Riverbank Park


Riverbank Park



Riverbank Park was planned under the the Essex County Park system by the Olmsted Brothers (John Charles Olmsted and Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., sons of Frederick Law Olmsted). Influenced by the Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1893, the city of Newark attempted to create open green spaces within the congested districts where industry and tenements co-existed. Riverbank Park was an urban park located in the Ironbound section of Newark. This park was particular not only for its location, but also for its size: at originally six acres, the park was the smallest in the Essex County Park system. The layout of the park consists of a trapezoidal section bounded by Raymond Blvd. on the north, Somme St. on the east, Market St. on the south, and Van Buren St. on the west. A sliver of this park, across Raymond Blvd., is located on the Passaic river waterfront. The main block is lined up with sycamore trees on the perimeter, while Chinese elms are located along interior curvilinear paths. In the park there are these structures: the Fieldhouse serves as a comfort station and provides changing rooms; the Playground Shelter is an open-air enclosure with a tile-covered roof; the Grandstand provides seating for the baseball field. This park serves for both passive and active recreation.





Condition History

This park was constructed in two phases. The first phase, started in 1907, created a six acre park with these amenities: a fieldhouse, a playground, a running track, an outdoor gym, a wading pool, and a sand court. The second phase, started in the 1920s, doubled the size of the park and consisted of these facilities and fields: a playground shelter, a grandstand, a baseball field, a tennis court, and a football field.


Church, Alonzo. The Essex County Park Commission: A Sketch. Newark? N.J.: publisher not identified, 1913. 

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. 76.

Grotta, David. City Planning for Newark. Newark, N.J: L.J. Hardham Print. Co, 1913. 

National Register of Historic Places, Riverbank Park
, Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, National Register #98000351.

Reps, John W. The Making of Urban America: A History of City Planning in the United States. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1965.






Olmsted Brothers, “Riverbank Park,” DANA, accessed July 25, 2024, https://dana.njit.edu/items/show/479.

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