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Westwood, New Jersey
—  Borough  —
Map highlighting Westwood's location within Bergen County. Inset: Bergen County's location within New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Westwood, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°59′19″N 74°1′51″W / 40.98861°N 74.03083°W / 40.98861; -74.03083Coordinates: 40°59′19″N 74°1′51″W / 40.98861°N 74.03083°W / 40.98861; -74.03083
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Bergen
Incorporated May 8, 1894
 - Type Borough
 - Mayor John Birkner Jr. (D, 2011)
 - Total 2.3 sq mi (6.0 km2)
 - Land 2.3 sq mi (6.0 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation [1] 69 ft (21 m)
Population (2008)[2]
 - Total 10,699
 - Density 4,745.0/sq mi (1,832.1/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 07675, 07677
Area code(s) 201
FIPS code 34-80270[3][4]
GNIS feature ID 0885442[5]

Westwood (nicknamed "The Hub of the Pascack Valley"[6]) is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the United States 2000 Census, the borough population was 10,999.

Westwood was officially incorporated as a borough on May 8, 1894, from portions of Washington Township, early during the Boroughitis phenomenon then sweeping through Bergen County.[7] Isaac D. Bogert served as the first mayor of the Borough. In April 1909, the area of Westwood was enlarged through the annexation of the 'Old Hook' section of the borough of Emerson, and on September 24, 1957, portions of the borough were exchanged with Emerson.[7]



Westwood is located at 40°59′19″N 74°01′51″W / 40.988548°N 74.030747°W / 40.988548; -74.030747 (40.988548, -74.030747).[8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2), all of it land.


The earliest history of Westwood begins with the Lenni-Lenape Indians. The Lenni-Lenape inhabited this part of the state and shared it with the transient hunters and trappers until the permanent settlers began to enter in mid-1700s[9]. In the early 19th century, the area that would later become Westwood Borough was within the larger political boundaries of Harrington Township, which had been established by royal charter in 1775. In 1840, the western half of Harrington Township became Washington Township.[10] The Hackensack River was the dividing line. Washington Township was an agrarian region with isolated farmsteads. Early families, including the Hoppers and Ackermans are buried at the Old Hook Cemetery. An 18th century mill was situated at the dammed stream near the intersection of today’s Mill Street and First Avenue. This mill was on an important east west pathway and was the first on the Musquapsink.[11] After operating for close to two centuries, it was almost completely ruined by an arsonist’s fire and had to be dismantled in 1910.

A brief description of Washington Township written in 1844 described it as a township "with six stores, four schools for 135 students, six grist mills, and 14 saw mills."[12]

The first wave of concentrated development took place as the result of the coming of the Hackensack and New York Railroad in 1870, which followed the route of today's Pascack Valley Line. On March 5, 1870, service began between Westwood and New York City (via Jersey City and a ferry ride). Several small hotels were built near the depot and in 1872, several houses in the latest European influenced styles began to be built along Centre Avenue.[13] Old maps show that growth occurred simultaneously on the land both to the east and west of the tracks. The commercial buildings included lumber and coal sheds, stores, and a bakery. There was a chapel on the corner of Third and Park Avenues. The triangular park that has played an important role as a place of community gatherings is also shown on the 1876 map.[14]

By the 1880s, Westwood had four factories, several distilleries, a new school, a laundry and grocery store, and a new Reformed Church. In 1890, following a meeting of interested residents, those favoring the incorporation of Westwood as an independent borough conducted a petition drive. By 1894, Washington Township lost one of its villages as Westwood established itself as an independent borough. Isaac D. Bogert, from a long established Bogert family, was elected mayor.[15]

One aspect of any town's development is the availability of water. By 1899, a water plant built by Cornelius S. DeBraun provided service to an expanding number of houses that were constructed along newly laid streets.[13] By the time of the 1905 New Jersey Census, there were 234 dwellings housing a population of 1,044.[16]

