Image from Historic Downtown - Jersey City
Image courtesy of Luigi Novi on Wikimedia Commons. Used by permission under CC BY 3.0. License Info Photo has been cropped.
Image from Historic Downtown - Jersey City
Image courtesy of Luigi Novi on Wikimedia Commons. Used by permission under CC BY 3.0. License Info Photo has been cropped.

Living In: Historic Downtown - Jersey City


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Jersey City's Historic Downtown covers a large area, and contains three sub-neighborhoods, each of which is a historic district. Those sub-nabes are Hamilton Park, Harsimus Cove and Van Vorst Park. Housing is most likely to be found in any number of the elegant old low-rise buildings that comprise most of the buildings in the neighborhood, the exception being around the Grove Street PATH station, a section of town that has been the site of a lot recent development and commercial growth. There are also some more non-Victorian era buildings as you move closer to Manila Avenue. Historic Downtown Jersey City is generally considered to be the part of town west of Marin Boulevard, while the Waterfront communities lie to the east. To the west of Downtown is the Heights, Journal Square, and Bergen-Lafayette neighborhoods. Not that downtown residents don’t take full advantage of the parks and promenade of Jersey City's magnificently redeveloped Hudson Waterfront—they do, and often--it's just that many of the most sought-after Historic Downtown Jersey City apartments are in nineteenth-century brownstones close to one of the two Victorian-era parks in the area, Van Vorst Park and Hamilton Park. Living in Historic Downtown Jersey City, whether directly on a park, or the areas inbetween the park bookends, means you'll generally be situated on pretty, quiet, tree-lined blocks that clearly place a value on preserving the elegance of the past. While a commercial district runs the length of Newark Avenue, most of downtown area in Jersey City is residential, with the occasional corner store or restaurant. But this area, with it's numerous historic districts, is also continuing its commitment to revitalizing some of its more tired corners, while still maintaining the architectural integrity and character of the neighborhood. Among the changes are a multi-million dollar renovation to Hamilton Park, completed in 2010, which included new Victorian-looking lampposts, new walkways, two dog runs, a fountain, a freshened up gazebo, and updated playgrounds. Still in the planning stages is the eagerly-sought renovation of the Sixth Street Embankment, from an abandoned, neglected elevated rail line into a public park in the mode of Manhattan's spectacularly successful High Line. The Grove Street section of the Historic Downtown area is where you'll find most of the retail stores, restaurants, and nightlife options in the neighborhood. The commercial strip of Newark Avenue ends here. It is also the location of City Hall. The main Public Library is a few blocks away, as is the Jersey City Museum. Residents of the Grove Street area also enjoy down-the-block access to the PATH Train, via the Grove Street station—itself being redesigned and rebuilt--which takes commuters into either Midtown or Downtown Manhattan in a matter of minutes. Grove Street is also the site of recently built high-rise apartment buildings, the only towers in this otherwise low-rise area. Of course, residents of the Historic Downtown area in Jersey City are never far from transportation options, either the PATH Train, with its easy connections with New York City's MTA Subway system; the Water Taxi and NY Waterway ferries that carry commuters across the Hudson River; or via the Light Rail, which is an excellent way to get around Jersey City itself, as well as travel to adjoining New Jersey communities such as Bayonne and Hoboken. The water taxi, ferry and Light Rail are located a short walk away in adjacent neighborhoods.

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