James Street Commons Historic District


James Street Commons Historic District


The James Street Commons Historic District comprises an area near Washington Square Park and adjacent to Newark's Central Business district - roughly bounded by Halsey, Warren, Boyden, Bleeker, Orange, and Broad Streets. The entire district is on the National Register of Historic Places because of the wealth of fine late nineteenth century-early twentieth century architecture in the 24 block area, especially the collection of brick and stone townhouses and mansions. Though primarily a residential area, the district is also home to a mix of cultural and commercial buildings, including the Newark Museum and the main branch of the Newark Public Library.


Late nineteenth - early twentieth century



Condition History

Though some buildings have remained in use and well-maintained, such as the Newark Museum and Public Library, there has been an overall struggle to preserve the area. After the riots in the 1960s and the subsequent departure of the middle and upper classes, many buildings faced demolition. However, concerned residents took action to preserve the area, and the district was put on the National Register of Historic Places in the late 1970s, and in 2012, "James Street Commons was recognized by the national Advisory Council on Historic Preservation as a 'Preserve America Community'" (Gibson),



Gordon, Mark W., and Anthony Schuman, editors. Newark Landmark Treasures: A Guide to the Landmark Buildings, Parks, Public Art & Historic Districts in New Jersey’s Metropolis. Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee, 2016, p. 85-87.


City of Newark. Directory of Landmark Sites and Historic Districts in the City of Newark County of Essex State of New Jersey. Newark, NJ : City of Newark, 2009. Web. 28 June 2016.

National Register of Historic Places, James Street Commons Historic District, Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, National Register #78001758. (p. 11)

Newark Public Library. Bricks, Mortar, Memories and Pride: The James Street Commons Reconsidered. Exhibition press release. Newark, NJ : Newark Public Library. 2013. Print.

Gibson, Kenneth A., Dennison, David S. & Allen, Wilbert. James Street Commons: The James Street Study Report - A Plan of Action for the Resoration of an Historic Neighborhood. Mayor's Policy and Development Office. 1976. Print.

Gibson, Kenneth A. Guidelines for the Development of the James Street Commons. Mayor's Policy and Development Office. 1977. Print.


Giambusso, David. "Exhibit honors Newark's James Street Commons." The Star-Ledger 30 June 2013 : Web. 28 June 2016. http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2013/06/exhibit_honors_newarks_james_street_commons.html

DePalma, Anthony. "In Newark, A 2-Block Revival." The New York Times 20 Jan. 1985 : Web. 28 June 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/1985/01/20/realestate/in-newark-a-2-block-revival.html


Related Entries

Item Relations

This Item Is Referenced By Item: Directory of Landmark Sites and Historic Districts in the City of Newark County of Essex State of New Jersey
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