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Glen Ridge, New Jersey

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Glen Ridge, New Jersey
Borough of Glen Ridge
Map of Glen Ridge in Essex County. Inset: Essex County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Glen Ridge, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40.804798°N 74.204569°WCoordinates40.804798°N 74.204569°W[1][2]
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Essex
Incorporated February 13, 1895
 • Type Borough
 • Mayor Peter A. Hughes (term ends December 31, 2015)[3]
 • Administrator /Clerk Michael Rohal[4]
 • Total 1.287 sq mi (3.332 km2)
 • Land 1.282 sq mi (3.320 km2)
 • Water 0.005 sq mi (0.012 km2)  0.36%
Area rank 475th of 566 in state
21st of 22 in county[2]
Elevation[6] 197 ft (60 m)
Population (2010 Census)[7][8][9]
 • Total 7,527
 • Estimate (2012[10]) 7,594
 • Rank 305th of 566 in state
18th of 22 in county[11]
 • Density 5,872.8/sq mi (2,267.5/km2)
 • Density rank 87th of 566 in state
11th of 22 in county[11]
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP code 07028[12][13]
Area code(s) 973[14]
FIPS code 3401326610[15][2][16]
GNIS feature ID 2390559[17][2]

Glen Ridge is a borough in Essex CountyNew Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 7,527,[7][8][9] reflecting an increase of 256 (+3.5%) from the 7,271 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 195 (+2.8%) from the 7,076 counted in the 1990 Census.[18]

Glen Ridge was incorporated as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 13, 1895, from portions of Bloomfield Township, based on the results of a referendum held the previous day.[19] In 1981, the official name was changed to the "Township of Glen Ridge Borough" to take advantage of federal revenue sharing policies.[20] Effective May 1993, the borough's original name of "Glen Ridge Borough" was restored.[21]

Of the many legacies left to the town by its founders, the one that has become its trademark is the gas lamps. With only 3,000 gaslightsremaining in operation in the entire United States, Glen Ridge has 665 such lamps lighting its streets.[22] In 1924, Glen Ridge became the first municipality in New Jersey to establish a zoningordinance.[23]

In 2010, Glen Ridge was ranked as the 38th Best Place to live by New Jersey Monthlymagazine.[24]



Glen Ridge is located at 40°48′17″N 74°12′16″W(40.804798,-74.204569). According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 1.287 square miles (3.332 km2), of which, 1.282 square miles (3.320 km2) of it was land and 0.005 square miles (0.012 km2) of it (0.36%) was water.[1][2] It is bounded by BloomfieldMontclairand East Orange.

Glen Ridge is a maximum of six blocks wide and in "the Panhandle" north of Bay Avenue it is only three or two blocks wide.[25]


Glen Ridge has a temperate climate, with warm / hot humid summers and cool / cold winters, according to the Köppen climate classification humid subtropical climate. The town gets an average of 49 inches of rain per year and 20 inches of snowfall, compared to the US averages of 37 and 25 inches. Glen Ridge has 124 days of measurable precipitation a year.

There are typically about 205 sunny days per year in Glen Ridge. The temperature ranges from a high around 86 degrees in July and a low around 21 degrees in January. The comfort index for the town is 47 out of 100, compared to a national average of 44 (with higher numbers being more comfortable).[26]


Historical populations
Census Pop.  
1900 1,960  
1910 3,260   66.3%
1920 4,620   41.7%
1930 7,365   59.4%
1940 7,331   −0.5%
1950 7,620   3.9%
1960 8,322   9.2%
1970 8,518   2.4%
1980 7,855   −7.8%
1990 7,076   −9.9%
2000 7,271   2.8%
2010 7,527   3.5%
Est. 2012 7,594 [10] 0.9%
Population sources: 1900-1920[27]
1900-1910[28] 1910-1930[29]
1930-1990[30] 2000[31][32] 2010[7][8][9]

