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Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy

Walk the Walkway

September 8, 2019


On a day with sunshine and temperature in the 70’s, 23 walkers including 5 Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy (HRWC) Board members, some very experienced Walk the Walkway walkers, some first time walkers and the Weehawken Historian walked the Walkway along the Weehawken waterfront.  The group gathered at the Sheraton Lincoln Harbor parking lot between 9:00 and 9:30 am.  Walkers came from Garfield, Englewood, Trenton, East Hampton Long Island as well as Weehawken and other communities along the Hudson River.  It is rewarding to see walkers, who don’t live near the river, walk with the HRWC and learn about the Walkway and the wonderful benefit it provides to the general public. As the group gathered they were joined by the Director of the Hudson River Performing Arts Center( HRPAC) who made a donation to the Conservancy.  The HRPAC holds free concerts in Weehawken Park during the summer.

At 9:30, the group gathered water and Walkway maps and headed for Weehawken Cove. Weehawken Cove is the southern border between Weehawken and Hoboken and has an interesting history.  It is one of the places Henry Hudson docked his ships when he explored the Hudson River.  It also was where Todd Shipyards was located in the 1960’s. Today it is being developed by Hoboken into a community center for boating and water sports. Here you can also see evidence of the changes occurring all along the waterfront where former industrial/commercial sites are being converted to residential and retail buildings. The former home of Lipton Tea in Hoboken is now very high-end condos and about 1000 rental units are planned or under construction around Weehawken Cove.

Across the Hudson is the Hudson Yards complex of 5 skyscrapers that have been built over the past three years.

Heading north, the walkers moved through Lincoln Harbor which has been developed by Hartz Mountain Industries.  Originally developed to be a large commercial office complex housing the back office of UBS, much of Lincoln Harbor is now being converted to a residential community with several commercial buildings being converted to residential homes.  The entire waterfront has recognized that waterfront property is more valuable as homes rather than office buildings or other commercial facilities.  To support the new residences, a Whole Foods 365 store recently replaced a commercial parking lot.

Leaving Lincoln Harbor, the group proceeded into Weehawken Park.  The first section of the park was recently rebuilt adding exercise equipment for adults and children. This section of the park is also the site of the HRPAC’s Summer Concerts on the Hudson. The concerts are free and presented by the HRPAC with UBS as the major sponsor.

The middle section of Weehawken Park is under construction and will be completed in the next two years.  A bridge over a sewer outlet will be included to connect the Walkway on the other side of the outlet. The third and largest section of the park includes tennis courts, soccer fields, a little league field and playgrounds.

The group stopped at a historical display and the Weehawken Historian briefed the group on some of the facilities that were in place in the early 1900’s to access parks and entertainment on top of the Palisades cliffs.

The group then detoured onto River Road to bypass the construction site where the additional part of Weehawken Park is under construction.  This section will contain a series of swimming pools for all ages. It should be completed within a year.

The Walkway in the remainder of Weehawken to the north of Weehawken Park and into West New York demonstrates that excellent municipal planning makes integration of conflicting interests possible.  The entire Walkway through the remainder of Weehawken and all of West New York is built in front of high end condominiums.   Weehawken and West New York required the developers to construct the Walkway with a common standard design and required that it be constructed before the condominiums were built.  As a result, the public has had the Walkway to enjoy for many years while the developments are being built.  Henley on Hudson, the first Condominium, has constructed the Walkway in a manner to visibly separate the Walkway from the residential units and provide privacy to the residential units.  The next condominium, the Brownstones, unfortunately have built the Walkway immediately adjacent to the condominium units increasing the conflict between condo owners who want privacy and the public who enjoy the Walkway.

Next the group stopped near the site of the duel in the 1700s between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. The Weehawken Historian described what is known and what is speculation about the duel. While the actual site of the duel is not visible, the group discussed the old protocols for dueling and the dramatic changes that have occurred in the waterfront over the past 350 years.

After the Brownstones, the Walkway proceeds through Pershing Park, a small pocket park where WeeRow, the Weehawken rowing club, launches their “gigs” as described by an HRWC Board member.

The walkers continued to the Weehawken 9/11 Memorial and stopped for a few minutes to pay private respects to those lost in 9/11.

The walk then passed through The Avenue, a series of very high end condominiums being built right across from mid-town Manhattan.  It is rumored that this condo complex is the most expensive condo on a $/sq.ft basis along the entire waterfront. Part of it was constructed by a Chinese company.

The walk then passed the Port Imperial Ferry Terminal where two new hotels have recently opened and into West New York where the walk ended.

The Walkway throughout Weehawken is in excellent condition with no significant maintenance issues and is heavily used for all kinds of outdoor activities by people of all ages.

The next Walk the Walkway will be on Sunday October 6 when the group will meet at the Trader Joe’s parking lot in Edgewater and walk to the northern end of the Walkway in The Colony.

Album of walk


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