Lincoln High School was constructed around the turn of the 20th century, which also saw the introduction of electricity, telephones, and automobiles to the town. Underwood & Underwood Stereoscope Company opened a plant during the first decades of the 20th century and many congregations established their first chapels, which were replaced in later years as the congregations grew in numbers and wealth.[13] Following a typical pattern of development throughout the 20th century, the results are a mature railroad suburb almost covered with housing units, commercial, municipal, and ecclesiastical buildings. Nevertheless, the town still retains the open space of the triangular park at its heart.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1930 4,861
1940 5,388 10.8%
1950 6,766 25.6%
1960 9,046 33.7%
1970 11,105 22.8%
1980 10,714 −3.5%
1990 10,446 −2.5%
2000 10,999 5.3%
Est. 2008 10,699 [2] −2.7%
Population 1930 - 1990[17]

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 10,999 people, 4,485 households, and 2,879 families residing in the borough. The population density was 4,745.0 people per square mile (1,830.5/km2). There were 4,610 housing units at an average density of 1,988.8/sq mi (767.2/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 86.60% White, 5.72% African American, 0.14% Native American, 4.39% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.67% from other races, and 1.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.00% of the population. Significant pockets of Croatian, Bosnian, Irish, Ghanaian, German, Greek, Colombian, and Syrian communities are present in Westwood.

There were 4,485 households out of which 28.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.3% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.8% were non-families. 31.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the borough the population was spread out with 21.5% under the age of 18, 5.6% from 18 to 24, 33.6% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 90.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.1 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $59,868, and the median income for a family was $77,105. Males had a median income of $50,800 versus $42,459 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $32,083. About 1.8% of families and 4.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.8% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.



Local government

Westwood is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists of a mayor directly elected by the voters and a six-member Borough Council. The Mayor serves a four-year term of office, and the Borough Council members serve three year terms of office on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year.

The Mayor of Westwood is John Birkner, Jr. (D, term ends December 31, 2011). Members of the Westwood Borough Council are Council President Cynthia L. Waneck (R, 2008), Peter A. Grefrath (R, 2009), John J. Sciara (R, 2008), Ingrid H. Quinn (R, 2010), Robert W. Miller (R, 2010) and William C. Phayre (R, 2009).[18][19]

In elections held on November 6, 2007, 42% of registered voters turned out to fill a four-year term for mayor and two three-year seats on the Borough Council. The results were split, with a Democrat replacing a Republican as Mayor, and two Republicans elected to fill seats on the Borough Council that had been held by Democrats. Democratic candidate John Birkner Jr. (1,264 votes) won election as mayor, defeating both Republican candidate John J. Sciara (1,219) and incumbent Republican Mayor Thomas Wanner (169); who was defeated in the Republican primary having not run a reelection campaign and yet then ran a write-in campaign to highlight issues and assert a two party governing body. Mayor Wanner had stated in 2004 he would be a one term Mayor. Republicans Ingrid H. Quinn (1,363) and Robert W. Miller (1,362), won seats on the council, defeating Democrats Thomas M. Constantine (1,293) and Wilhem D. Auer (1,192). The 2008 Council consists entirely of Republicans, with a Democrat as Mayor.[20][21][22][23]

On Election Day, November 7, 2006, Westwood voters filled two seats on the Borough Council. As of Election Day, the council was composed of four Republicans and two Democrats, in a community in which registered Republicans outnumber Democrats by a 3-2 margin. Republican incumbent Peter A. Grefrath (with 1,866 votes) and newcomer William C. Phayre (who led the pack with 2,084 votes) won election, defeating Democrats Russell Miller (1,757) and Erick Martinez (1,205). The Republican sweep maintained the 4-2 Republican edge and gave Grefrath his fourth full term on the Council. Republican Mayor Thomas Wanner had publicly supported the Democratic candidates, blaming Grefrath for overspending on a firehouse project among other criticism.[24][25][26]

Federal, state and county representation

Westwood Borough is in the Fifth Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 39th Legislative District.[27]

New Jersey's Fifth Congressional District, covering the northern portions of Bergen County, Passaic County and Sussex County and all of Warren County, is represented by Scott Garrett (R, Wantage Township). New Jersey is represented in the Senate by Frank Lautenberg (D, Cliffside Park) and Bob Menendez (D, Hoboken).

