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Paterson, New Jersey

Paterson, New Jersey
City of Paterson
Nickname(s): The Silk City[1]
Map of Paterson in Passaic County. Inset: Passaic County's location in New Jersey.
Map of Paterson in Passaic County. Inset: Passaic County's location in New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Paterson, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Paterson, New Jersey
Coordinates: [2][3]
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Passaic
Established November 22, 1791
Incorporated April 11, 1831 (as township)
Reincorporated April 14, 1851 (as city)
Named for William Paterson
 • Type Faulkner Act Mayor-Council
 • Body City Council
 • Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres (term ends June 30, 2018)[5]
 • Clerk Jane Williams-Warren[6]
 • Total 8.704 sq mi (22.544 km2)
 • Land 8.428 sq mi (21.829 km2)
 • Water 0.276 sq mi (0.715 km2)  3.17%
Area rank 223rd of 566 in state
7th of 16 in county[2]
Elevation[7] 112 ft (34 m)
Population (2010 Census)[8][9][10]
 • Total 146,199
 • Estimate (2014)[11] 146,753
 • Rank 3rd of 565 in state
1st of 16 in county[12]
 • Density 17,346.3/sq mi (6,697.4/km2)
 • Density rank 9th of 566 in state
2nd of 16 in county[12]
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 07501-07505, 07508-07514, 07522, 07524, 07533, 07538, 07543, 07544[13]
Area code(s) 201 and 973[14]
FIPS code 3403157000[2][15][16]
GNIS feature ID 0885343[2][17]
Website .gov.patersonnjwww
View of Paterson circa 1880

Paterson is the largest city in and the county seat of Passaic County, New Jersey, United States,[18][19] in the New York City Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 146,199,[8][9][10] rendering it New Jersey's third-most-populous city[20] reflecting a decline of 3,023 (-2.0%) from the 149,222 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 8,331 (+5.9%) from the 140,891 counted in the 1990 Census.[21] The Census Bureau estimated a 2014 population of 146,753, an increase of 554 (+0.4%) since 2010.[11] Data from the 2011 U.S. Census Bureau estimate reveals that Paterson continues to carry the second-highest density of any U.S. city with over 100,000 people, behind only New York City.[22] Paterson is known as the "Silk City" for its dominant role in silk production during the latter half of the 19th century.[1] The city has since evolved into a major destination for Hispanic emigrants as well as for immigrants from the Arab and Muslim world. It has the second-largest Muslim population in the United States.[23]


  • History 1
    • Establishment 1.1
    • Industrial growth 1.2
    • Athletics 1.3
    • Post-World War II era 1.4
  • Geography 2
    • Neighborhoods 2.1
    • Climate 2.2
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 Census 3.1
    • 2000 Census 3.2
    • Ethnic groups 3.3
  • Economy 4
  • Arts and culture 5
  • Government 6
    • Local government 6.1
    • Federal, state and county representation 6.2
    • Politics 6.3
  • Emergency services 7
  • Transportation 8
    • Roads and highways 8.1
    • Public transportation 8.2
  • Education 9
  • Sister cities 10
    • Friendship 10.1
  • In popular culture 11
  • Notable people 12
  • See also 13
  • References 14
  • External links 15


The area of Paterson was inhabited by the Algonquian-speaking Native American Acquackanonk tribe of the Lenape, referred to as the Delaware Indians. The land was known as the Lenapehoking. The Dutch claimed the land as New Netherlands, then the British as the Province of New Jersey.[24]


Hooverville for unemployed on the outskirts of Paterson, 1937

In 1791 Alexander Hamilton (1755/57-1804), first United States Secretary of the Treasury, helped found the Society for the Establishment of Useful Manufactures (S.U.M.), which helped encourage the harnessing of energy from the Great Falls of the Passaic River to secure economic independence from British manufacturers. Paterson, which was founded by the society, became the cradle of the industrial revolution in America.[25] Paterson was named for William Paterson, statesman, signer of the Constitution and Governor of New Jersey who signed the 1792 charter that established the Town of Paterson.[26][27]

Architect, engineer and city planner Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant (1754-1825), who had earlier developed the initial plans for Washington, D.C., was the first planner for the S.U.M. project.[28] His plan proposed to harness the power of the Great Falls through a channel in the rock and an aqueduct. However, the society's directors felt he was taking too long and was over budget, and he was replaced by Peter Colt, who used a less complicated reservoir system to get the water flowing to factories in 1794. Eventually Colt's system developed some problems and a scheme resembling L'Enfant's original plan was used after 1846.[29]

Paterson was originally formed as a township from portions of Acquackanonk Township on April 11, 1831, while the area was still part of Essex County. Paterson became part of newly created Passaic County on February 7, 1837. It was incorporated as a city on April 14, 1851, based on the results of a referendum held that day. The city was reincorporated on March 14, 1861.[30]

Industrial growth

The industries developed in Paterson were powered by the 77-foot-high Great Falls and a system of water raceways that harnessed the power of the falls, providing power for the mills in the area until 1914 and fostering the growth of the city around the mills.[31] The district originally included dozens of mill buildings and other manufacturing structures associated with the textile industry and, later, the firearms, silk and railroad locomotive manufacturing industries. In the latter half of the 19th century silk production became the dominant industry and formed the basis of Paterson's most prosperous period, earning it the nickname "Silk City."[32] In 1835 Samuel Colt began producing firearms in Paterson, although within a few years he moved his business to Hartford, Connecticut. Later in the 19th century Paterson was the site of early experiments with submarines by Irish-American inventor John Philip Holland. Two of Holland's early models — one found at the bottom of the Passaic River — are on display in the Paterson Museum, housed in the former Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works near the Passaic Falls.[33]

The city was a mecca for immigrant laborers who worked in its factories, particularly Italian weavers from the Naples region. Paterson was the site of historic labor unrest that focused on anti-child labor legislation, and the six-month-long Paterson silk strike of 1913 that demanded the eight-hour day and better working conditions. It was defeated by the employers, with workers forced to return under pre-strike conditions. Factory workers labored long hours for low wages under dangerous conditions and lived in crowded tenement buildings around the mills. The factories then moved to the South, where there were no labor unions, and still later moved overseas.

In 1919 Paterson was one of eight locations bombed by self-identified anarchists.[34]


In 1932 Paterson opened Hinchliffe Stadium, a 10,000-seat stadium named in honor of John V. Hinchliffe, the city's mayor at the time. Hinchliffe originally served as the site for high school and professional athletic events. From 1933-37 and 1939–45, Hinchliffe was the home of the New York Black Yankees and from 1935-36 the home of the New York Cubans of the Negro National League.[35] The historic ballpark was also a venue for many professional football games, track and field events, boxing matches and auto and motorcycle racing.

The comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello performed at Hinchliffe prior to boxing matches (Abbott was from the southern New Jersey city of Asbury Park, but Costello was a Paterson native). Hinchliffe is one of only three Negro League stadiums left standing in the United States and is on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1963 the Paterson Public Schools acquired the stadium and used it for public school events until 1997, but it is currently in a state of disrepair while the schools have been taken over by the state.[36]

Post-World War II era

During World War II Paterson played an important part in the aircraft engine industry. By the end of WWII, however, there was a decline in urban areas and Paterson was no exception, and since the late 1960s the city has suffered high unemployment rates and white flight.[37]

Once a premier shopping and leisure destination of northern New Jersey, competition from malls in upscale neighboring towns like Wayne and Paramus have forced the big chain stores out of Paterson's downtown. The biggest industries are now small businesses, with the decline of the city's industrial base. However, the city still, as always, attracts many immigrants, who have revived the city's economy, especially through small businesses.[38]

The downtown area was struck by massive fires several times, most recently on January 17, 1991. In this fire a near full city block (bordered on the north and south by Main Street and Washington Street and on the east and west by Ellison Street and College Boulevard, a stretch of Van Houten Street that is dominated by Passaic County Community College) was engulfed in flames due to an electrical fire in the basement of a bar at 161 Main St. and spread to other buildings.[39] Firefighter John A. Nicosia, 28, of Engine 4 went missing in the fire, having gotten lost in the basement. His body was located two days later.[40] A plaque honoring his memory was later placed on a wall near the area. The area was so badly damaged that most of the burned buildings were demolished, with an outdoor mall standing in their place. The most notable of the destroyed buildings was the Meyer Brothers department store, which closed in 1987 and since had been parceled out.

Paterson includes numerous locations listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including museums, civic buildings such as City Hall, Hinchliffe Stadium, Public School Number Two and the Danforth Memorial Library, churches (Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church, ) individual residences and districts of the city, such as the Paterson Downtown Commercial Historic District, the Great Falls/Society for the Establishment of Useful Manufactures Historic District and the Eastside Park Historic District.

Hijackers in the September 11 attacks Hani Hanjour, Nawaf Alhazmi, Salem Alhazmi, Majed Moqed, Abdulaziz Alomari, Khalid Almihdhar, and probably Ahmed Alghamdi rented and lived in an apartment from March to September 2001.[41]

In August 2011, Paterson was severely affected in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, particularly by flooding of the Passaic River, where waters rose to levels unseen for 100 years, leading to the displacement of thousands and the closure of bridges over the river.[42] Touring the area with Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declared, "This is as bad as I’ve seen, and I’ve been in eight states that have been impacted by Irene." The president the same day declared New Jersey a disaster area,[43] and announced that he would visit the city.[44][45][46]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 8.704 square miles (22.544 km2), including 8.428 square miles (21.829 km2) of land and 0.276 square miles (0.715 km2) of water (3.17%).[2][3]

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the city include Riverside and Totowa.[47]

The city borders Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Prospect Park, Totowa and Woodland Park (formerly West Paterson) in Passaic County; and both Elmwood Park (formerly East Paterson) and Fair Lawn in Bergen County.[48]


City Hall
The skyline of Paterson, New Jersey, showing the canyon of the Passaic River in the foreground. The area along the river was formerly the site of most of the mills that flourished throughout the city's history.
-Totowa Section
-Great Falls Historic District
-Stoney Road
-South Paterson
-Near Eastside
-Manor Section
-Eastside Park Historic District
-Sandy Hill
-People's Park
--The Central Business District
--The Old Dublin District
--Little Italy
-Wrigley Park

The Great Falls Historic District is the most famous neighborhood in Paterson, because of the landmark Great Falls of the Passaic River. The city has attempted to revitalize the area in recent years, including the installation of period lamp posts and the conversion of old industrial buildings into apartments and retail venues. Many artists live in this section of Paterson. A major redevelopment project is planned for this district in the coming years. The Paterson Museum of industrial history at Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works is situated in the Historic District.[49]

Downtown Paterson is the main commercial district of the city and was once a shopping destination for many who lived in northern New Jersey. After a devastating fire in 1902, the city rebuilt the downtown with massive Beaux-Arts-style buildings, many of which remain to this day. These buildings are usually four to seven stories tall. Downtown Paterson is home to Paterson City Hall and the Passaic County Courthouse Annex, two of the city's architectural landmarks. City Hall was designed by the New York firm Carrere and Hastings in 1894, and was modeled after the Hôtel de Ville (city hall) in Lyon, France, capital of the silk industry in Europe.[50]

The former Orpheum Theatre located on Van Houten Street has been converted to a mosque by the Islamic Foundation of New Jersey. The massive structure, now known as Masjid Jalalabad, can accommodate 1,500 worshipers.[51]

As with many other old downtown districts in the United States, Downtown Paterson suffered as shoppers and retailers moved to the suburban shopping malls of the region. Many historic buildings are in disrepair or are abandoned after years of neglect. In addition, Downtown Paterson is an Urban Enterprise Zone. The city has, in recent years, begun initiatives in hopes of reviving the downtown area with the centerpiece being the Center City Mall, which was constructed on a large parking lot spanning Ward Street from Main to Church streets and features retail, entertainment, and commercial space. Downtown Paterson is located in the city's 1st Ward.

Eastside Park Historic District consists of about 1,000 homes in a variety of architectural styles, including Victorians, Italianate villas and Dutch colonials. It is located east of downtown. Once the home of the city's industrial and political leaders, the neighborhood experienced a significant downturn as industry fled Paterson. In recent years, gentrification has begun to occur in the neighborhood and some of the area's historic houses have been restored. The Eastside Park Historic District is a state and nationally registered historic place. The jewel of the neighborhood is Eastside Park and the mansions that surround it. This section of Paterson once had a large Jewish population that reached 40,000 at its peak, and there is still a synagogue left.[52] Eastside Park and what is commonly known as the Upper Eastside are located in Paterson's 3rd Ward.

East River Section is a section that is referred to by locals roughly bordering Riverside at 5th Avenue and extending south to Broadway, sandwiched in by Madison Avenue to McClean Boulevard (Route 20), although the neighborhood's layout unofficially extends to the "Paterson-Newark/Hudson Route" of River Road in the Paterson-Memorial Park section of Fair Lawn (whose house addresses are in alignment with the now defunct Jewish synagogue on the corner of 33rd Street and Broadway), which connects Paterson to Newark/Hudson, and at one time was a Main Route through River Drive (which starts in Elmwood Park and rides north to south along the East Bank of the Passaic River in Paterson's original county). Built when Paterson was still Bergen County, River Drive changes to River Road in the greater Eastside Sections of Upper Eastside-Manor Section, East River, and Riverside Sections, and turns into Wagaraw Road north of 1st Avenue / Maple Avenue in the old Bunker Hill extension of Columbia Heights in Fair Lawn (as indication of not only entering the Industrial Section, but also entering the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains in Hawthorne). River Drive then turns into East Main Street to indicate that you have entered the Northside Section. The East River neighborhood which was and still has maintained its "blue collar" working-class identity, was at one time known for its large Jewish community, as well as Neapolitan/Italian population and more recently other Mediterranean and Adriatic Europeans, Caribbean and South Americans, and other modern immigrant groups from all over the world, as well as African-Americans.

