How Hoboken’s Waterfront came to be

10/10/2009:

Jim Vance, President of the Fund for a Better Waterfront wanted everyone to know about this lecture at the Hoboken Historical Museum (13th & Hudson) tomorrow afternoon at 4pm.

hoboken-historical-museum-lecture-public-parks

Getting waterfront parks was NO easy task!

“Many new comers town know nothing of the struggle to bring about our wonderful string of waterfront parks. It’s as if Colonel Stevens bequeathed Pier A Park on being given Hoboken Island shortly after the Revolutionary War. Ron Hine, Executive Director of Fund for a Better Waterfront will be telling the true story Sunday. Here is an invitation I am asking you to post as a public service.”

On the Waterfront: 1989 to 2009

Paving the Way for a Public Park
When: Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 4 p.m.
Where: Hoboken Historical Museum – 1301 Hudson Street

This presentation by Ron Hine, the Executive Director of the Fund for a Better Waterfront (FBW), is part of the Museum’s lecture series: Up & Down the River, the History of the Hudson, 1609 to 2009.

In the first half of the 19th century, Hoboken was popular with New Yorkers for its recreational waterfront, which included such attractions as a River Walk, Elysian Fields and Sybil’s Cave. But by the late 1800s, Hoboken’s waterfront was transformed into a bustling maritime port, serving passenger ships and, later, cargo vessels, which dominated the water’s edge for most of the 20th century. By 1990, these waterfront industries had virtually disappeared, creating a once-in-a-century opportunity to reclaim the Hudson River waterfront for public recreation.

In a referendum in July 1990, the voters of Hoboken rejected a massive development proposal for Hoboken’s south waterfront, opening the way for the Fund for a Better Waterfront (FBW) to propose a new vision which called for a continuous public park from the Hoboken Train Terminal to the Weehawken Cove, clearly delineated from the upland private development on new, Hoboken-sized blocks. Today, much of this plan has been realized after many successful legal battles to preserve the water’s edge for the public.

This slide-lecture will relate this history, focusing on the past two decades and the tantalizing opportunity to finish the missing links.
I look forward to seeing you this Sunday,

Jim Vance, President FBW

Leave a Reply

10 Comments on "How Hoboken’s Waterfront came to be"

realstuff
Member
realstuff

Wow! Hine for Mayor… lol

KenOn10
Member
KenOn10

Lots of people think Ron Hine is a pain in the posterior, and maybe they are right. (I only know him slightly) But you know the waterfront wouldn’t have any recreational space if not for him. It would be as pathetic as the “open space” at Shoprite. Admit it!

Or, did you think the city plan was a better idea? Remember, the PILOT payments were front-loaded and mostly spent in the very first year! So now, those properties require services but generate very little money for the city. Is that how you want it?

In response to realstuff who said:
Wow! Hine for Mayor… lol

KenOn10
Member
KenOn10

Summary:

Ron Hine – local hero
Christie Whitman – not so much.

Details:

Our elected “leaders” did their level best to SELL the waterfront for pennies on the dollar in order to continue overspending the municipal government. Ron Hine and FBW led the opposition, forcing a referendum… and TWICE the voters shot down the PA deal. You may not like Ron HIne and FBW but no way would we have a Pier A park and promenade without them.

Our lovely governor Whitman then changed the laws to prevent future referendums… and boom, Hoboken was shovel-ready. Thanks, Christie, thanks for disregarding the clearly stated wishes of the voters of Hoboken. The park would have been much bigger if not for Christie!

elainetyger
Member
elainetyger

Let’s not forget the referendum that just barely passed putting the light rail on the west side instead of along the waterfront.

homeworld
Member

God forbid making the Light Rail actually useful.

That plan would have resulted in the light rail going down Vanzetti Way along Observer Highway and having the terminus station in FRONT of the bus terminal instead of 1/2 a mile in the back of the station.

In response to elainetyger who said:
Let’s not forget the referendum that just barely passed putting the light rail on the west side instead of along the waterfront.

elvisroberts
Member

actually i think Brendan Byrne was Governor when the state law passed, circa 1982. Am sure there were state legislators who deserve credit too. Though I think folks like Morris Pesin who led the drive to create Liberty State Park in the early mid 70s also deserves a LOT of credit for opening people’s eyes. And you shoudl also go back to the 1960s and read some of the reports of the Regional Plan Association and Trust for Public Land who advocated the walkway as well.
As for Ron Hine, were it not for him and the Coalition for a Better Waterfront we’d have lifeless paths around office space piers, and no Pier A and no Maxwell Place pier and the Shipyard would be much, much worse. Now let’s try to imagine how bad Union Dry Dock or that sorry Stevens Parking lot could become!

nita70
Member
nita70

Most new comers and locals generations old don’t know who Colonel Stevens is. It’s bothers me that Fund for a Better Water Front is only interested in their interpretation of Hoboken’s waterfront history, in particular complaining about Stevens Institute of Technology.
It’s more of a public service to post the actual FULL history of Hoboken than an invitation to hear the “Fund’s” version of it. If you’re reading this you can do some research on line to find out all about Hoboken and the waterfront. Don’t bother with a one sided version of history that promotes an agenda. Research and make up your own minds…

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