The Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal

The Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal

By Ingfbruno; cropped by Beyond My Ken (talk) 07:31, 18 October 2013 (UTC) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal has a rich history, not only in architecture but also in the history of immigration and the American dream. The terminal was built in 1889, and from 1892 through 1954, this terminal evoked feelings of hope and a new beginning, alongside the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island to the many Europeans and other immigrants who made the journey into the United States. This terminal was where these immigrants bought tickets and boarded trains taking them to their new homes throughout the United States after being processed through Ellis Island.

Throughout its 78 years of operation (operating until April 30, 1967), it also serviced the Central Railroad of New Jersey, as well as, the Reading Railroad, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and the Lehigh Valley Railroad. This terminal was one of five passenger railroad terminals that were on the Hudson Waterfront during the 19th and 20th centuries providing transportation throughout the northeast.

The main building of the terminal is designed in a Richardsonian Romanesque style, which boasts rounded arches and other cylindrical windows that were popular in that style. The facility contains more than a dozen platforms and several ferry slips. Even though many parts of this structure have been removed, there’s a sense of the hustle and bustle this terminal hosted in its heyday.

In more recent history, once the terminal closed down, it has been used for numerous fairs, concerts, and other sponsored community events. It was even used as a location for part of the 1968 movie Funny Girl. It also holds its place in history as being a staging area for dozens of ambulances during the September 11th attacks of 2001. So it’s an understatement to say that this terminal is a historical spot for both good and bad events.

Unfortunately, the terminal was damaged by flooding and other acts of nature during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. There was a lot of plant life that took over the terminal but the restoration efforts cleaned it up and it did reopen to the public in 2016.

The terminal is located in Liberty State Park where you can visit a small museum that is dedicated to the area’s history and can also enjoy a tour and ferry service to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. It also has been listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places since September 12, 1975, and is listed as a New Jersey State Historic Site.

From its beginnings of being the first steps toward the American dream and providing transportation to the population of the northeast, to its current state of being a family-friendly destination, with its ferries and museum, the Central Railroad New Jersey Terminal is a must-see spot for any train enthusiast or tourist. If you ever find yourself in North Jersey or New York City, take the time to visit this unknown piece of history.

6th Apr 2022 Lisa Hall

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