Paulus Hook Landmarks

Paulus Hook Landmarks


The Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Parish, Jersey City, New Jersey, was founded on March 25, 1907, by immigrants from the Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires, as a community of the North American Ecclesiastical Mission. It was organized under the pastoral guidance of the Archpriest Alexander Hotovitsky, who was canonized in 1994, as Missionary to North America and New-Martyr of Russia. The temple in which the parish worships today was consecrated on September 3, 1908, by Most Reverend PLATON (Rozhdestvensky), Archbishop of North America and the Aleutian Islands, later Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church of North America.


The Jersey City Main Post Office (Zip Code 07302), located at 69 Montgomery Street, was built in 1911 and dedicated on November 7, 1913. It was rededicated for former US Representative Frank J. Guarini on June 16, 2008. Guarini, a native of Jersey City, fought in World War II as a Navy Reserve lieutenant aboard the USS Mount McKinley, and served in the New Jersey Senate from 1965 to 1972 and in Congress from 1979 to 1983.

The two-story Neo-Classical Italian Renaissance structure was built by the Hedden Construction Company. The exterior walls are made of Mt. Waldo granite. The Washington Street facade has fluted Corinthian columns and carved capitals flanked by piers with Corinthian style pilasters. The roof is made of copper and the exterior window and door frames are of cast bronze and bronze-covered wood, iron, and steel. The public lobbies are decorated in Kingwood sandstone and Botticine marble, and the ceiling of the main corridor on the first floor is decorated in solid gold leaf.

New Jersey State Register (1986)

Paulus Hook Historic District New Jersey State Register (1981)

Paulus Hook Historic District National Register #82003276 (1982) 


The Colgate Clock is an octagonal clock in Jersey City, promoted as being the largest clock in the entire world. It is situated in front of the site of the former headquarters of consumer products conglomerate Colgate-Palmolive, which until the 1980s was based out of Jersey City. It is fifty feet in diameter, faces the Hudson River, and is clearly visible from Manhattan's west side.

The current Colgate Clock was built in 1924 to replace an earlier, smaller clock designed by Colgate engineer Warren Day and constructed by the Seth Thomas Clock Company for the centennial of the Colgate Company in 1906. That clock, second only in size to its replacement, was relocated to a Colgate factory in Clarksville, Indiana.

As of 2005, the Colgate Clock stands on an otherwise empty lot; all of the other old buildings in the complex were razed in 1985, when Colgate left New Jersey. There are currently plans to move the clock, 100 meters away from the Goldman Sachs Tower, in order to use the lot it stands upon for other purposes. The construction of that Tower in the early 20004 forced a minor relocation southward to its current location, and a significant reduction in the size of the Colgate advertisement attached to it.


The Whittier House, at 174-178 Grand Street, was once a settlement house founded by Cornelia Foster Bradford during the Progressive Era. Modeled closely on Chicago's Hull House settlement, it served Jersey City's immigrant poor from its founding in December 1893 through the Great Depression. The Boys and Girls Club of Jersey City traces its origins in part to Whittier House.

The oldest part of the building was constructed in 1862 as the residence of William Clarke, a mayor of Jersey City (1869-1870), and was known as the Clarke Mansion. In 1898, a new building was constructed next to the 1862 structure and served as a gymnasium; together they were called Whittier House.

Paulus Hook Historic District New Jersey State Register (1981)

Paulus Hook Historic District National Register #82003276 (1982) 


George Washington's "Flying Camp" was situated here in Paulus Hook in 1776. It also later served as the point of a key battle in the Revolutionary War, for which this monument was erected in 1903. It was originally located in the middle of Grand and Washington Street until falling over after repeatedly being hit by trucks.

In 1776, the patriot colonists decided to defend the western banks of the Hudson and built several forts, one of which was located at Paulus Hook. After suffering defeats in New York City, the rebels took leave of Paulus Hook and the British occupied it. The fort was naturally a strong position that guarded the gateway to New Jersey. In mid-summer 1779, the flamboyant 23-year old Princeton graduate, Major Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee recommended to General George Washington a daring "hit and run" plan to attack the fort. The assault was planned to begin shortly after mid-night on August 19. Lee led a force of about 300 men, some of who got lost during the march, through the swampy, marsh, land. The attack was late in getting started but the main contingent of the force was able to reach the fort's gate without being challenged. It is believed that the British thought that the force they saw approaching the fort was the return of an ally Hessian patrol. The attacking patriots were unable to use their muskets effectively since their gunpowder had gotten wet. So, they were ordered by Lee to fix bayonets. They succeeded in damaging the fort and took 158 prisoners. But, they were unable to destroy the fort and spike all its cannons. As daytime arrived, Lee decided that prudent action demanded that the patriots withdraw before the British forces from New York could cross the river. The importance of the battle rests on the fact that it forced the British to abandon their plans for taking rebel positions in the New York area. Paulus Hook remained in British hands until after the war. On November 22, 1783, the British evacuated Paulus Hook and sailed home. "Light Horse Harry" Lee settled in Virginia, to become one of the Commonwealth's early governors. He died in 1818. Perhaps, he is best remembered for being the father of the Robert E. Lee, the Confederate Civil War general.

