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Summit, New Jersey

Summit, New Jersey
City of Summit
Downtown Summit from the southwest

Nickname(s): Hill City
Location of Summit within Union County and state of New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Summit, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40.715622°N 74.364684°WCoordinates40.715622°N 74.364684°W[1][2]
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Union
Settled 1710
Incorporation March 23, 1869 as Township
Incorporation March 8, 1899 as City
 • Type Faulkner Act Council-Manager
 • Mayor Ellen K. Dickson (R, term ends December 31, 2015)[3][4]
 • Administrator Christopher J. Cotter[5]
 • Clerk David L. Hughes[6]
 • Total 6.046 sq mi (15.661 km2)
 • Land 5.995 sq mi (15.528 km2)
 • Water 0.051 sq mi (0.133 km2)  0.85%
Area rank 255th of 566 in state
7th of 21 in county[2]
Elevation[8] 374 ft (114 m)
Population (2010 Census)[9][10][11][12]
 • Total 21,457
 • Estimate (2012[13]) 21,828
 • Rank 120th of 566 in state
9th of 21 in county[14]
 • Density 3,578.9/sq mi (1,381.8/km2)
 • Density rank 178th of 566 in state
15th of 21 in county[14]
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 07901, 07902[15]
Area code(s) 908
FIPS code 3403971430[16][2][17]
GNIS feature ID 085412[18][2]

Summit is a city in Union CountyNew Jersey, United States. At the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 21,457,[9][10][11] reflecting an increase of 326 (+1.5%) from the 21,131 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,374 (+7.0%) from the 19,757 counted in the 1990 Census.[19]Summit had the 16th-highest per capita income in the state as of the 2000 Census.[20]

What is now the city of Summit was originally incorporated as Summit Township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 23, 1869, from portions of New Providence Township (nowBerkeley Heights) and Springfield Township. Summit was reincorporated as a city on March 8, 1899.[21]

The town's name may refer to its position atop the Second Watchung Mountain; it may also refer to Summit Lodge, the house to which jurist James Kent moved in 1837 and which stands today at 50 Kent Place Boulevard; or to a local sawmill owner who granted passage to the Morris and Essex Railroad for a route to "the summit of the Short Hills".[22]



Springfield Avenue, the main shopping street.

Summit is located at40°42′56″N 74°21′53″W(40.715622,-74.364684). According to theUnited States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 6.046 square miles (15.661 km2), of which, 5.995 square miles (15.528 km2) of it is land and 0.051 square miles (0.133 km2) of it (0.85%) is water.[1][2] It is about 20 miles (32 km) from Manhattan. It is bordered to the northeast by Millburn in Essex County, to the northwest by Chatham and Chatham Township, both in Morris County, to the west by New Providence, to the southwest by Berkeley Heights, to the south byMountainside and to the southeast bySpringfield Township. Springfield Avenue is the town's main street.[23]


Historical populations
Census Pop.  
1870 1,176  
1880 1,910   62.4%
1890 3,502   83.4%
1900 5,302   51.4%
1910 7,500   41.5%
1920 10,174   35.7%
1930 14,556   43.1%
1940 16,165   11.1%
1950 17,929   10.9%
1960 23,677   32.1%
1970 23,620   −0.2%
1980 21,071   −10.8%
1990 19,757   −6.2%
2000 21,131   7.0%
2010 21,457   1.5%
Est. 2012 21,828 [13] 1.7%
Population sources: 1870-1920[24]
1870[25][26] 1880-1890[27]
1900-1910[28] 1910-1930[29]
1930-1990[30] 2000[31][32] 2010[9][10][11]

One report was that Manhattan's financial elite prefers Summit real estate because of big houses, good schools andNew Jersey Transit rail link to Manhattan's financial district.[33]Others suggested that that the city has long been popular with traders, investment bankers, and money managers, with nearly 20% of Summit's residents working in finance and real estate.[23]

