Hoboken in the 1970’s

6/22/2007 Reminder:

This exhibit will be closing soon, so try and get down there before they wrap it up! Also a good music show will be taking place tomorrow at 3:30, with the talent of Dave Lambert playing 70’s hits!

Keep an eye out for a great musical exhibit which opens on July 29th.

Urban Revitalization Explored at the Hoboken Historical Museum, Sunday, June 24, at 4 p.m.

Don’t miss out on the last two weeks of the Hoboken Historical Museum’s multifaceted exhibit, “From Another Time: Hoboken in the 1970s,” which closes on July 1. The exhibit and companion book feature more than 150 black and white images by three gifted photographers that capture the spirit of the people living in Hoboken during the pivotal decade between its industrial heyday and reemergence as a real estate hotbed for urban professionals.

A lecture series hosted by the Museum has featured many of the colorful figures who helped shape and document Hoboken’s transformation. The series wraps up with a talk by Michael Coleman and Robert Armstrong, who managed the Model Cities program that rescued much of Hoboken’s historic housing stock from the wrecking ball. They will speak on Sunday, June 24, at 4 p.m.

On Saturday, June 23, at 3:30 p.m., the Museum will celebrate the final weekend of a three-week family photography workshop with a concert by Dave Lambert and friends, playing — what else? — hits from the Seventies. Both the concert and lecture are free.

The Museum will be closed from July 2 – 28 for the installation of the next exhibit, “Hoboken Tunes: Our Musical Heritage.” The exhibit will explore the role music has played in the city’s cultural fabric, as well as the contributions Hobokenites have made to the national music scene, from piano sensation Blind Tom in the 1850s, to Stephen Foster, one of the biggest popular music writers of his time, to Frank Sinatra, and to the countless bands and singer-songwriters that have played Maxwell’s on their way to national fame in the independent music scene. The exhibit, which opens with a reception on July 29 from 2 – 5 p.m., will feature listening stations and a few reunion concerts, along with memorabilia from the featured musicians.


See previous updates below

2/23/2007 Update:

Just a reminder:

February 25th at 4pm – Joseph Barry, president of Applied Housing Associates in the 1970s, will talk about his company’s role in rehabilitating Hoboken’s housing stock.

2/16/2007 Update:

For those that still haven’t had time to check out the photo exhibit at the Hoboken Historical Museum, you might want to swing by and see some of the unique and interesting pictures on display.

Here’s a couple examples. One of a pack of stray dogs milling around the Hudson / Observer intersection, and another looking southeast on Hudson Street north of First Street. My, how Hoboken has changed! Well, except for the booze billboards and crappy pavement.

Read the rest of this chunky post after the pix.


Reminder: Interesting speaker tomorrow, February 11th @ 4pm.
Dr. Martin Bierbaum, PhD, urban planning professor from the College of New Jersey, will speak about his doctoral dissertation in 1981 on this pivotal decade for the city: Hoboken — A Comeback City: A Study of Urban Revitalization in the 1970s.”

The Hoboken Historical Museum has been closed for the past several weeks for the holidays and to get prepared for the next great exhibit: Hoboken in the 1970’s, starting on January 21st.

This exhibit is for true Hoboken fans. It’s based on a book the Museum is producing about Hoboken in the 1970s, the decade before the redevelopment got underway, and after the city’s glory days as a waterfront powerhouse. The book & exhibit feature the work of three b/w photographers, and a couple of really insightful essays by a b-and-r Hobokenite who left town in the 70s, and an early pioneer of the new wave of Hobokenites.

Read much more about it below, as well as the series of talks they’ll have featuring people who were actively involved with shaping how Hoboken eventually became today.

From Another Time: Hoboken in the 1970s

Imagine a Hoboken before the high-rise residential towers and ubiquitous nail salons, cell phone stores, realtors and shoe boutiques. When the Hoboken Historical Museum reopens January 21 with a reception from 2 – 5 p.m., visitors will be transported back to Hoboken in the 1970s through a series of powerful black and white photographs taken by three highly regarded photographers. This exhibit celebrates the Museum’s latest book, “From Another Time: Hoboken in the 1970s,” and will be on view through July 1. Bringing the exhibit to life will be a series of lectures by individuals who were instrumental in shaping Hoboken’s development during this pivotal decade.

1970hobokenbook.jpgThe book and exhibit depict a Hoboken in limbo between its industrial heyday and its reemergence as a hotbed of residential development, documenting the people, street scenes, block parties, parades, and festivals that are an integral part of Hoboken’s essential character. Although many storefronts were vacant, many apartment buildings were dilapidated, and the padlocked waterfront was patrolled by packs of feral dogs, the people who lived here were determined to make a better life for themselves.

Before the urban professional invasion of the 1980s, Hoboken was populated by a colorful mix of “born and raised” Hobokenites, who proudly carried on centuries-old traditions such as saints’ festivals with feast bombs and long lines for fresh zeppole; more recent immigrants, including Puerto Ricans, who arrived just as factory jobs were leaving; and a new wave of bohemian “immigrants,” artists and musicians lured by affordable rents and spacious lofts in abandoned factories.