Manor Section is a residential neighborhood in Paterson. It is located east of East 33rd Street, north of Broadway, and south-west of Route 20 and the Passaic River. The Manor section of Paterson is located in the city's 3rd Ward. The layout and culture of the Manor Section also extends into the neighboring Lyncrest and Rivercrest sections of Fair Lawn, with all the addresses aligning themselves to the now defunct Jewish Temple, located at the corner of 33rd and Broadway.

South Paterson, also known as Little Istanbul or Little Ramallah, is a diverse neighborhood with a growing number of immigrants from the Middle East, with significant Arab and Turkish communities. The neighborhood is located in the 6th Ward, east of Main Street and west of West Railway Avenue. A majority of the city's Arabs live in this section of Paterson. Many of the retail shops and restaurants cater to this community. The neighborhood is characterized by Halal meat markets which offer goat and lamb; and shop signs are in Arabic. South Paterson's Arab community is mostly made up of Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese people.[53]

Lakeview is situated in the southern part of the city, and is a middle class neighborhood. Interstate 80 runs north of this district. Lakeview is home to the Paterson Farmers Market, where many people from across North Jersey come to buy fresh produce. The neighborhood is roughly 65% Hispanic, although this neighborhood also has a sizable European, Middle-Eastern, African-American, and Asian populations, including a significant Filipino presence. Lakeview also shares some of the same characteristics as neighboring Clifton as they both share a neighborhood bearing the same name. The Lakeview section of Paterson is located in the city's 6th Ward.

Hillcrest is a large mostly residential, middle class enclave, to the west of the downtown area. Its borders' limits are Preakness Avenue to the east, Cumberland Avenue to the west, and Totowa Avenue along with West Side Park and the Passaic River to the south. Hillcrest is one of Paterson's most desirable neighborhoods. The Hillcrest section of Paterson is located in the city's 2nd Ward.

People's Park is a neighborhood located north of 23rd Avenue and south of Market Street. Twenty-First Avenue or "La Ventiuno" as it's known by most of Paterson's Spanish-speaking community, is located in the People's Park section of Paterson. It is an active and vibrant retail strip featuring a variety of shops and services catering to a diverse clientele. Twenty First Avenue used to have a large Italian population. Although there is still a significant Italian presence left in the neighborhood, it also has a large first-generation Hispanic population, particularly Colombian.

House in Paterson's inner city, 1974. Photo by Danny Lyon.

Wrigley Park is a neighborhood that has suffered from years of poverty, crime, and neglect. It is mostly African-American. Poverty, crime, open-air drug markets, prostitution, vacant lots, and boarded-up windows are all common in this area. However, there are new houses being built, and crime has dropped in recent years. This neighborhood is located north of Broadway.

Sandy Hill is a neighborhood in the Eastside located roughly west of Madison Avenue, north of 21st Avenue, south of Park Avenue, and east of Straight Street. Due to Paterson's significant population turn-over, this neighborhood is now home to a large and growing Hispanic community, mostly first-generation Dominicans. The Sandy Hill section of Paterson is located in the city's 5th Ward. Roberto Clemente Park, which was originally known as Sandy Hill Park, is located in this neighborhood.

Part of the 5th Ward is called Near Eastside by residents to differentiate it from the Eastside Park Historic District to its immediate east.

Northside, located north of Downtown, suffers from many of the social problems currently facing the Wrigley Park neighborhood, but to a lesser extent. This neighborhood borders the boroughs of Haledon and Prospect Park and is known for its hills and having sweeping views of the New York City skyline. The Northside section of Paterson is located in the city's 1st Ward.

Totowa section is a large neighborhood located west of the Passaic River, south-west of West Broadway and north-east of Preakness Avenue. As the name implies, it borders the town of Totowa. It is mostly Hispanic but with an increasing South Asian community, mainly Bangladeshi. Many Bengali grocery stores and clothing stores are locating on Union Avenue and the surrounding streets. Masjid Al-Ferdous is located on Union Avenue, which accommodates the daily Bangladeshi pedestrian population.

A large Italian presence remains in this neighborhood. Many Peruvian and other Latin American restaurants and businesses are located on Union Avenue. Colonial Village and Brooks Sloate Terraces are located in this neighborhood. The Totowa Section is located in parts of the 1st and 2nd Wards of Paterson.

Stoney Road is Paterson's most south-west neighborhood, bordering Woodland Park to the south and Totowa across the Passaic River to the west. This neighborhood is home to Pennington Park, Hayden Heights, Lou Costello Pool, the Levine reservoir, Murray Avenue, Mc Bride Avenue, and Garret Heights. A strong Italian presence remains in this neighborhood. The Stoney Road section of Paterson is located in the city's 2nd Ward.

Riverside is a larger neighborhood in Paterson and, as its name suggests, is bound by the Passaic River to the north and east, separating the city from Hawthorne and Fair Lawn. Riverside is a working-class neighborhood. The neighborhood is mostly residential with some industrial uses. Madison Avenue cuts through the heart of this district. Route 20 runs through the eastern border of Riverside, providing an easy commute to Route 80 East and New York City. This section is ethnically diverse with a growing Hispanic community concentrating mostly north and along River Street. Many Albanians are making their home in the East 18th Street and River Street areas. River View Terrace is located in this neighborhood. Riverside is located in parts of the 3rd and 4th Wards of Paterson.

Bunker Hill is a mostly industrial area west of River Street and east of the Passaic River.

Westside Park located off Totowa Avenue and best known as the site of the Holland submarine, Fenian Ram, which was built in 1879-1881[54] for the Fenian Brotherhood, it became the target of graffiti artists because the fence surrounding it was too low and too close to the submarine itself. The sub is now located in Paterson Museum.[55]


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Paterson has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[56]


According to Mayor Jose Torres, Paterson had 52 distinct ethnic groups in 2014.[70] Paterson's rapidly growing Bangladeshi American,[71] Turkish American, Arab American,[72] Palestinian American,[73] Albanian American, Dominican American, and Peruvian American communities are among the largest and most prominent in the United States, the latter owing partially to the presence of the Consulate of Peru.[74] Paterson's Muslim population has been estimated at 25,000 to 30,000.[1] Paterson has become a prime destination for one of the fastest-growing communities of Dominican Americans, who have become the city's largest ethnic group.[75] The Puerto Rican American population has established a highly significant presence as well.[76]

Demographic surveys and census data finds Paterson has the highest percentage of disabled persons of any city with more than 100,000 residents, with about 30% of males and 29% of females not classified as poor in Paterson listed as having a disability.[77]

2010 Census

At the 2010 United States Census, there were 146,199 people, 44,329 households, and 32,715 families residing in the city. The population density was 17,346.3 per square mile (6,697.4/km2). There were 47,946 housing units at an average density of 5,688.7 per square mile (2,196.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 34.68% (50,706) White, 31.68% (46,314) Black or African American, 1.06% (1,547) Native American, 3.34% (4,878) Asian, 0.04% (60) Pacific Islander, 23.94% (34,999) from other races, and 5.26% (7,695) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 57.63% (84,254) of the population.[8]

There were 44,329 households, of which 38.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.4% were married couples living together, 29.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.2% were non-families. 21.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.24 and the average family size was 3.71.[8]