2010 Census[edit]

At the 2010 United States Census, there were 21,457 people, 7,708 households, and 5,519 families residing in the city. Thepopulation density was 3,578.9 inhabitants per square mile (1,381.8 /km2). There were 8,190 housing units at an average density of 1,366.0 per square mile (527.4 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 83.54% (17,926) White, 4.52% (970)Black or African American, 0.14% (30) Native American, 6.38% (1,368) Asian, 0.01% (3) Pacific Islander, 2.84% (610) from other races, and 2.56% (550) from two or more races. Hispanic orLatino of any race were 13.29% (2,851) of the population.[9]

There were 7,708 households of which 39.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.6% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.4% were non-families. 23.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.29.[9]

In the city, 29.0% of the population were under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 28.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.7 years. For every 100 females there were 96.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.0 males.[9]

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $109,602 and the median family income was $145,083. Males had a median income of $109,608 (+/- $15,245) versus $61,368 (+/- $8,854) for females. The per capita income for the city was $70,574. About 4.4% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.4% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.[34]

2000 Census[edit]

At the 2000 United States Census[16] there were 21,131 people, 7,897 households and 5,606 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,490.7 per square mile (1,348.5/km2). There were 8,146 housing units at an average density of 1,345.7 per square mile (519.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.77% White, 4.33% African American, 0.09% Native American, 4.45% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.70% from other races, and 1.65% from two or more races.Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.17% of the population.[31][32]

There were 7,897 households of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.1% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.0% were non-families. 23.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.18.[31][32]

Age distribution was 27.0% under the age of 18, 4.4% from 18 to 24, 33.0% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.1 males.[31][32]

The median income for a household in the city was $92,964, and the median income for a family was $117,053. Males had a median income of $85,625 versus $46,811 for females. The per capita income for the city was $62,598. About 2.5% of families and 4.2% of the population were below thepoverty line, including 4.1% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.[31][32]


Train station, circa 1890s

The region in which Summit is located was purchased from Native Americans on October 28, 1664. Summit's earliest European settlers came to the area around the year 1710.[35] The original name of Summit was "Turkey Hill" to distinguish it from the area then known as "Turkey" (New Providence's original name until 1759). During the American Revolutionary War period, Summit was known as "Beacon Hill", because bonfire beacons were lit on an eastern ridge in Summit to warn the New Jersey militiamen of approaching British troops.[36]

Summit was called the "Heights over Springfield" during the late 18th century and most of the 19th century, and was considered a part of New Providence. During this period, Summit was part of Springfield Township, which eventually broke up into separate municipalities. Eventually only Summit and New Providence remained joined.

Lord Chancellor James Kent, a Chancellor of New York State and author of Commentaries on American Law, retired to this area in 1837 in a house he called Summit Lodge (perhaps a namesake of the town) on what is now called Kent Place Boulevard.[22] He lived there until 1847. Today, the lodge is part of a large mansion, at 50 Kent Place Boulevard, opposite Kent Place School.

In 1837, the Morris and Essex Railroad, which became the Delaware Lackawanna and Western Railroad and is now the New Jersey Transit's Morris and Essex Lines, was built over what was then called "The Summit" hill, a name later shortened to Summit. The railroad allowed Summit to outgrow neighboring New Providence, which didn't have a train station. In 1868, a hotel named "The Summit House" burned beside the railroad.[37] In 1869, Summit and New Providence separated and the Summit area was incorporated as the "Township of Summit".[21] In the late 19th century, the area began shifting from farmland to wealthy estates; in 1892, renowned architect C. Abbott French cleared away a crest of a "summit ridge", removing "an impenetrable tangle of wild vines ... and myriads of rattlesnakes," to build a house with a view of New York City, The Times Building, and the Brooklyn Bridge.[38] The present-day incarnation of Summit, known formally as the City of Summit, was incorporated on April 11, 1899.[35]

During this time, Summit was the home of America's "antivice crusader", Anthony Comstock, who moved there about 1880 and built a house in 1892 at 35 Beekman Road, where he died in 1915.[39][40]

In the 19th century, Summit served as a nearby getaway spot for wealthy residents of New York City in search of fresh air. Weekenders or summer vacationers would reach Summit by train and relax at large hotels and smaller inns and guest houses.[41] Calvary Episcopal Church was built in 1894-95; the New York Times called it a "handsome new house of worship".[42]