2010 Census[edit]

At the 2010 United States Census, there were 7,527 people, 2,476 households, and 2,033 families residing in the borough. Thepopulation density was 5,872.8 inhabitants per square mile (2,267.5 /km2). There were 2,541 housing units at an average density of 1,982.6 per square mile (765.5 /km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 86.21% (6,489) White, 5.04% (379) Black or African American, 0.04% (3) Native American, 4.65% (350) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 1.37% (103) from other races, and 2.70% (203) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.01% (377) of the population.[7]

There were 2,476 households of which 49.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.9% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.9% were non-families. 14.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.03 and the average family size was 3.39.[7]

In the borough, 32.2% of the population were under the age of 18, 4.7% from 18 to 24, 22.3% from 25 to 44, 31.2% from 45 to 64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.2 years. For every 100 females there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.0 males.[7]

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $160,511 (with a margin of error of +/- $11,073) and the median family income was $173,466 (+/- $25,554). Males had a median income of $111,968 (+/- $11,975) versus $85,938 (+/- $24,626) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $64,222 (+/- $8,487). About 1.1% of families and 2.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.9% of those under age 18 and 0.0% of those age 65 or over.[33]

2000 Census[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census[15] there were 7,271 people, 2,458 households, and 1,978 families residing in the borough. The population density was 5,695.0 people per square mile (2,193.2/km2). There were 2,490 housing units at an average density of 1,950.3 per square mile (751.1/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 89.18% White, 4.98% African American, 0.15% Native American, 3.34% Asian, 0.99% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.45% of the population.[31][32]

There were 2,458 households out of which 46.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.9% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.5% were non-families. 16.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.95 and the average family size was 3.33.[31][32]

In the borough, the population was spread out with 30.7% under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 24.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.3 males.[31][32]

The median income for a household in the borough was $105,638, and the median income for a family was $120,650. Males had a median income of $91,161 versus $51,444 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $48,456. About 1.9% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.3% of those under age 18 and 4.1% of those age 65 or over.[31][32]


Local government[edit]

Glen Ridge is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The government consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at large. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year.[5]

As of 2012, the mayor of Glen Ridge is Peter A. Hughes, whose term of office ends December 31, 2015. Members of the borough council (with their term-end year and committee chairmanship listed in parentheses) are Council President Stuart K. Patrick (2013; Finance & Administration), Elizabeth K. Baker (2015; Planning & Development), Arthur D. Dawson (2014; Public Works), David Lefkovits (2013; Community Affairs and Public Relations), Paul A. Lisovicz (2015; Public Safety) and Jeffrey Theodorou (2014; Parks and Recreation).[34][35]

The Glen Ridge Civic Conference Committee, established in 1913, is made up of delegates from the community and from local civic organizations, provides a non-partisan method of candidate selection for Borough elections. The CCC endorsement is very significant; in most elections, the CCC's candidates are unopposed. The eight organizations currently sending delegates to the CCC are: The Democratic Club, Freeman Gardens Association, Friends of the Glen Ridge Library, The Glen Ridge Historical Society, The Northside Association, The Republican Club, The Golden Circle, The South End Association and the Women's Club of Glen Ridge.[36]

Glen Ridge Borough Hall in autumn

In recent years, the CCC has been weakened both by changing attitudes in the borough, the actions of a number of community residents, and internal conflicts within the CCC itself. Mayor Carl Bergmanson was the first mayor since the establishment of the CCC to be elected without seeking (or receiving) the Committee's endorsement. A member of the council for three terms, he ran for mayor in 1999, losing to the CCC candidate Steven Plate. When Plate was selected as the CCC candidate again in 2003 (contradicting the committee's precedent of one term per mayor), Bergmanson ran again, and won, gaining the majority in all but one of the town's districts. However, the CCC is still firmly in control of the town's political structure - all 16 of the elected officials currently serving Glen Ridge were nominated by the CCC. Generally, when non-CCC candidates run, they run as independents. The Democratic and Republican parties are not forces in local elections.