The book unites three distinct views of the city: Caroline Carlson’s photographs of the children of the city and their families; John Conn’s stark views of storefronts and buildings, some of which are long gone; and Benedict Fernandez’ street scenes and images of the working waterfront. The photos are accompanied by two poignant essays: one by a born-and-raised Hobokenite, Anthony DePalma, now a New York Times reporter, who witnessed the changes to his hometown, and the other by Sada Fretz, who moved her family here in the 1970s and saw the city with fresh eyes.

The public will also have a rare opportunity to hear directly from many of the people who had a hand in guiding Hoboken’s future direction, beginning with:

  • Martin Bierbaum, PhD., executive director of the Municipal Land Use Center at the College of New Jersey, who will discuss his doctoral dissertation, “Hoboken – A Comeback City: A Study of Urban Revitalization in the 1970s,” on Sunday, February 11, at 4 p.m.; and
  • Joseph Barry, president of Applied Housing Associates during the 1970s, who will talk about his company’s role in rehabilitating Hoboken’s housing stock, on Sunday, February 25 at 4 p.m.

The series will continue in the spring and summer with:

  • Steve Cappiello, former Mayor of Hoboken;
  • Michael Coleman, who was director of Hoboken’s Model Cities program; and
  • Helen Manogue, who was head of the Environmental Committee and who remains an active community advocate with the Quality of Life Coalition.

And on Sunday, March 11:

  • The Museum will host a tribute to Don Cotter, organizer of the River City Fair and an advocate for recreational activities on the waterfront. All lectures are free and open to the public; visit the museum’s Web site, www.hobokenmuseum.org, for upcoming dates and times.

The 190-page book was designed by local artist and graphic designer McKevin Shaughnessy, and copies can be purchased for $35 for hard cover, $25 for paperback.

The exhibit, lecture series, and book were made possible through a special project grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State. Admission to the reception is free for Museum members.

Receptions and lectures:

Sun., Jan. 21, 2 – 5pm: Opening reception for From Another Time: Hoboken in the 1970s, and 1970s Hoboken: Photographs by Caroline Carlson in the Upper Gallery. Free for Museum members.

Sun., Feb. 11, 4pm, From Another Time lecture: Martin Bierbaum will discuss his doctoral thesis, “Hoboken – A Comeback City: A Study of Urban Revitalization in the 1970s.” Free.

Sun., Feb. 25, 4pm
, From Another Time lecture: Joe Barry, president of Applied Housing during the 1970s, will discuss his company’s role in rehabilitating Hoboken’s housing stock. Free.

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47 Comments on "Hoboken in the 1970’s"

Dr. Midnight
Dr. Midnight
9 years 3 months ago

Can you just post all the pictures from the exhibit in this column, please? Or can we just buy the book online? I don’t want to hear the stories. I want to make up my own, which are far more amusing, I assure you.

9 years 6 months ago
Back in the 60’s, I lived in Hoboken. I was a young kid. I remember a program called Model cities. Model cities renovated some buildings. The tenements on Washington St on the west side between Newark and observer were renovated back the. They also tore down a few blocks worth of houses to build church Towers. They ripped down most of the Barbary Coast and put up Grogan Marine View plaza. I am glad that the young people want to gentrify Hoboken and preserve its beauty and charm. Hoboken was fortunate in the 70’s because there was such a disparity in real estate prices in Manhattan and Hoboken. That was the cause for the first wave of yuppies. After that, I think people fell in love with the town. They have made it a better place and it gets nicer every time I come to visit. When I was a kid, I read about Hoboken’s past and a longed to live in that old Hoboken, The Hoboken where Astor and Col Stevens had villas. Where you could go swimming and sailing in the river. And fishing. The real old-timers told me that their grandparents used to walk across the Hudson to New York, The River actually used to freeze over. Well you can do a lot of neat things again. I think the yuppies are a plus. Yuppies are just one more chapter in Hoboken’s long history. The old timers that are born and raised in Hoboken should kiss all… Read more »
9 years 7 months ago

[quote comment=”14873″]wgenese–Just wanted to say I enjoyed looking at your Dad’s blog. He’s a WWII veteran–if I read correctly? My Dad is, too–was in the Navy and saw action at DDay.[/quote]

Good morning SFH…

My old man was in the army, 2nd armored division. He served after WWII. He was stationed in Germany after it was whacked up by the allies. In the early years after the division of Germany and Berlin there were frequent riots and the ever present threat of Russia overrunning the division line.

9 years 7 months ago

wgenese–Just wanted to say I enjoyed looking at your Dad’s blog. He’s a WWII veteran–if I read correctly? My Dad is, too–was in the Navy and saw action at DDay.

9 years 7 months ago

If you add up all the HUD Housing, Applied Housing ,Church Towers, Clock Towers, Marine View Plaza, 118 Adams, Senior Housing and below market units the developers use to build taller and denser…..it all ads up.