Paulus Hook Historic District New Jersey State Register (1981)

Paulus Hook Historic District National Register #82003276 (1982) 


Morris Canal, sitting at the Essex Street station of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail in the shadow of the Colgate Clock on corner of Hudson Street and Essex Street, was executed in 1999 by William Dean Kilpatrick at the commission of New Jersey Transit. The eight foot grouping is an homage to the canal. It depicts a captain guiding his flat-bottom boat with one hand on the helm the other enfolding two passengers, representing a slave family escaping across the State of New Jersey via the Underground Railroad.

The Morris Canal was conceived in 1822 by Morristown businessman, George P. McCullough. Rising a total of 914 feet through a series of locks and inclined planes, the canal would span a distance of 102 miles, crossing the state of New Jersey from the Hudson River at Jersey City to the Delaware River at Phillipsburg To achieve the severe elevation changes, a series of 23 "water powered" inclined planes were used. The canal facilitated the transportation of anthracite coal from Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley to northern New Jersey's growing iron industry and other developing industries in New Jersey and the New York City area. It also carried iron ore westward to iron furnaces in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, until the development of Great Lakes iron ore caused them to decline. Stories were told of its use as part of the Underground Railroad during the civil War era. In 1845, section boats were added to increase tonnage capacity. In the 1850s, the canal began to be eclipsed by the construction of railroads, although it remained in heavy use throughout the 1860s. It was leased to the Lehigh Valley Railroad in 1871, taken over by the state of New Jersey late in 1922, and formally abandoned in 1924. Although it was largely dismantled in the following five years, portions of the canal and its accompanying feeders and ponds are preserved in places across northern New Jersey. 


The Hudson County Korean War Memorial, located at the Morris Canal Section of Liberty State Park, also referred to as Colgate Park or Veterans Park, was erected in 2001. The winning design for the memorial structure and sculpture was the product of a competition initiated in Stevens Institute of Technology's Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering, supervised by Dr. Siva Thangam and Dr. Henry Dobbelaar, Jr.

The monument is contained by two semi-circular walls, within which stand three obelisks, each supporting a flagstaff. At the center of the display is a sculpture on a block pedestal with circular plinth, representing two soldiers in combat gear, one injured and the other supporting him. It also lists the following casualty figures: "54,000 Dead . 103,000 Wounded . 8,110 POWs." An honor roll of the 127 Hudson County residents who died in the war appears as a central feature of the memorial. 


The Provident Savings Institution of Jersey City Building, at 239 Washington Street, was built in 1890. When it first opened, it was also the temporary site of the beginnings of the Jersey City Free Public Library until its present building on Jersey Avenue was constructed.

The Provident Savings Institution was the first bank in Jersey City and Hudson County and is New Jersey's oldest mutual savings bank. It was granted a charter in 1839 but didn't begin to conduct business until 1843, when,under the leadership of Dudley S. Gregory, it opened in a room in the Temperance Hall, at Washington and York streets. In 1846, they moved operations to the office of its treasurer Peter Bentley at 23 Montgomery Street for daytime transactions and to the Mechanics and Traders Bank providing evening hours. In 1853 the Provident and the Mechanics and Traders Bank shared a new building at the southwest corner of Plymouth and Washington streets. During the Civil War era, the Provident again shared a building with the Mechanics and Traders Bank, now called the First National Bank, on the corner of Hudson Street and Exchange Place. The Provident took over the building and formally referred to itself as "The Beehive Bank" and then "The Old Beehive."

Today, Provident Bank has commercial and retail branches in several other New Jersey communities and counties. In 2004, Provident's parent company Provident Financial Services Inc. received approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to merge with First Sentinel Bancorp Inc., making it New Jersey's eighth-largest bank.

Paulus Hook Historic District New Jersey State Register (1981)

Paulus Hook Historic District National Register #82003276 (1982) 

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