In the city, 27.9% of the population were under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 22.9% from 45 to 64, and 8.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.1 years. For every 100 females there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.9 males.[8]

Same-sex couples headed 290 households in 2010, a decline from the 349 counted in 2000.[78]

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $34,086 (with a margin of error of +/- $1,705) and the median family income was $39.003 (+/- $2,408). Males had a median income of $30,811 (+/- $825) versus $28,459 (+/- $1,570) for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,543 (+/- $467). About 24.1% of families and 26.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.0% of those under age 18 and 25.4% of those age 65 or over.[79]

2000 Census

As of the 2000 United States Census[15] there were 149,222 people, 44,710 households, and 33,353 families residing in the city, for a population density of 17,675.4 per square mile (6,826.4/km2).[68][69] Among cities with a population higher than 100,000, Paterson was the second most densely populated large city in the United States, only after New York City.[80]

There were 47,169 housing units at an average density of 5,587.2 per square mile (2,157.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 32.90% African American, 13.20% White, 0.60% Native American, 1.90% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 27.60% from other races and 6.17% from two or more races. Latino of any race were 50.1% of the population.[68][69] The majority of Latinos are Puerto Rican 14%, Dominican 10%, Peruvian 5% and Colombian 3%.[81]

There were 44,710 households out of which 40.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.4% were married couples living together, 26.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.4% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.25 and the average family size was 3.71.[68][69]

In the city the population was spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 8.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.[68][69]

The median income for a household in the city was $30,127, and the median income for a family was $32,983. Males had a median income of $27,911 versus $21,733 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,257. About 19.2% of families and 22.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.0% of those under age 18 and 19.4% of those age 65 or over.[68][69]

Ethnic groups

Since its early beginnings, Paterson has been a melting pot. Irish, Germans, Dutch, and Jews settled in the City in the 19th century. Italian and Eastern European immigrants soon followed. As early as 1890, Syrian and Lebanese immigrants also arrived in Paterson.

In addition to many African Americans of Southern heritage, more recent immigrants have come from the Caribbean and Africa. Paterson's black population increased during the Great Migration of the 20th century, but there have been Patersonians of African descent since before the Civil War. However, Paterson's black population declined between the years 2000 and 2010,[82] consistent with the overall return migration of African Americans from Northern New Jersey back to the Southern United States.[83] A house once existing at Bridge Street and Broadway was a station on the Underground Railroad. It was operated from 1855 to 1864 by abolitionists William Van Rensalier, a black engineer, and Josiah Huntoon, a white industrialist.[84] There is a memorial located at the site.[85][86]

Many second- and third-generation Puerto Ricans have been calling Paterson home since the 1950s, including an estimated 10,000 who would participate in the 2014 mayoral election, which was won by Jose "Joey" Torres, a Puerto Rican American who was one of three Hispanic candidates vying for the seat.[76] Today's Hispanic immigrants to Paterson are primarily Dominican, Peruvian, Colombian, Mexican, and Central American, with a resurgence of Puerto Rican migration as well. In 2014, more than 600 businesspeople attended the annual Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey Convention in Paterson.[87]

Western Market Street, sometimes called Little Lima by tourists, is home to many Peruvian and other Latin-American businesses. In contrast, if one travels east on Market Street, a heavy concentration of Dominican-owned restaurants, beauty salons, barber shops and other businesses can be seen. The Great Falls Historic District, Cianci Street, Union Avenue and 21st Avenue have several Italian businesses. To the north of the Great Falls is a fast-growing Bangladeshi population. Park Avenue and Market Street between Straight Street and Madison Avenue are heavily Dominican and Puerto Rican. Main Street, just south of downtown, is heavily Mexican with a declining Puerto-Rican community. Broadway — also called Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way — is predominantly black, as is the Fourth Ward and parts of Eastside and Northside. Costa Ricans and other Central American immigrant communities are growing in the Riverside and Peoples Park neighborhoods. Main Street between the Clifton border and Madison Avenue is heavily Turkish and Arab. 21st Avenue in the People's Park section is characterized by Colombian and other Latin American restaurants and shops.

Every summer, Patersonians conduct an African-American Day Parade, a Dominican Day Parade, a Puerto Rican Day Parade, a Peruvian Day Parade, and a Turkish-American Day Parade, though budget cuts in 2011 have meant that parade organizers have been asked to contribute to cover the costs of police and other municipal services.[88]

Paterson is considered by many as the capital of the Peruvian Diaspora in the U.S.[89] Paterson's rapidly growing Peruvian community celebrates what is known as Señor de los Milagros ("Our Lord of Miracles" in English) on October 18 through 28th each year and also participates in the annual Passaic County Peruvian Day Parade, which passes through Market Street and Main Street in the Little Lima neighborhood of Downtown Paterson every July.[90] In the 2000 Census, 4.72% of residents listed themselves as being of Peruvian American ancestry, the third-highest percentage of the population of any municipality in New Jersey and the United States, behind East Newark with 10.1% and Harrison with 7.01%.[91] The community includes both Quechua and Spanish speakers.[92]

Paterson is home to the third-largest Dominican-American Community in the United States, after New York City and Lawrence, Massachusetts. In the 2000 Census, 10.27% of residents listed themselves as being of Dominican American ancestry, the eighth highest percentage of the population of any municipality in the United States and the third highest percentage in New Jersey, behind Perth Amboy's 18.81% and Union City's 11.46%.[93]

Paterson is home to the largest Turkish-American immigrant community in the United States (Little Istanbul) and the second largest Arab-American community after Dearborn, Michigan.[72] Paterson has been nicknamed Little Ramallah and contains a neighborhood with the same name in South Paterson, with an Arab American population estimated as high as 20,000 in 2015,[94][95] serving as the center of Paterson's growing Palestinian American population.[73] The Paterson-based Arab American Civic Association runs an Arabic language program in the Paterson Public Schools that serves 125 students at School 9 on Saturdays.[96]

Paterson is home to the largest Circassian Americans immigrant community in the United States.[97]

The Greater Paterson area which includes the cities of Clifton and Wayne and the boroughs of Haledon, Prospect Park, North Haledon, Totowa, Woodland Park, and Little Falls, is home to the nation's largest North Caucasian population, mostly Circassians, Karachays, and small Chechen and Dagestani communities. Reflective of these communities, Paterson and Prospect Park public schools observe Muslim holidays.[98]

Paterson has incorporated a rapidly growing Bangladeshi American community, which is estimated to number 15,000,[99] the largest in the United States outside New York City.[100] Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman was ultimately certified as the winner of the 2012 city council race in the Second Ward, making him North Jersey's first Bangladeshi-American elected official.[101]

A branch of the Sonali Exchange Company Inc. has opened on Union Avenue in the Totowa Section; the Sonali Exchange Company is a subsidiary of Sonali Bank, the largest state-owned commercial bank in Bangladesh.


Portions of Paterson are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the Zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3½% sales tax rate (versus the 7% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants.[102]

Arts and culture

Paterson has a significant parks and recreation system, including larger areas such as Eastside, Westside and Pennington Parks, as well as neighborhood parks such as Wrigley, Robert Clemente, and People's.[103] The Great Falls of the Passaic are part of the state park system.

