Van Vorst Park

From the website Jersey City: Past and Present:

Van Vorst Park is the centerpiece of the downtown Jersey City neighborhood and historic district that bears the same name. Called “one of the most formal of Jersey City’s parks,” it was originally landscaped by a local florist and horticulturist Peter Henderson in 1851. The park has been described as an example of a town square similar to Washington Square Park in lower New York City. Occupying the entire rectangular city block between Montgomery Street, York Street, Jersey Avenue, and Barrow Street, Van Vorst Park is lined with ornate brick and brownstone rowhouses from the late 1800s that showcase a variety of popular Victorian architectural styles.

The park was renovated for $2 million in 1999 through the efforts of an association called the Friends of Van Vorst Park (FVVP).  The park includes a gazebo, viewing fountain, and playground; plantings and trees provide a small verdant oasis along the walking paths. The association renovated the park according to the intended goals of its benefactor Cornelius Van Vorst: a passive, Victorian park at the center of a rapidly growing neighborhood that would honor the centuries the Van Vorst family owned and developed this area, and perhaps he also wanted to honor the soon to vanish open land itself.

For more information, go to the Van Vorst Park Association website.