Silk weaving thrived as an industry in the late 19th century, but declined in the early decades of the 20th century; in 1915, there was a strike at the Summit Silk Company on Weaver Street.[43] In the early 20th century, there was much building; in 1909, one report suggested at least 40 residences were being built (some with stables) with costs varying from $4,500 to $45,000, making it "one of the greatest periods of building activity this place, the Hill City, has known."[44]

A new railway was constructed from what was then-called New Orange.[45] The Rahway Valley Railroad connected Summit with the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad (DL&W). In the early 20th century, both freight and passenger service were offered by this line which is currently out of service, although in 2009, Union County was exploring the possibility of reactivating the line for freight traffic.[46] A trolley line called the Morris County Traction Company, once ran a passenger trolley through Summit to/from Newark and Morris County, in the early part of the 20th century.[47] Broad Street in Summit was designed and built for the trolley, which is why it is wider and straighter than most streets in the city. Portions of the rails could still be seen on it as late as the 1980s.

Relations between city authorities and businesses have not always been smooth; in 1898, city authorities and the New York and New Jersey Telephone Company had disputes about wires and telephone poles; the city acted and "wires and cables of the company were cut from the poles."[48]There were disputes between Summit's commuters and the Lackawanna railroad about walkways; in one incident in 1905, "a number of passengers seeking to board the 6:35 train found their way barred. They made a united rush, and when the dust cleared away, the door wasn't there. It is said the company will put the door back. The commuters say they will remove it as often as it is replaced."[49]

Following World War II, the city experienced a great building boom, as living outside New York Cityand commuting to work became more common and the population of New Jersey grew. At this point, Summit took on its suburban character of tree lined streets and architect-designed houses that it is known for today.[50] Summit had a mini-bus system, with three routes, in the late 1970s. The mini-buses ran through most parts of Summit on long circular routes that were primarily designed to bring commuters to the railroad station in downtown Summit. The Velvet Undergroundplayed their first paid concert at a Summit High School prom.[51]

During the September 11 terrorist attacks, Summit lost more than a dozen residents.[33] Many residents worked in the World Trade Center commuting by rail to Hoboken.[33] A few days after the attacks, townspeople assembled on the broad town green while a minister "called out the names of a dozen residents still unaccounted for after Tuesday's attack on the World Trade Center. Others in the crowd of nearly 2,000 called out names he had left out."[33] A few World Trade Centerfirms relocated to Summit.[52] Star baseball athlete Willie Wilson and former Summit graduate returned to Summit High School in 2005.[23] Wilson said: "To me, Summit is a special place ... It's where it all began and I have great memories. This is where I want to help kids and youth baseball, and I want my own son and daughter to come and help me create something here." During the economic downturn of 2008-2009, Summit was listed as #6 on a list of American communities "likely to be pummeled by the economic crisis."[23] Crime is generally not a factor in the city, although a man was fatally beaten during a robbery attempt gone awry in summer 2010; several youths were charged in the murder of Abelino Mazariego-Torres and reports of the murder shocked residents in what one person described as a "very small and very peaceful town."[53]


Local government[edit]

Picture of a modern brick two-story building with a steeple and a sign saying "Summit" City Hall
City Hall at the intersection of Springfield Avenue and Broad Street has the city's police station, municipal court, municipal departments, and other offices.

On April 11, 1899, Summit voters adopted as the Charter of the City of Summit the Statute of 1899 applicable to cities of less than 12,000 population. On December 15, 1987, the New Jersey Legislature enacted a law that repealed all of the remaining provisions of Summit's original Charter and replaced and retained sections not covered by general law and specific to Summit's original Charter. Summit's Charter now allows that "1: The council may, by referendum, change the term of the councilman at large from a two year term to a four year term. 2: Resolutions adopted by the council do not have to be approved by the mayor. 3: The council pro tempore shall be the acting mayor in the mayor's absence due to sickness or other cause. 4: The municipality may appoint an administrator in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S. 40A:9-136. 5: The municipality may adopt an administrative code."[54][7]

The mayor is elected by the city for a four-year term and is the city's official spokesman and chief elected official. The mayor can appoint various officials, including the Chief of police and the Board of Education. The mayor serves as the Chairman of the Board of School Estimate and on various committees, and has the right to speak at Common Council meetings, but can only vote to break ties in the Council. This bully pulpit role is considered the mayor's strongest power.

