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Image of Liberty State Park by NASA with Liberty State Park outlined in red; Ellis Island and Liberty Island in blue

Liberty State Park is located on the Upper New York Bay opposite the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in Jersey City, New Jersey. The park opened in 1976 to coincide with bicentennial celebrations[1] and is operated and maintained by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry.

Contents

Geography and description

Jersey City as seen from Liberty State Park

Liberty State Park is 1,212 acres (4.9 km²) in area, surrounded on three sides by water. The main part of the park is bordered to the north by the Morris Canal Big Basin, to the south and east by the Upper New York Bay, and to the west by the New Jersey Turnpike Newark Bay Extension (Interstate 78).

The southern Caven Point section of the park is separated from the main park by the Liberty National Golf Club and is accessible along the water's edge using the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway. The long thin pier at the foot of Chapel Avenue that was once part of the park has been demolished.

The Peninsula Park lies between the Big Basin of the Morris Canal and the Tidewater Basin in Paulus Hook. The Liberty Landing Marina is located on the Big Basin.

The World Trade Center from Liberty State Park in November 1999

Most of the park's area is on man-made land filled in by the Central Railroad of New Jersey (CRRNJ) and the Lehigh Valley Railroad, now-defunct companies whose lines once terminated there. In the northeast corner of the park is the CRRNJ Terminal, a historic transportation building.

A road called Freedom Way goes through the center and serves a barrier between the area not open to the public to the west of it and the area that is open to the public to the east, with many bike paths, walkways, and fields.

Flags at half-staff in Liberty State Park.

Liberty Walkway, a crescent-shaped promenade, stretches from the CRRNJ along the waterfront south to the Statue of Liberty overlook, bridging over two coves along the way. It is part of the larger Hudson River Waterfront Walkway. Halfway along 'Liberty Walkway' is a bridge to Ellis Island, but only authorized vehicles are allowed.

Display of thirteen (only 12 shown) American Flags at Liberty State Park, with the Statue of Liberty in the background.

The southeastern corner of the park contains the Statue of Liberty overlook, picnic facilities, a playground, the U.S. Flag Plaza, and Liberation Monument, the Public Administration Building, and a memorial to the Black Tom explosions.

The Liberty Science Center, at the northwestern entrance to the park, is an interactive science museum and learning center. The center opened in 1993 as New Jersey's first major state science museum, has science exhibits, the world's largest IMAX Dome theater, numerous educational resources, and the original Hoberman sphere, a silver, computer-driven engineering artwork designed by Chuck Hoberman. [2][[

Site

Much of the park is sited on landfilled tidal flats that formerly supported vast oyster beds as part of the territory of the Hackensack Indians, who called the area Communipaw and used it as a summer encampment. In the seventeenth century it became part of the colonial province of New Netherland, the patroonship Pavonia. The area was known as Jan the Lacher's Hook, so called for the man who was the bowery's second superintendent, Jan Everts Bout. For many years, the viilage, often referred to by Washington Irving, existed where the Liberty Science Center now stands. For hundreds of years it was ferry port for local communities of Bergen, Bergen Township, and Hudson County, as well suburban and long-distance travelers to Manhattan.

Communipaw Terminal, historic building. Dock in foreground serves ferries to Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty.

In the latter half of 19th century it became major shipping, manufacturing, and transportation hub within New York Harbor, leading to the construction of Communipaw Terminal. It was from this ferry/train station that many immigrants arriving at Ellis Island spread out across the USA. In 1916, the Black Tom Explosion on what is now the southeastern corner of the park killed as many as seven people, caused $20 million in property damage, and was felt throughout the Tri-State Region. Construction of the North River Tunnels, containerization, and the Interstate Highway System, made the area less viable. The decline of industry, deterioration of rail and maritime infrastructure, and toxic waste, eventually made the area obsolete. Abandoned buildings and brownfields dominated the landscape after the mid-twentieth century, though there was still some manufacturing and recreational use.

Transportation

The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail runs just west the park with a station at its entrance. 305 Liberty State Park shuttle and 981 Port Liberté bus lines also stop there. Hornblower Cruises operates ferries to Ellis Island and Liberty Island

Events

On July 4, 1985, Daryl Hall and John Oates played an outdoor benefit concert for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty in front of an estimated 70,000 people at Liberty State Park. The concert was later re-played on HBO. In 2006, the park began to host the Liberty Jazz Festival. This two day event is normally held the first weekend after Labor Day each year and has included performers such as George Benson, Waymon Tisdale and a host of other celebrated jazz artists. For more information one can visit the official Website. The Park was the site of the All Points West Music & Arts Festival festival, held from August 8-10, 2008 and hosted the festival again from July 31 - August 2, 2009 with such headlining acts as Jay-Z, Coldplay, Tool, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ events.norwalkcitizen-news.com/jersey-city.../10630-liberty-state-park
  2. ^ NJ Department of Parks and Forests Liberty Science Center

External links

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