Federal, state and county representation[edit]

Glen Ridge is located in the 10th Congressional District[37] and is part of New Jersey's 28th state legislative district.[8][38][39] Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Glen Ridge had been in the 34th state legislative district.[40] Prior to the 2010 Census, Glen Ridge 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.[40]

New Jersey's Tenth Congressional District is represented by Donald Payne, Jr. (DNewark).[41]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)[42][43] andBob Menendez (D, North Bergen).[44][45]

The 28th District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Ronald Rice(DNewark) and in the General Assembly by Ralph R. Caputo (D, Belleville) and Cleopatra Tucker(D, Newark).[46] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (RMendham Township).[47] TheLieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[48]

Essex County is governed by a directly-elected County Executive, with legislative functions performed by the Board of Chosen Freeholders.[49] As of 2013, the County Executive is Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.[50] The county's Board of Chosen Freeholders consists of nine members, four elected on an at-large basis and one from each of five wards, who serve three-year terms of office on a concurrent basis, all of which end in 2014.[49][51][52] Essex County's Freeholders are Freeholder President Blonnie R. Watson (at large; Newark)[53], Freeholder Vice President Patricia Sebold (at large; Livingston)[54], Rufus I. Johnson (at large; Newark)[55], Gerald M. Owens (At large; South Orange, filling the vacant seat after the resignation of Donald Payne, Jr.)[56] Rolando Bobadilla (District 1 - Newark's North and East Wards, parts of Central and West Wards; Newark)[57], D. Bilal Beasley (District 2 - IrvingtonMaplewood and Newark's South Ward and parts of West Ward; Irvington)[58], Carol Y. Clark (District 3 - East Orange, Newark's West and Central Wards, Orange and South Orange; East Orange)[59] and Leonard M. Luciano (District 4 - Caldwell,Cedar GroveEssex FellsFairfieldLivingstonMillburnNorth CaldwellRoselandVeronaWest Caldwell and West Orange; West Caldwell),[60] and Brendan W. Gill (District 5 - Belleville,BloomfieldGlen RidgeMontclair and Nutley; Montclair).[61][62][63] Constitutional elected countywide are County Clerk Christopher J. Durkin (West Caldwell, 2015),[64] Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura (2015)[65] and Surrogate Thomas N. Stephen, II (2016).[66][51][67]


As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 5,169 registered voters in Glen Ridge, of which 2,135 (41.3%) were registered as Democrats, 993 (19.2%) were registered as Republicans and 2,037 (39.4%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 4 voters registered to other parties.[68]

In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 62.9% of the vote here (2,583 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 35.2% (1,444 votes) and other candidates with 0.8% (33 votes), among the 4,104 ballots cast by the borough's 5,185 registered voters, for a turnout of 79.2%.[69] In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 59.1% of the vote here (2,381 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 39.9% (1,608 votes) and other candidates with 0.7% (35 votes), among the 4,031 ballots cast by the borough's 4,967 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 81.2.[70]

In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 51.0% of the vote here (1,388 ballots cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 39.3% (1,071 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 8.5% (231 votes) and other candidates with 0.7% (19 votes), among the 2,722 ballots cast by the borough's 5,144 registered voters, yielding a 52.9% turnout.[71]


Glen Ridge traces its beginning to 1666 when 64 Connecticut families led by Robert Treat bought land from the Lenni Lenape Native Americans and named it New Ark to reflect a covenant to worship freely without persecution. The territory included the future towns of BloomfieldMontclair,Belleville and Nutley. When Bloomfield was established in 1812, Glen Ridge was a section "on the hill" composed mostly of farms and woodlands with the exception of a thriving industrial area along the Toney's brook in the Glen. For most of the nineteenth century, three water-powered mills produced lumber, calico, pasteboard boxes and brass fittings. A copper mine and a sandstonequarry were nearby.