The Common Council has the chief policy making and administrative oversight role in city government. The Council approves all laws and adopts the city budget. The Council also oversees the work of city department heads. The Council consists of three members from Ward I, three members from Ward II and one member elected at-large. The at-large member serves a two-year term of office, while the six ward members serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with one seat in each ward up for election each year. The Council elects from its membership a President and a President Pro Tem, each serving a one-year term. The President presides at all Council meetings and the President Pro Tem presides in the President's absence. The President Pro Tem also serves as Acting Mayor in the absence of the Mayor.

As of 2013, the Mayor of Summit is Ellen Dickson (R, term ends December 31, 2015). Members of the Common Council are Council President Richard J. Madden (Second Ward; R, 2015), Dave A. Bomgaars (Second Ward; R, 2013), Gregory Drummond (At Large; R, 2013), Tom Getzendanner (First Ward; R, 2013), Patrick J. Hurley (Second Ward; R, 2014), Albert Dill, Jr. (First Ward; R, 2015) and Dr. Robert J. Rubino (First Ward; R, 2014).[55][56][57][58][59]

Christopher Cotter is the City Administrator of Summit. In this role he directs day to day operations of city government and the city departments. He is a former Fire Chief and Director of Community Services.

Summit has been a stronghold for the Republican Party for years. From 1921 to 2001 noDemocrats served in elective office and very few ran for office. The real elections occurred in the Republican primary. In 2001, Democratic candidates Michel Bitritto won a Council seat in Ward I and Jordan Glatt won the at-large council seat. Summit had never elected a Democrat as Mayor until 2003, when Jordan Glatt was elected.[60]

In November 2011, Republicans swept all the open seats, with Ellen Dickson elected mayor and Gregory Drummond, Patrick Hurley and Robert Rubino sweeping the three council seats, giving full control of city government back to the Republican party.[61]

The Department of Community Services is responsible for engineering, public works, and code administration.[62] The engineering division manages city infrastructure such as roads, curbs, sewers, and provide support to the planning and zoning boards.[62] Public works maintains streets, trees, traffic signs, public parks, traffic islands, playgrounds, public buildings, support vehicles, equipment, and has other responsibilities.[62] The city runs a municipal disposal area or solid waste transfer station where recyclables are collected, including bulky trash; residents must have a town-generated sticker on their cars to use this facility.[62] Trash is picked up from garbage cans once a week for most residents, and recycling materials are picked up every two weeks.[62]Certain trees need permits before being removed.[62] Summit plows 66 miles (106 km) of roads, covering all city streets, except for county roads.[62] Residents are asked to put leaves in biodegradable bags for pickup on selected times during autumn and spring.[62] Recently the city has embarked on a program of "Bringing Art to Public Spaces in Summit"; this program, established in 2002, has placed sculptures at different venues around the town and is supported by private donations.[63] The Summit Chamber of Commerce advertises the town on cable television.[23]

Federal, state and county representation[edit]

Summit is located in the 7th Congressional District[64] and is part of New Jersey's 21st state legislative district.[10][65][66]

New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District is represented by Leonard Lance (RClinton Township).[67] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (DNewark; took office on October 31, 2013, after winning a special election to fill the seat of Frank Lautenberg)[68][69] and Bob Menendez (D, North Bergen).[70][71]

The 21st Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate byThomas Kean, Jr. (RWestfield) and in the General Assembly by Jon Bramnick (R, Westfield) andNancy Munoz (R, Summit).[72] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (RMendham Township).[73] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[74]