The Paterson Museum, located in the Great Falls Historic District, was founded in 1925 and is owned and operated by the city of Paterson. Its mission is to preserve and display the industrial history of the city. Since 1982, the museum has been housed in the Thomas Rogers Building on Market Street, the former erecting shop of Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works, a major 19th-century manufacturer of railroad steam locomotives.[104]

Belle Vista, locally known as Lambert Castle, was built in 1892 as the home of Catholina Lambert, the self-made owner of a prominent silk mill in Paterson. After Lambert's death in 1923, his family sold the building to the city, which in turn sold it to the County of Passaic a few years later. The county used the building for administrative offices, and in 1936, provided one room to the fledgling Passaic County Historical Society to serve as its historical museum. As time went by the museum grew, room by room, until the entire first floor became the historical museum.

In the late 1990s, the Castle underwent a multi-million-dollar restoration and all four floors of the building were developed into a museum and library. Today, Passaic County remains the owner of the building and supports the facilities' operation; however, the Passaic County Historical Society is solely responsible for the operation and management of Lambert Castle Museum with its historical period rooms, long-term and changing exhibition galleries, educational programs for elementary and middle-school students, and research library/archive.[105]

Above Lambert Castle stands a 75-foot (23 m) observation tower, located at the peak of Garret Mountain, which while technically standing in Woodland Park, was constructed when the property was considered part of Paterson. The tower is part of the Garret Mountain Reservation and renovations were completed in 2009 to restore the tower to the original condition as built in 1896 by Lambert, who used the tower to impress guests with its view of the New York City skyline.[106]

Attempts are being made to fund the restoration of the Paterson Armory as a recreation and cultural center.[107]


Local government

The City of Paterson operates within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under a Plan-D Mayor-Council form of government, which was adopted in 1974 in a change from a 1907 statute-based form.[4][108]

Under the Mayor-Council plan, the Mayor is the chief executive and is responsible for administering the City's activities. The Mayor is elected at-large for a four-year term by the citizens and is responsible for them. The mayor enforces the charter and the ordinances and laws passed by the City Council. The Mayor appoints all department heads including the business administrator, with the advice and consent of the Council and may remove any department heads after giving them notice and an opportunity to be heard. With the assistance of the business administrator, the Mayor is responsible for preparation of the municipal budget. The Mayor submits the budget to the Council along with a detailed analysis of expenditures and revenues. The Council may reduce any item or items in the budget by a majority vote, but can only increase an item by a two-thirds vote.

The City Council consists of nine members, three of whom are elected at large and six are elected from wards. Non-partisan elections are held in even years as part of the May municipal elections, with the six ward seats up for election together and the three at-large seats and the mayoral seat up for vote together two years later.

As of 2015, the Mayor of Paterson is Jose "Joey" Torres, whose term of office ends June 30, 2018. Torres, who had previously served as mayor from 2002-2010, defeated incumbent mayor Jeffrey Jones in the May 2014 municipal election. City Council Members are Council President Julio Tavarez (Fifth Ward; 2016), Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman (Second Ward; 2016), Ruby Cotton (Fourth Ward; 2016), Maritza Davila (at-large; 2018), Alex Mendez (at-large; 2018), Anthony Davis (First Ward; 2016), William McKoy (Third Ward; 2016), Ken Morris, Jr. (at-large; 2018) and Andre Sayegh (Sixth Ward; 2016).[109][110][111][112]

In the May 2010 Paterson city elections, City Council President Jeff Jones defeated the incumbent mayor Joey Torres in a three-way election with sixth ward councilman Andre Sayegh.[113] Incumbent Councilman At-Large Kenneth Morris was returned to office and Paterson recreation director and former Paterson Catholic football coach Benjie Wimberly was elected to one of the other At-Large seats.[114]

The third at-large position on the City Council was in dispute after the results of the May 2010 election, where newcomer Kenneth McDaniel and incumbent councilman Rigo Rodriguez had engaged in various court battles over the results of the election.[114] When the initial count was completed McDaniel was ahead of Rodriguez by 25 votes. An automatic recount was conducted and Rodriguez gained nineteen votes, with 49 mail-in ballots in dispute. A New Jersey court ruled that 47 of the ballots had to be counted, and Rodriguez's name was on all 47. This gave the councilman a 41-vote victory and he was sworn in with the rest of the council in July 2010.[115] McDaniel has continued to insist the ballots were tampered with and filed a motion in state court to overturn the results of the election, but the same judge that ordered the recount dismissed his motion.[116] However, McDaniel appealed to New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow to investigate, and the resulting findings caused several Rodriguez aides to be arrested on November 30 and December 1, 2010, and eventually the councilman himself on December 2, 2010, on charges of witness tampering in the court case where McDaniel's claim was dismissed.[117]

The status of the Fourth Ward seat held by Vera Ames-Garnes was in question as well. Councilwoman Ames-Garnes was brought up on charges in a Hawthorne, New Jersey court on a disorderly persons charge. The councilwoman was arrested by a Prospect Park, New Jersey police officer after she allegedly interfered with a traffic stop the officer made in Paterson after the suspect in the incident crossed over from Prospect Park into Paterson. Ames-Garnes contends that the officer had no right to issue a summons to the suspect, a Paterson resident, while the officer maintains the infraction occurred in Prospect Park and Ames-Garnes' interference was unwarranted. In December 2010 the trial concluded with the councilwoman being convicted, but she was only required to pay a fine and was not forced to forfeit her office. On February 21, 2012, both sides brought appeals before the Passaic County Superior Court. The councilwoman's appeal seeks to have her conviction overturned while the prosecution is seeking to have the fine overturned and to force Ames-Garnes to vacate her office.[118]

Federal, state and county representation

Paterson is located in the 9th Congressional District[119] and is part of New Jersey's 35th state legislative district.[9][120][121] Prior to the 2010 Census, Paterson had been part of the 8th Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections.[122]

New Jersey's Ninth Congressional District is represented by Bill Pascrell (D, Paterson).[123] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark, term ends 2021)[124] and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus, 2019).[125][126]

The 35th District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Nellie Pou (D, North Haledon) and in the General Assembly by Shavonda E. Sumter (D, Paterson) and Benjie E. Wimberly (D, Paterson).[127] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township).[128] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[129]

  • City of Paterson, New Jersey (official site)
  • Paterson Public Schools
  • Paterson Public Schools's 2012–13 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
  • School Data for the Paterson Public Schools, National Center for Education Statistics
  • Paterson: Great Falls State Park. Master plan design competition
  • a National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) lesson planPaterson, New Jersey: America's Silk City,
  • Stoney Road, Paterson, New Jersey
  • Hamilton Partnership for Paterson
  • Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium
  • Working in Paterson: Occupational Heritage in an Urban Setting An ethnographic study from the Library of Congress. Oral history interviews and photographs from a study of working life in Paterson conducted in 1994. Accessed August 28, 2009.

