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Cherry Blossoms and Brownfields, Perfect Together, Sort of...

06 Apr 2021 2:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

In 1900, Newark was one of America's most populous cities. In 1907, then Governor Edward Stokes, declared Newark a "beehive of industry." The city thrived in manufacture and transportation and was an "industrial suburb" tied to the fortunes of nearby NYC.

As the 1911 map from the Newark Public Library illustrates, more than 2000 factories were centrally located in the city, clustered along railroads and canals. Newark's manufacturers swelled with (Civil) wartime expenditures. There had been no thought to planning an infrastructure. Prior to tapping the Delaware watershed and building sewers in the late 1800s, toxic byproducts flowed out of local factories and from Paterson through the Passaic River, resulting in Newark's mortality rate being one of the nation's highest.

But someone had the foresight in 1895, to hire Bogart & Barrett Olmsted Brothers Carrère and Hastings to design a beautiful park (the pink shape in the northwestern corner) as a place of beauty and respite in the middle of the industrial chaos. And this is how cherry blossom heaven was born. Adopted from, "Made In Newark, Cultivating Industrial Arts and Civic Identity in the Progressive Era" by Ezra Shales.

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