Union County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose nine members are elected at-large to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis with three seats coming up for election each year, with an appointed County Manager overseeing the day-to-day operations of the county. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects a Chairman and Vice Chairman from among its members.[75] As of 2013, Union County's Freeholders are Chairman Linda Carter (DPlainfield, term ends December 31, 2013),[76] Vice Chairman Christopher Hudak (D, Linden, 2014),[77] Bruce Bergen (D, Springfield Township, 2015),[78] Angel G. Estrada (D, Elizabeth, 2014),[79] Mohamed S. Jalloh (D, Roselle, 2015),[80]Bette Jane Kowalski (D, Cranford, 2013),[81] Alexander Mirabella (D, Fanwood, 2015),[82] Daniel P. Sullivan (D, Elizabeth, 2013)[83] and Vernell Wright (D, Union Township, 2014).[84][85]Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi (D, Union Township, 2015),[86] Sheriff Ralph Froehlich (D, Union Township, 2013)[87] and Surrogate James S. LaCorte (D, Springfield Township, 2014).[88][89][90] The County Manager is Alfred Faella.[91]


As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 13,358 registered voters in Summit, of which 3,842 (28.8% vs. 41.8% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 3,703 (27.7% vs. 15.3%) were registered as Republicans and 5,808 (43.5% vs. 42.9%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 5 voters registered to other parties.[92] Among the city's 2010 Census population, 62.3% (vs. 53.3% in Union County) were registered to vote, including 87.7% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 70.6% countywide).[92][93]

In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 4,895 votes here (49.4% vs. 66.0% countywide), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 4,859 votes (49.1% vs. 32.3%) and other candidates with 109 votes (1.1% vs. 0.8%), among the 9,899 ballots cast by the city's 14,330 registered voters, for a turnout of 69.1% (vs. 68.8% in Union County).[94][95] In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 5,820 votes here (54.5% vs. 63.1% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 4,700 votes (44.0% vs. 35.2%) and other candidates with 88 votes (0.8% vs. 0.9%), among the 10,677 ballots cast by the city's 13,690 registered voters, for a turnout of 78.0% (vs. 74.7% in Union County).[96] In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 5,183 votes here (50.0% vs. 40.3% countywide), ahead of Democrat John Kerry with 5,068 votes (48.9% vs. 58.3%) and other candidates with 75 votes (0.7% vs. 0.7%), among the 10,360 ballots cast by the city's 13,159 registered voters, for a turnout of 78.7% (vs. 72.3% in the whole county).[97]

In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 3,682 votes here (50.3% vs. 41.7% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 3,014 votes (41.2% vs. 50.6%), Independent Chris Daggett with 543 votes (7.4% vs. 5.9%) and other candidates with 43 votes (0.6% vs. 0.8%), among the 7,323 ballots cast by the city's 13,435 registered voters, yielding a 54.5% turnout (vs. 46.5% in the county).[98]


Jefferson elementary school.

Students in Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade are educated by the Summit Public Schools. As of the 2010-11 school year, the district's nine schools had an enrollment of 4,000 students and 324.4 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratioof 12.33:1.[99] Schools in the district (with 2010-11 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[100]) are Jefferson Primary School[101](grades PK-K; 156 students), Wilson Primary School[102] (PK-K; 153), Brayton School[103] (1-5; 389), Franklin School[104] (1-5; 377), Jefferson School[105] (1-5; 211), Lincoln-Hubbard School[106] (1-5; 338), Washington School[107] (1-5; 324), Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School[108] (6-8; 950) andSummit High School[109] (9-12; 1,024).[110]

Private schools

Youth sports[edit]

Summit has sports programs for youth including basketball, baseball, soccer and football leagues through the Recreation Center. In addition, the YMCA organizes sports clinics and teams including the Summit Swim Team. At age eight, children can try out for a traveling soccer program called the Summit Soccer Club, a nonprofit dedicated to the development of youth soccer in the city. Travel soccer runs for both the fall and spring seasons. Lacrosse is a popular sport with high school teams achieving distinction at county and state levels.[116][117] Summit High School boys' team won the state's Tournament of Champions in 2010 and 2009 and lost by one goal in the 2011 final. Summit holds the New Jersey state (and possibly national) high school record with 68 consecutive victories during 2009 to 2011.[118] The 2012 team is, as of May 2012, ranked number 2 in New Jersey and in the top 20 nationally. Beginning in first grade, boys and girls can learn to play lacrosse in clinics and teams organized by the Summit Lacrosse Club.[119]