External links

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  255. ^ Martin, Douglas. "Edward L. Masry, 73, Pugnacious Lawyer, Dies", The New York Times, December 8, 2005. Accessed December 8, 2007. "Edward L. Masry was born in Paterson, N.J., on July 29, 1932. His parents started a silk apparel business, but when silk import tariffs were lifted, the business faltered. The family then headed for California."
  256. ^ Woo, Elaine. "Obituaries; Don Martin; Cartoonist Exemplified Mad Magazine in Sight and Sound", Los Angeles Times, January 8, 2000. Accessed January 2, 2011. "Born in Patterson [sic] N.J. Martin showed an early talent for drawing.
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  259. ^ Simon Perchik, Asheville Poetry Review. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Simon Perchik was born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1923 and made his living as an attorney in New York."
  260. ^ Span, Paula. "The FBI's Veiled Threat: Joseph Pistone Spent Six Years Inside the Mafia and Lived to Tell the Tale", The Washington Post, February 28, 1997. Accessed March 13, 2012. "And Pistone had always seen himself as a good guy. He grew up in working-class Paterson, N.J., which proved helpful in his subsequent career."
  261. ^ Staff. "Jazz notes: Roseanna Vitro in New Brunswick; Bucky Pizzarelli in Madison; Michele Rosewoman in Montclair", The Star-Ledger, January 10, 2012. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Guitarist and Paterson native Bucky Pizzarelli turned 86 yesterday, and fans and friends will gather several times this month to celebrate his timeless, bright and swinging style."
  262. ^ a b c Ripmaster, Terence. Mel Bay presents Bucky Pizzarelli: a life in music, p. 31.
  263. ^ Wilkins, Tim. "Jazz bits: John Pizzarelli and Grover Kemble", The Star-Ledger, September 27, 2011. Accessed March 13, 2012. "In the ’80s, John Pizzarelli was a guitar-toting kid from Paterson and Grover Kemble was a wisecracking Jersey songsmith with stints in Sha Na Na and Za Zu Zaz under his belt."
  264. ^ via Associated Press. "Dave Prater, 50, Dies; Soul Singer of the 60's", The New York Times, April 13, 1988. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Dave Prater Sr., of the soul-singing duo Sam and Dave, was killed Saturday when the car he was driving went off Interstate 75 near Sycamore, Ga., and hit a tree. He was 50 years old. Mr. Prater had lived in Paterson since 1974 and his body will be returned to New Jersey for burial next week, his widow, Rosemary, said Monday."
  265. ^ Amos Henry Radcliffe, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed July 23, 2007.
  266. ^ Kaltenbach, Chris. "The four pillars of Hollywood's house of horrors ; Critical Eye", The Baltimore Sun, October 30, 2005. Accessed March 13, 2012. "...the 'human worm', Prince Randian lived in Paterson, NJ, with his wife and five children..."
  267. ^ Staff. "George Rochberg, Composer, Dies at 86", The New York Times, June 1, 2005. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Mr. Rochberg was born in Paterson, N.J., on July 5, 1918."
  268. ^ Frederick Reines: The Nobel Prize in Physics 1995 - Autobiography, Nobel Prize Organization. Accessed April 5, 2007.
  269. ^ Dominguez, Robert; with Hinckley, David. "Frankie Ruiz, Salsa Singer, Dead At 40", Daily News (New York), August 11, 1998. Accessed November 14, 2011. "Born in Paterson, N.J., Ruiz spent his childhood in Puerto Rico and was singing professionally with Orquesta La Solucion by the time he was a teenager."
  270. ^ Staff. "HE DIED IN ENGLAND.; CAREER OF JOHN RYLE, THE PATERSON SILK MANUFACTURER.", The New York Times, November 17, 1887. Accessed March 13, 2012. "John Ryle, formerly Mayor of Paterson, N.J., and known throughout the United States as the 'Father of the Silk Industry in America,' has just died in Macclesfield, England."
  271. ^ Danforth Public Library, Paterson Arts Council. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Paterson adopted a free library law in 1885 and opened the first public library in the State of New Jersey in 1886. By 1888, having outgrown the Stimson House on Church Street, Mary Danforth Ryle donated her father’s residence for a new library."
  272. ^ The ASCAP Foundation Announces Recipients of 2012 Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, ASCAP, April 6, 2012. Accessed August 5, 2014. "Kathryn Salfelder of Fairlawn, NJ (Paterson, NJ)"
  273. ^ Staff. "PATERSON'S OLYMPIC DAY.; Jersey Town Welcomes Her Athletes Who Completed at Stockholm.", The New York Times, August 1, 1912. Accessed April 13, 2013. "The Paterson 'boys,' Strobino, Scott, Hellawell, and Mueller, who competed for Uncle Sam at the Olympic games in Sweden, and who returned to this country on the Vaderland early this morning, got a rousing reception in this city later in the day, when a parade through the principal streets of Paterson was held in their honor."
  274. ^ Marcel Shipp player profile, National Football League Players Association. Accessed July 24, 2007. "Hometown: Paterson, N.J. Played one year of prep football at Milford (Conn.) Academy and was all-New Jersey choice as a senior at Passaic County Technical High School."
  275. ^ Roberts, Jeff. "Intriguing People: Dave Sime", The Record (Bergen County), April 25, 2010. Accessed June 25, 2013. "This was the moment that changed everything for the Paterson-born, Fair Lawn-bred Sime."
  276. ^ Staff. "West Wing's Leo dies at age of 58: John Spencer displays his Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in 2002Spencer was a familiar face on US television showsJohn Spencer, the actor who plays politician Leo McGarry in NBC television's The West Wing, has died of a heart attack at 58.", BBC News, December 17, 2005. Accessed March 13, 2012. "John Spencer grew up in Paterson, New Jersey, the son of working-class parents, and he studied at the Professional Children's School in Manhattan."
  277. ^ Amy, Jeanne. "'Babylon 5' creator speaks about failure, future of media at MIT", The Observer-Dispatch, May 25, 2009. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Straczynski comes from Paterson, N.J., where people grew up to work at gas stations and supermarkets, not to become writers, he said. He pushed himself as those around him told him he could never make it as a writer."
  278. ^ Kazbek Tambi, Seton Hall Pirates. Accessed May 30, 2015. "A native of Paterson, N.J., he earned his law degree from Seton Hall University Law School in 1990."
  279. ^ Staff. "Typists to Demonstrate Speed", The New York Times, October 7, 1928. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Albert Tangora of Paterson, t7. J ,and Irma Wright of Toronto, Canada, new professional and amateur typing champions, will give demonstrations at the National Business Show which opens in Madison Square Garden..."
  280. ^ Popper, Steve. "PRO BASKETBALL; Marbury and Tim Thomas Connect in Victory", The New York Times, March 4, 2004. Accessed September 4, 2011. "One would like to believe that the play had been rehearsed on playgrounds and in gyms when they were younger. Stephon Marbury and Tim Thomas, one from Brooklyn, the other from Paterson, N.J., grew up playing together on all-star teams and in tournaments."
  281. ^ Tim Thomas Bio Page. Accessed June 30, 2010. "Hails from Paterson, New Jersey."
  282. ^ Lancifer, Unkle. "Dante Tomaselli :: The Kindertrauma Interview", Kindertrauma, February 14, 2011. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Unforgettable. I grew up on Alice, Sweet Alice…originally titled Communion. It made its world premiere in 1976 in Paterson. All my relatives were there. Many were extras in the movie. My Aunt Matilda stands out in the funeral scene. Both of my grandmothers were from Paterson and I was born in Paterson General Hospital."
  283. ^ Robert Guy Torricelli, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed March 13, 2012. "TORRICELLI, Robert Guy, a Representative and a Senator from New Jersey; born in Paterson, N.J., August 27, 1951"
  284. ^ Quintanilla, Michael. "enfoque; Elizabeth Vargas", San Antonio Express-News, January 26, 2006. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Vargas, a woman in a field with so few Latinos, was born in Paterson, N.J., to a Puerto Rican U.S. Army captain and his Irish American wife."
  285. ^ Rohan, Virginia. "Former Paterson resident is man behind the lines at the Oscars", The Record (Bergen County), March 7, 2010. Accessed December 31, 2012. "And Bruce Vilanch will jump right on it. 'The only really spontaneous parts of the show are the winners. Everything else is scripted. And so, unless somebody else goes off script, we know what everybody else is saying,' says Vilanch, a former Patersonian, who has written for the Oscars for the past 21 years."
  286. ^ Floyd Vivino profile from Sirius Satellite Radio, accessed December 20, 2006.
  287. ^ La Gorce, Tammy. "New Brunswick Still Loves the Lads From Liverpool ", The New York Times, August 12, 2007. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Local boosterism could also be at work. 'Two of the guys are from Jersey,' Mr. Korin said, including Mr. Vivino, a Paterson native whose brother Floyd Vivino is better known to state residents as TV's 'Uncle Floyd.'"
  288. ^ Staff. "The Break Presents: Fetty Wap", XXL (magazine), November 18, 2014. Accessed March 3, 2015. "However, it’s definitely been a minute since the last Jersey MC popped off. Now, 24-year-old Paterson, NJ native Fetty Wap is trying to put the state back on the map with his buzzing record, Trap Queen."
  289. ^ Staff. "Watkins will play more, McNeil less as SU center", Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, January 22, 2004. Accessed March 13, 2012. "The 6-11 Watkins is a highly promoted center from Paterson, N.J., where he averaged 16 points, 11 rebounds and 6 blocks last season to help Paterson Catholic to a 22-5 record."
  290. ^ Yannis, Alex. "Hockey; The Devils, And Fans, Ignite First Match", The New York Times, October 8, 1995. Accessed January 27, 2012. "Moments after the banner was raised, Patrick Warburton, the actor who portrayed a fanatic Devils' fan in a segment of the Seinfeld television show, was called upon to drop the puck. With his face painted in Devils red and black, the native of nearby Paterson dropped the puck, then stripped the Brodeur jersey he was wearing to display the letter D on his chest."
  291. ^ Staff. Different tune for Miss America", The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 8, 2013. Accessed August 5, 2014. "Bernie Wayne, who grew up in Paterson, was a prolific composer and came up with the "There She Is" while getting a haircut in 1954."
  292. ^ Randel, Don Michael, "Weinrich, Carl", The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music, Harvard University Press, 1996, p. 975. ISBN 0-674-37299-9.
  293. ^ Staff. "Bert Wheeler, Vaudeville Comic With Rubbery Face, Dead at 72; His Over 50-Year Career in Show Business Spanned Films, the Follies and TV", The New York Times, January 19, 1968. Accessed March 13, 2012. "'I'll tell you a secret,' he said when he was 64 years old. 'I'm just as ambitious and stage-struck as when I was a kid in Paterson, New Jersey. Nothing has changed.'"
  294. ^ Reed, Tom. "K'Waun Williams could become integral member of burgeoning Browns' secondary, provided he stays healthy", The Plain Dealer, June 3, 2015. Accessed August 12, 2015. ""'You have to play with a chip on your shoulder,' said the Paterson, New Jersey native who grew up on the same street as Giants receiver Victor Cruz."
  295. ^ William Carlos Williams, Accessed August 5, 2014.
  296. ^ Suderman, Alan. "The Weed Candidate", Washington City Paper, March 6, 2013. Accessed August 6, 2014. "The son of a self-taught musician who was a big wheel on the bar mitzvah and Jewish wedding circuit in Paterson, N.J., Zukerberg moved to D.C. 30 years ago to go to law school at American University."
  297. ^ Oliver, Willard M.; and Marion, Nancy E. Killing the President: Assassinations, Attempts, and Rumored Attempts on U.S. Commanders-in-chief, p. 90. ABC-CLIO, 2010. ISBN 9780313364747. Accessed July 22, 2015. "Giuseppe Zangara was born in Ferruzzano, Calabria, Italy. In the United States, Zangara settled in Paterson, New Jersey, and on September 11, 1929, became a naturalized citizen."


