellations of local businesses, a bar, and a theater company."
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2010 Census Gazetteer Files: New Jersey County Subdivisions, United States Census Bureau. Accessed May 21, 2015.
  3. 1 2 "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
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  25. Jaffe, Eric. "The Water Next Time; How nature itself could become a city's best defense against extreme weather", The Atlantic, December 2014. Accessed November 4, 2015. "During Sandy's storm surge, in October 2012, river water breached the town's northern and southern tips and spilled into its low areas. On the west side of the city, still more water tumbled down the Palisades, the steep cliffs that run along the Hudson River.... Sandy flooded more than 1,700 Hoboken homes, knocked out the city's power grid, and halted trains into New York; in total, the storm caused more than $100 million in damages.... Together, these parts should be capable of withstanding a once-in-500-years storm."
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  38. Jennemann, Tom. "Excavation of Sybil's Cave to begin Tuesday Site was location of natural spring, inspiration for Poe murder mystery", The Hudson Reporter, January 25, 2005. Accessed April 16, 2012. "Roberts said that the benches they will add will hark back to a time when the city's waterfront was a retreat for wealthy New Yorkers. Sybil's Cave was first opened as a day trippers' attraction in 1832, according to an Aug. 9, 1934 story in the Hoboken Dispatch."
  39. Fahim, Kareem. "'Open Sesame' Just Won't Do: Hoboken Tries to Unlock Its Cave", The New York Times, June 26, 2007. Accessed April 16, 2012. "In 1841, the bloodied body of Mary Cecilia Rogers drifted to shore near the mouth of Sybil's Cave, and into legend, the subject of a thriller by Edgar Allan Poe."
  40. Baldwin, Carly (October 21, 2008). "Sybil's Cave reopened -- amid controversy". NJ.com. "Hoboken Mayor Dave Roberts celebrated the re-opening of the historic Sybil's Cave this morning. But, as Hoboken wrestles with a state takeover and residents face a 47 percent tax hike, some say Sybil's Cave is just another example of what they call the mayor's spendthrift ways."
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  96. Kleinfeld, N.R. "Trying to Build a Bigger Blimpie", The New York Times, December 13, 1987. Accessed December 30, 2014. "Next, they borrowed $2,000 from a friend and $500 from the man who ran the jukeboxes in Jersey City and opened the first Blimpie in Hoboken, N.J."
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  98. Fried, Joseph P. "Metro Business; John Wiley Leases Office in Hoboken", The New York Times, August 10, 2000. Accessed June 2, 2016. "John Wiley & Sons, a leading publisher of scientific, medical and technical books based in Manhattan, has signed a lease for office space in Hoboken, N.J., where it plans to move its headquarters and 800 of its employees."
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Further reading

External links

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