Real estate and housing[edit]

Summit residential real estate is expensive. In October 2009, the median house price was $655,500.[120] Real estate taxes vary; an $800,000 four-bedroom, 2-full-bath, 2-partial-bath single-family home built in 1939 had taxes of $16,000 in 2009.[121] Summit, along with many suburban communities in the United States, adopted a policy of zoning ordinances requiring a single-family house on a large lot and could thereby "exclude any undesirable influences that might erode property values", a requirement that effectively excluded apartment buildings and multi-family dwellings, and tended to raise the price of houses. One study found that since 1945, the single-family house on a large lot zoning mechanism "has been increasingly used in suburban and rural areas to safeguard particular vested interests."[122] A reporter from The New York Times who is a Summit resident criticized the city for being an "economically, racially and ideologically homogenized populace" with "a growing divide between Summit's haves and have-nots."[123] He elaborated in 2006: "there's an ever-diminishing corner of the city akin to the so-called slums ofBeverly Hills, where middle-income homeowners like me can take advantage of the schools and services of Summit without the million-dollar price tags so ubiquitous on the other side of the Midtown Direct tracks."[123] But he preferred the city as a place to raise and educate his children.[123] One developer sued the city in 2005 to comply with New Jersey's Fair Housing Act to provide more affordable housing units.[123] The city is working on a "housing master plan" to avoid future lawsuits from developers.[123] In 2011, volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, in conjunction with church groups including St. Teresa of Avila and the Unitarian Church led by Vanessa Southern, constructed affordable housing on Morris Avenue.[124]

Union County, which includes Summit, had the 10th highest property taxes in the nation as of 2010, based on data gathered by the National Taxpayers Union.[125]


The Summit Diner at the corner of Summit Avenue and Union Place.
  • The Carter House - at 90 Butler Parkway, Summit's oldest known structure, built in 1741, now home to the Summit Historical Society.[126]
  • The DeBary Inn was built in 1880 as one of the private residences of (Samuel) Frederick De Bary, a merchant of French winesliquors, and other imported beverages.[127][128] In 1916, the land was subdivided and sold, the house was moved 200 feet (61 m), and it opened as a hotel in 1923; later it housed senior citizens. Authorities and rules stymied an effort to turn it into a bed and breakfastin the early 2000s, and at present it serves as an "executive boutique inn" partially owned by CNBC host Jim Cramer.[128]
  • The Grand Summit Hotel hosts different events, including stockholder meetings.[129]
  • The Kent Place School occupies a large block bordered by Kent Place Boulevard, Norwood Avenue, and Morris Avenue near downtown Summit. Its Mabie House was built in 1931.
  • Our Lady of the Rosary monastery is located on Springfield Avenue.[130]
  • The Reeves-Reed Arboretum is a suburban conservancy dedicated to environmental and horticultural education for children and adults and enjoyment of nature through the professional care and preservation of a historic country estate.[131]
  • The Short Hills Mall in Millburn, New Jersey is a mile away from the Summit downtown.[33]
  • The Summit Diner, located on the corner of Union Place & Summit Avenue, is a 1938O'Mahony diner that has wood paneled walls, eight booths and 20 stools.
picture of a building on the other side of a street.
Summit Public Library in 2009, looking west, across Maple Street.
  • The Summit Opera House was originally built in the 1890s by the Woman's Christian Temperance Unionas a dry entertainment hall and local W.C.T.U. meeting place. It currently houses Winberie's restaurant on the ground floor, and a church, office space, and apartments on the upper floors. It is located at Springfield Avenue and Kent Place Boulevard in downtown Summit.[132]
  • The Summit Playhouse features live dramatic performances.[133]
  • Summit Public Library offers a wide range of books, CDs, DVDs, internet access, special programs, and is located at the corner of Maple Street and Morris Avenue.[134]
  • Twin Maples is a registered Historic Place at Springfield Avenue and Edgewood Road. Constructed in 1908 based on a design by architect Alfred F. Norris, it is home to the Summit Fortnightly Club and the Junior Fortnightly.[135]
  • The United States Postal Service is on Maple Street near the downtown.
  • The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey on Elm Street diagonally across from the Summit Middle School is a professionally recognized regional art center with an art school and an exhibition program.[136]


Summit Station.