See also

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Paterson include: ((B) denotes that the person was born in Paterson).

Notable people

The first marketable revolver was produced in Paterson by Samuel Colt starting in 1836, and was known as the Colt Paterson.[196]

The New Jersey-based band Suit of Lights pays tribute to Paterson in their song, "Goodbye Silk City". The 1983 music video "Two Tribes" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood makes reference to Paterson in its opening sequence.[195]

Paterson Falls was featured in the first season of The Sopranos in the episode Pax Soprana as the place where Junior Soprano's friend, Capri's grandson committed suicide after taking poor designer drugs. As a favor, Junior Soprano had Mikey Palmice and another individual toss the dealer, Rusty Irish, over the falls. Some interior shots for the show were filmed in the unused Barnert Hospital. The Sopranos also shot a scene at Ralph Piccolo Pizza and renamed it "UF-FA'S Pizzeria".

Lou Costello often referred to his hometown of Paterson in his comedy routines with Bud Abbott. The plot of the June 28, 1945, episode of the Abbott & Costello radio show is about the City of Paterson inviting him back for "Lou Costello Day" to launch a new garbage scow.[194]

The controversial arrest and conviction of boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, whose conviction was overturned in 1985, was dramatized in the 1999 Denzel Washington film, The Hurricane, and was partially shot in the city.[1] The lyrics of the Bob Dylan song "Hurricane" include "In Paterson that's just the way things go / If you're Black you might as well not show / Up on the street / Unless you want to draw the heat". Lean On Me is based on events that occurred in Paterson's Eastside High School.[189] Alice, Sweet Alice (1976) with Brooke Shields was filmed entirely in Paterson, the director's hometown.[190] as was State Property.[191] Its sequel, State Property 2, and Far from Heaven, The Preacher's Wife[192] and Purple Rose of Cairo[193] are among other films that were partially shot in Paterson.