For the 2008-2009 Legislative Session, the 39th District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Gerald Cardinale (R, Demarest) and in the Assembly by John E. Rooney (R, Northvale) and Charlotte Vandervalk (R, Hillsdale).[28] The Governor of New Jersey is Jon Corzine (D, Hoboken).[29]

Bergen County's County Executive is Dennis McNerney (D).[30] The executive, along with the seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders administer all county business. As of 2008, Bergen County's Freeholders are Chairman James M. Carroll (D, Demarest), Vice-Chairwoman Julie O'Brien (D, Ramsey), Elizabeth Calabrese (D, Wallington), David L. Ganz (D, Fair Lawn), Bernadette P. McPherson (D, Rutherford), Tomas J. Padilla (D, Park Ridge) and Vernon Walton (D, Englewood).[31]

Other countywide elected officials are Sheriff Leo McGuire (D), Surrogate Court Judge Mike Dressler (D, Cresskill) and County Clerk Kathleen Donovan (R, Rutherford).[32]


As of April 1, 2006, out of a 2004 Census estimated population of 11,051 in Westwood, there were 6,513 registered voters (58.9% of the population, vs. 55.4% in all of Bergen County). Of registered voters, 1,101 (16.9% vs. 20.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 1,683 (25.8% vs. 19.2% countywide) were registered as Republicans and 3,728 (57.2% vs. 60.1% countywide) were registered as Undeclared. There was one voter registered to another party.[33]

On the national level, Westwood leans toward the Republican Party. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 51% of the vote here, edging Democrat John Kerry, who received around 48%.[34]


Students in public school for grades Kindergarten through 12 attend the Westwood Regional School District, a comprehensive regional school district serving both Washington Township and Westwood.[35] Schools in the district (with 2005-06 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[36]) are four K-4 lower elementary schools — Berkeley Avenue Elementary School (207 students), Jessie F. George Elementary School (292 students), Ketler Elementary School (318 students) and Washington Elementary School (297 students) — Brookside Upper Elementary School for grades 5 and 6 (424 students), Westwood Regional Junior High School for grades 7 and 8, and Westwood Regional High School for grades 9-12 (1,100 students in grades 7-12). Westwood is also home to The Healing Hands Institute for Massage Therapy.


Westwood is served by New Jersey Transit on the Pascack Valley Line at the Westwood train station. The station is located at Broadway and Westwood Avenue.

This line runs north-south to Hoboken Terminal with connections via the Secaucus Junction transfer station to New Jersey Transit one-stop service to New York Penn Station and to other NJ Transit rail service. Connections are available at the Hoboken Terminal to other New Jersey Transit rail lines, the PATH train at the Hoboken PATH station, New York Waterways ferry service to the World Financial Center and other destinations and Hudson-Bergen Light Rail service.

New Jersey Transit bus route 165 serves Westwood with service to New York. Westwood is the terminus for bus route 165.[37]

County Route 503 and County Route 502 pass through Westwood.

Corporate residents

Notable residents

Some noted current and former residents:

