Parks Committee

Posted in Get Involved

The HPHA Parks Committee’s primary focus since 2006 has been the redesign of Paulus Hook Park. We have, via Resolution from the City, been given permission to fundraise, issue an RFP for design and hire landscape designers to redesign the park. Our three primary objectives are to create a park that:

 •  is a unified design, even though the space is separated by an intersection
 •  is open and welcoming to the public
 •  gives the public a sense of the history of the site as a Revolutionary War fort and battlefield

We have come some distance since 2006. Where from 1985 until 2010 there sat “temporary” classroom trailers and parked cars, there is now a clean slate, ready to create a play area for neighborhood children. On the fundraising front, the committee has written and has been the recipient of grants from the NJ State Historical Trust Fund and Green Acres as well as from corporate and private donors. After a response to the RFP by eight world-renowned designers, and after an extensive interview and vetting process, we selected the team of Clarke Caton Hintz and Thomas Balsley Associates to design Paulus Hook Park. In January we completed the last of three open, public meetings where the general public was asked to comment and suggest elements for the concept plan. We are working closely with the City of Jersey City’s Department of Public Works and Architecture Department to redesign our neighborhood park, and invite you to join the fun!

If you are experienced in fundraising, and would like to get involved in one of the hardest-working and most rewarding committees in the HPHA, please contact Stephanie Daniels, Chair. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Highlights from the 3rd Public Meeting on Paulus Hook Park Redesign

Posted in Get Involved



2014 0109 Paulus Hook Presentation


Clarke Caton Hintz + Thomas Balsey + Hunter Research

Design team present: Jim Welsh, Tom Voyten, and Michael Sullivan

This was the last of three public meetings. So far, they have presented design concepts and the community has been included in the process. At this meeting they presented the schematic design for the park. 

Note: the schematic design is not the final design.

Jim Welsh 

The design team sorted through the community’s priorities and created two concepts in the second meeting. Based on the feedback in the last two meetings, they presented the schematic design.

Following the last meeting, they worked on dealing with these important demands: more open space; show the lighting design; more comfortable seating; less impervious ground; kid safe play areas (with fences); quiet adult spaces; unified around a historic theme; and maintain trees and the current bulletin board.

Schematic Design Presented by Jim Welsh:

Four spaces are considered part of the whole design.

Active spaces will be located in the northeast and southwest corners.

Passive/Adult spaces will be located in the northwest and southeast corners.

Northwest: Seating angled towards a space that could be used as an amphitheater

Northeast: Would be child friendly, with a multi layered concrete piece, and a water fountain. In the last meeting, the big concern was fencing/will the kids be safe? So they have designed a circle in the center of the northeast corner that would be partially surrounded by a fence.

Southeast: A quiet “adult” space; the obelisk  and the bulletin board would be located in this corner.

Southwest: Larger children’s play space that will be very open with different materials on the ground and a lawn out front. Covered with either an open lawn or a synthetic turf (raised open space). Gate can be left open or closed, depending on use and community needs.

Overall: The circle pulls the history of the park together and there is history in tiles surrounding the sidewalk.  The paving inside will be different than the sidewalk- (e.g., different color), but these decisions will be made based on the cost.

Group Work

At this point, the room was split up into three groups so the public could look at the designs in more detail; discuss the design with members of the design team; and provide feedback to the design team.

Feedback included:

  • Concern that the neighborhood’s history was not included enough in the present design. 
  • Lighting could be more “historic.”
  • Concern that the mound was not the best use of the space in the kid’s recreational corner.
  • The design did not include plans for a kiosk.

In Closing

Diane Kaese, President of the HPHA, asked those present in the room to give a show of hands if they were pleased with the design, and the vote was unanimous. Members of the HPHA and other relevant stakeholders accepted the schematic design.

Next Step

The design team will share the current plan with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).


Paulus Hook Park Redesign

Posted in Get Involved

ImagineAPark web-cc815ad733

Paulus Hook Park is situated at the intersection of Grand and Washington Streets, in the oldest historic district of Jersey City. The park currently encompasses four under-utilized and disparate parcels of land at each corner of the intersection. We strive to create a gratifying and inspiring sanctuary by integrating the four corners into a unified urban park. The design will provide areas for creative play, historical appreciation, and educational interaction, in addition to opportunities for passive recreational and leisure activities such as lounging, reading, conversation, games of chess, and reflection.

As the site of the 1779 Revolutionary War Battle of Paulus Hook, the park boasts major historic significance. Its connection to the past is a key component to the reinvention of the park.Photographs from the turn of the century show that Paulus Hook Park has always been a leading community cultural center.The redesign will address the currently ignored historic value of the site through a transformative integration of history, form, and function in the programming and landscaping of the park. It will blend history and play through an accessible, creative, and educational open space for P.S. 16 students and other neighborhood children who visit the park. The park will also gain an amphitheater to promote local culture through film screenings, theater, and musical performances.

There is no better destination than a once forgotten place, re-imagined and reopened to the public. With the goal to fully integrate the park’s history into its design, the Paulus Hook Park redesign will ensure that visitors will seek out the park not only as a respite from their busy urban lives, but also to understand the site’s place in the history of our nation.

Stephanie Daniels, Parks Chairperson