Service on the New Jersey Transit Gladstone Branch andMorristown Line is available at the Summit station. Trains go to Hoboken Terminal, and from there, a PATH subway train can take passengers to downtown Manhattan or to 33rd street at Sixth Avenue. There is direct service from Summit to New York's Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan. Trains run hourly to Manhattan, and run more frequently during rush hours which also have express trains which bypass local stops between Summit and Newark. The train ride from Summit to midtown is about 50 minutes (local) and 35 minutes (express). Trains don't run from midnight to 5:30am. One reporter wrote: "The train line dominates Summit, bisecting its handsome commercial district from the town green on a sunken track, like a Dutch canal."[33]

New Jersey Transit offers bus service to and from Newark on the 70 route with local Wheels service on the 986 route.[137] In addition, Lakeland Bus Lines (Route 78) provides service to and from Manhattan during peak commuting hours.

Route 24 runs along the eastern boundary of Summit. Interstate 78 runs along the southern boundary of Summit. Route 124 and County Route 512 also pass through Summit.

Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark / Elizabeth is approximately 15 minutes away via Interstate 78.

Parking is an ongoing issue. At present, there are several free two-hour-limit parking lots for shoppers, as well as metered parking on main streets. Studies have been conducted by the town council to further explore parking options.[138]


Due to its proximity to New York City and Newark, daily newspapers serving the community areThe New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and The Star-Ledger.

Locally, Summit is served by the Summit Herald-Dispatch and the Independent Press, the latter of which is based in New Providence and serves the City of Summit and several surrounding communities. Both newspapers are published on a weekly basis. Summit is also served by the online news sources, The Alternative Press[139][140][141][142]

Summit is home to HomeTowne Television (HTTV), a cable television station providing public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable TV programming. HTTV's signal reaches municipalities in UnionEssex and Morris counties via Verizon channel 33 and Comcast channel 36. In addition, each week HTTV produces a local news program which is aired in Summit four times daily.[143][144][145]


picture of a hospital.
Overlook Hospital is on a hill above the town with views of the Manhattan skyline.
  • Merck & Co. (formerly Schering Ploughpharmaceuticals until a 2009 merger) is one of Summit's largest corporate tax-payers. Its facilities in the western part of Summit were previously home to Novartis and, before that, Ciba.[146] In April, the firm completed a 1.7 megawatt solar energy rooftop panel system drawing energy atop seven buildings.[146]
  • Overlook Hospital is located on a hill with views of the Manhattan skyline and is operated by the Atlantic Health System and features the Atlantic Neuroscience Institute, the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center and the Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute.[147]
  • Celgene is a biotechnology company and another large corporate tax-payer that is headquartered in Summit. Its facilities are in the southern part of Summit. Presidential candidate John Edwards visited the firm in May 2007.[148]
  • Whiptail Technologies is a maker of solid state storage appliances.[149]
  • Hibernia Atlantic is headquartered in Summit and is a transatlantic submarine cable network provider.[150]

In popular culture[edit]

In "Mr. Monk and the End", the series finale of the popular cable TV show Monk, the fictional character of Randy Disher reveals he is leaving San Francisco because he has been offered the job as the chief of police of Summit, New Jersey. Additionally, he is also going there to marry his longtime crush, Sharona Fleming.[151] Following this up, in the 2012 novel Mr. Monk on Patrol, Randy has to bring Monk in after a corruption scandal sweeps the Summit government, leading to Randy becoming acting mayor.

Notable people[edit]

Jazz singer Bill Robinson lives in Summit.

Notable current and former residents of Summit include:

Points of interest[edit]

  • Watchung Reservation - Borders Summit to the south
  • Downtown Summit has a variety of restaurants of different cuisines. It even has a Persian restaurant.[227]