Weequahic, Newark, New Jersey


Weequahic, Newark, New Jersey

Weequahic (pronounced wikʷe:ɪk, though many locals say wi:kweɪk) is a residential neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey's South Ward. It is separated from Clinton Hill by Hawthorne Avenue on the north, and bordered by the city of Irvington on the west, Newark Liberty International Airport on the east, and the city of Elizabeth on the south.

The name "Weequahic" is from the Lenni-Lenape Native American for "head of the cove" [ [http://www.essex-countynj.org/index.php?section=dept/p/we County of Essex: Weequahic Park] , accessed September 21, 2006] . The area was farmland until the late nineteenth century when it was developed into a middle-class, non-industrial neighborhood of detached single-family homes oriented around Weequahic Park.

Weequahic was largely a middle class Jewish neighborhood prior to the 1960s, home to many synagogues, yeshivas, and Jewish restaurants. The tallest building on Newark's South Side, Newark Beth Israel hospital, was built under auspices of the Jewish community. Author Philip Roth grew up in Weequahic, graduated from Weequahic High School in 1950, and many of his novels are set there.

Nationally, Jewish neighborhoods tended to have short life spansFact|date=April 2008 and Weequahic was no exception. The post-World War II growth of suburbs and Northern migration of African Americans altered the demographic make-up of Newark in general and the Weequahic section in particular. The neighborhood might have stayed middle class if not for the devastating effects of real estate blockbusting and the construction of Interstate 78. I-78 tore Weequahic's fragile urban fabric and separated the neighborhood from the rest of Newark. The 1967 Newark riots were also devastating to the district. The Weequahic district also experienced white flight, though the focal point of the riots was in the Central Ward. [Dolan, Thomas. [http://www.newarkmetro.rutgers.edu/reports/display.php?id=17&page=2 "Newark and Its Gateway Complex"] , Rutgers-Newark. Accessed October 6, 2007.]

The jewel of the neighborhood is the 311 acre (1.3 km²) Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Weequahic Park. This lovely park has a 2.2 mile rubberized jogging path around its 80 acre (324,000 m²) lake, and the oldest public golf course in the United States.

Part of the Weequahic neighborhood has been designated a historic district. The neighborhood's major streets are Lyons Avenue, Bergen Street, and [http://www.newarkhistory.com/chancellorave.html Chancellor Avenue] .

There is a [http://www.npl.org/Pages/Branches/Weequahic/Weequahic.html Weequahic branch] of the Newark Public Library.

References

External links

* [http://www.newarkhistory.com Newark history]


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