Paterson is the subject of William Carlos Williams' five-book epic poem Paterson, a cornerstone work of modern American poetry.[1] Paterson is also mentioned in the twelfth line of Part 1 of Allen Ginsberg's poem Howl. In the novel On the Road by Ginsberg's friend Jack Kerouac, the protagonist Sal Paradise lives with his aunt in Paterson. Kerouac may have chosen Paterson as a stand-in for his hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts, also a mill town with a waterfall.[187] Paterson is the setting of many of Junot Diaz's short stories and novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and John Updike's 1997 novel In the Beauty of the Lilies.[188]

In popular culture

Furthermore in Paterson was founded San Rocco Society, an association which has as its main purpose to maintain sales relationships with the motherland, and in some ways the traditions.[186]

  • "Avenue Paterson" in Montescaglioso[184]
  • "Montescaglioso Street" in Paterson.[185]

There is a pact of friendship with the town of Montescaglioso (Italy) , as testified by mutual naming of two streets in their city centers. Paterson was a place of Italian emigration in the late nineteenth century and today houses a large community of citizens of Montescaglioso emigrated in those years.[183]

Montescaglioso Street in Paterson


Sister cities of Paterson include:

Sister cities

Established in the 1970s, Paterson hosts the main campus of Passaic County Community College, which serves 13,000 students at its main campus and at satellite programs in Passaic, Wanaque and at the Public Safety Academy.[177]

Blessed Sacrament School and St. Gerard Majella School are elementary schools that operate under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson.[175] In the face of declining enrollment and financial difficulties, Paterson Catholic High School, the city's last remaining Catholic high school, was closed by the Diocese of Paterson.[176]

The city is host to the state's annual robotics competition that is held at Passaic County Community College. The competition called the North Jersey Robotics Competition or NJRC began with the idea to place high educational merit on the students of Paterson. The competition brings schools from around NJ, to take part in the event. Three events make up the meet which takes place on two different days. The competition's tenth anniversary event in 2011 was won by Paterson's PANTHER Academy.

Paterson Charter School for Science and Technology is a charter school serving students in Kindergarten through twelfth grade.[173] Other charter schools include Community Charter School of Paterson (K-8), John P. Holland Charter School (K-8) and Paterson Arts and Science Charter School (K-7).[174]

In 2011, all of Paterson's high schools were changed to theme schools, as part of a goal to give students a better choice in areas they wanted to pursue.[171] Among the 594 students who took the SAT in 2013, the mean combined score was 1120 and there were 19 students (3.2% of those taking the exam) who achieved the combined score of 1550 that the College Board considers an indicator of college readiness, a decline from the 26 students (4.3%) who achieved the standard the previous year.[172]

As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's 48 schools had an enrollment of 24,365 students and 1,845.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.21:1.[169] District enrollment in Paterson surged at the start of the 2015-16 school year, creating a public school enrollment of 700 students higher than expected and putting the school district in a situation of needing to hire teachers rapidly not long after the district had laid off 300 positions.[170]

The Paterson Public Schools serve students in pre-Kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district is one of 31 former Abbott districts statewide,[166] which are now referred to as "SDA Districts" based on the requirement for the state to cover all costs for school building and renovation projects in these districts under the supervision of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority.[167][168]


Service to the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal in Manhattan and shopping centers in Bergen County is also provided along Route 4 by independent jitney bus carriers (guaguas or dollar vans).[165]

Service to and from the Washington Heights, Manhattan, on the 72 to Newark, with local service provided on the 74, 702, 703, 704, 707, 712, 722, 742 (Saturday only), 744, 746, 748, 770, 970 and 971 routes.[163][164] Many buses stop at or near City Hall, going to various points in the area, including New York and the neighboring communities.

Bus service to locations in Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Hudson counties is provided by New Jersey Transit, making the city a regional transit hub. The Broadway Bus Terminal, also downtown, is the terminus for many NJ Transit bus lines.[162]

The city is served by the New Jersey Transit Main Line commuter rail service, with the station located in Downtown Paterson. Plans are being developed for Paterson to receive new commuter rail service on the existing NYS&W line, which is currently single-tracked. The Passaic-Bergen Rail Line is planned to have five stops in Paterson.[161]

Public transportation

Paterson also served as the terminus for numerous major secondary roads in northern New Jersey. Paterson Plank Road linked the city to Jersey City and eventually the Hudson River waterfront in Hoboken, while the Paterson-Hamburg Turnpike connected the city with Sussex County along what is now parts of State Route 23.

By road, Paterson is served directly by Interstate 80, as well as State Routes 4, 19, and 20, U.S. Route 46, and the Garden State Parkway. State Routes 3, 17, 21, and 208 are also nearby and serve as feeder roads to the community.

As of May 2010, the city had a total of 195.28 miles (314.27 km) of roadways, of which 157.62 miles (253.66 km) were maintained by the municipality, 29.21 miles (47.01 km) by Passaic County and 8.45 miles (13.60 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.[160]

Roads and highways


St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center is a large institution providing comprehensive emergency services as well as non-emergency medical care to Paterson and the surrounding community.[159]

[158] At the same time, the [157] In April 2011, Paterson laid off 125 police officers, nearly 25% of the total force in the city, due to severe budget constraints caused by a $70 million deficit.

In addition to local services, Paterson is home to the Passaic County Sheriff's Office Courts Division in the Passaic County Courthouse and Correctional Division in the Passaic County Jail. The jail, originally constructed in 1957, can accommodate 1,242 inmate beds.[156]

The City of Paterson is served by a professional police department.[154] The Paterson Fire Department, headed by Chief Michael Postorino, operates out of seven fire stations with a total of 400 employees, and is also responsible for the city's emergency medical services division and ambulance units.[155]

Emergency services

In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Democrat Barbara Buono received 78.5% of the vote (15,726 cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 20.6% (4,123 votes), and other candidates with 0.9% (179 votes), among the 20,787 ballots cast by the city's 80,140 registered voters (759 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 25.9%.[151][152] In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 17,334 ballots cast (85.7% vs. 50.8% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 2,213 votes (10.9% vs. 43.2%), Independent Chris Daggett with 264 votes (1.3% vs. 3.8%) and other candidates with 129 votes (0.6% vs. 0.9%), among the 20,233 ballots cast by the city's 66,603 registered voters, yielding a 30.4% turnout (vs. 42.7% in the county).[153]

[150] In the

As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 68,324 registered voters in Paterson, of which 27,926 (40.9% vs. 31.0% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 3,100 (4.5% vs. 18.7%) were registered as Republicans and 37,285 (54.6% vs. 50.3%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 13 voters registered to other parties.[145] Among the city's 2010 Census population, 46.7% (vs. 53.2% in Passaic County) were registered to vote, including 64.8% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 70.8% countywide).[145][146]


[144][143][142] and Surrogate Bernice Toledo (2016).[141] Richard H. Berdnik (2016)Sheriff [140], 2019),R Kristin M. Corrado (County Clerk Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are [139][138][137]).Woodland Park (D, 2016; Pat Lepore and [136]),West Milford Terry Duffy (D, 2016; [135]),Ringwood Ronda Cotroneo (D, 2015; [134]),Paterson Theodore O. Best, Jr. (D, 2017; [133]),Wayne John W. Bartlett (D, 2015; [132]),Clifton (D, 2017; Bruce James Freeholder Deputy Director [131]),Passaic, term ends December 31, 2015; D As of 2015, Passaic County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Hector C. Lora ([130]

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