Bill and Kristen Borra- American born NHL player. Famous European model

Points of interest


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: Borough of Westwood, Geographic Names Information System, accessed October 20, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Census data for Westwood, United States Census Bureau, Accessed August 27, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  4. ^ A Cure for the Common Codes: New Jersey, Missouri Census Data Center. Accessed July 14, 2008.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  6. ^ Brief History of Westwood, Borough of Westwood. Accessed March 28, 2007.
  7. ^ a b "The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968", John P. Snyder, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 88.
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  9. ^ Borough of Westwood. (2006, January 20). Brief History of Westwood. Retrieved October 11, 2007, from{078DB27C-5FAC-42E6-8EE7-66120E66AC0A}
  10. ^ Snyder, John P. The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968. (Trenton, NJ: Bureau of Geology and Topography; 1969)
  11. ^ Howard I. Durie, “Bogert’s Mill, Westwood; The Earliest Pascack Mill Site,” 1990; pp. 8, 23.
  12. ^ Barber, John W. and Henry Howe Historical Collections of the State of New Jersey (1844); p. 85
  13. ^ a b c Joseph Oettinger, Jr. “Westwood Time Line 1861-1905,” 2006.
  14. ^ Walker’s 1876 Atlas of Bergen County
  15. ^ Rogers, Georgia and Edward Knopf. "History of Westwood, Bergen County and New Jersey" (Westwood, NJ: The Westwood Press, Inc., 1942); p.32
  16. ^ Meeker, Ellis R. New Jersey: A Historical, Commercial and Industrial Review.(Elizabeth, N.J.: Commonwealth Publishing Co., 1906).
  17. ^ Jersey Resident Population by Municipality: 1930 - 1990, Workforce New Jersey Public Information Network. Accessed March 1, 2007.
  18. ^ Mayor and Council, Borough of Westwood. Accessed February 19, 2008.
  19. ^ "County of Bergen: 2007 County and Municipal Directory", Bergen County, New Jersey, p. 68. Term end year for Griffith and Phayre are incorrectly shown as 2010.
  20. ^ "Westwood municipal elections", The Record (Bergen County), November 3, 2007. Accessed December 4, 2007.
  21. ^ "Westwood election results", The Record (Bergen County), November 6, 2007. Accessed December 4, 2007.
  22. ^ Bergen County election results, The Record (Bergen County), November 7, 2007. Accessed November 10, 2007.
  23. ^ Yellin, Deena. "Voters deliver garbled message", The Record (Bergen County), November 12, 2007.
  24. ^ Westwood Election Guide, The Record (Bergen County), November 1, 2006.
  25. ^ Westwood election results, The Record (Bergen County), November 8, 2006.
  26. ^ Bergen County 2006 General Election Results, accessed February 1, 2007.
  27. ^ 2008 New Jersey Citizen's Guide to Government, New Jersey League of Women Voters, p. 63. Accessed September 30, 2009.
  28. ^ Legislative Roster: 2008-2009 Session, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed June 6, 2008.
  29. ^ "About the Governor". New Jersey. Retrieved 6 June 2008.  
  30. ^ Bergen County Executive, Bergen County, New Jersey. Accessed January 11, 2009.
  31. ^ Freeholder Home Page, Bergen County, New Jersey. Accessed January 11, 2009.
  32. ^ Constitutional Officers, Bergen County, New Jersey. Accessed January 11, 2009.
  33. ^ "County of Bergen: Voter Statistics by Municipality, Ward & District," dated April 1, 2006.
  34. ^ 2004 Presidential Election results: Bergen County, New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, Division of Elections, dated December 13, 2004.
  35. ^ Westwood regional School District 2007 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed June 1, 2008. "The Westwood Regional School District, the only K-12 regional school district in Bergen County, serves approximately 2,700 students from the Borough of Westwood and the Township of Washington."
  36. ^ Data for the Westwood Regional School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed March 8, 2008.
  37. ^ Routes by County: Bergen County, New Jersey Transit. Accessed August 8, 2008.
  38. ^ James Gandolfini cast profile from The Sopranos, accessed December 21, 2006.
  39. ^ Filichia, Peter. "Class actors: Meet New Jersey's Tony-nominated performers", The Star-Ledger, June 3, 2001. Accessed August 2, 2007. "Robert Sean Leonard... Jersey roots: 1969-1986 in Westwood, Ridgewood and Paramus."
  40. ^ Kevin Sampson player profile from the Kansas City Chiefs. Accessed December 21, 2006.
  41. ^ PVH About our Hospital, Pascack Valley Hospital. Accessed October 21, 2007.
  42. ^ Important Information from Pascack Valley Hospital, Pascack Valley Hospital. Accessed October 21, 2007.
  43. ^ Washburn, Lindy (October 1, 2008). "Pascack Valley ER Reopens". The Record (Bergen County) (North Jersey Media Group). Retrieved 2008-10-05.  

External links


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