Toney's Brook

With the arrival of the Newark and Bloomfield Railroadin 1856, and the construction of the Glen Ridge Train Station, and also the New York and Greenwood Lake Railway in 1872, Glen Ridge began its transition to a suburban residential community. Stately homes slowly replaced orchards and wooded fields.

In 1891 Mountainside Hospital, a local hospital with more than 300 beds, was founded.

Residents "on the hill" became unhappy with their representation on the Bloomfield Council. In spite of repeated requests to Bloomfield officials, roads remained unpaved, water and sewer systems were nonexistent, and schools were miles away. Area residents marked out the boundaries of a 1.45-square-mile (3.8 km2) area to secede from the adjoining town. At the election held on February 12, 1895, the decision to secede passed by only 23 votes. Robert Rudd was elected the first mayor of Glen Ridge.[72]

In 1989, athletes from the high school were involved in the sexual assault of a mentally handicapped student. Three teenagers were found guilty of first-degree aggravated sexual assault; a fourth was convicted of third-degree conspiracy.[73] Author Bernard Lefkowitz wrote about the incident in the 1997 book Our Guys: The Glen Ridge Rape and the Secret Life of the Perfect Suburb.[74] Lefkowitz's book was adapted into the 1999 TV movie Our Guys: Outrage at Glen Ridge.[75]


Ridgewood Avenue school

The Glen Ridge Public Schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. Schools in the district (with 2010-11 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[76]) are Forest Avenue School[77] (PreK-2; 273), Linden Avenue School[78](grades PreK-2; 251 students), Ridgewood Avenue School[79] (3-6; 568) and Glen Ridge High School[80] (7-12; 8051).[81]

The high school was the 12th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 328 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2012 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", after being ranked 4th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[82]

Christ Church Episcopal


The median price for a house in Glen Ridge was $260,900, which was double the national average. Out of the 2,549 houses in the borough, 84.7% of them were single units (detached) and had a median of 7.7 rooms. Glen Ridge is known for its old town charm, with 72.8% of its houses having been built before 1939.[83] In 1895, when the town was chartered, Glen Ridge became one of the first communities to hire a town planner which caused the town to have late Victorian and Edwardian elements. The pristine condition of the town is due to the building codes that were established, the creation of the Building Department which included a Building Inspector, and a zoning ordinance (the first in the state of New Jersey).[84]

The architecture of the town makes Glen Ridge very unique since there are houses representing every major style from the mid-nineteenth century onward. Some of the architecture styles witnessed include the Carpenter Gothic, the Medieval, the High Victorian Period, the “Queen Anne Cottage”, and American Georgian. Notable architects that have left their legacy in the town include Frank Lloyd Wright, Stanford White, and John Russell Pope. To maintain the historical feel of the town and protect the architectural features, the town has created a Historic Preservation Commission which reviews construction on houses in the historic district.[84]


Glen Ridge is located conveniently in an area where various modes of transportation exist. Approximately half of the residents in Glen Ridge own two or more cars[83] which allows them to access the New Jersey TurnpikeNewark Airport, the George Washington Bridge, and the Lincolnand Holland Tunnels through major roads such as Interstate 80Interstate 280, the Garden State ParkwayU.S. Route 46Route 3 and Route 21.

New Jersey Transit provides bus service to Newark on the 1128 and 29.[85] Buses from DeCamp Bus Lines run to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan.

Commuters can also take trains from the Glen Ridge[86] station (formerly named Ridgewood Avenue), where NJ Transit provides service to Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan and to Hoboken Terminal via the Montclair-Boonton Line.[87]

The town also has a jitney service which provides transportation to and from the Glen Ridge Station for commuters.[88] The Freeman Parkway Bridge crosses over the railroad.

Notable people[edit]

Notable current and former residents of Glen Ridge include: