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Re: History of Manila Avenue
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There are still plenty of Filippino people on Manila Avenue, mostly in the "Bayonne" houses. Whenever I walk past I see the families, and I have seen their Christmas greetings hung in Tagalog on banners outside as well. Aside from the projects, those houses that have changed hands are mostly Indian families and young white people (like most of downtown). There are also a bunch in the newer townhouses on 9th and Pavonia.

The real question IMO is how you have those houses on Manila and on the side streets...and then row houses on all the rest of blocks....what was demolished in the 1970s? Does anyone know?

I know they were built for the nurses but no one seems to know what was there before.

Looking back on the uses of Manila...what a waste to have the low rises projects over there. The city could have sold to developers for big bucks and made a lot of necessary traffic and pedestrian improvements in the process all around Manila and Marin.

Posted on: 2013/4/1 19:47
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Re: History of Manila Avenue
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In the 1970s up to the early 1990s various ethnic group would approach city hall officials about renaming various streets. A classic example Jackson Avenue to Martin Luther King Drive, the irony the Jackson Brothers were Africian American merchants but the people who lived there thought it was name after Andrew Jackson. Then Hispanics who lived downtown got Henderson Street, named to Marin Blvd, the street was formerly named in honored of the Henerson Brothers who had a pottery factory. Also one of the brothers was mayor of JC. In the "me too" fashion Filipinos asked that part of Grove Street should be renamed Manila. Also Italians renamed Railroad Avenue Christopher Columbus Street. People became upset and now the city uses "also known as," because the history is being changed. As for the other question, will there be a part 11, the answer is yes. Unfortunately, some of books were destroyed in Sandy. So the research will take a little longer.

Posted on: 2013/4/1 19:18
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Re: History of Manila Avenue
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Why are there so few filipino's living on Manila Ave? My understanding from friends who live on the block is that between the mid-1970s and late 1980s the city orchestrated a number of eminent domain (-like) purchases where the conservative filipino (voting block) resident's homes were demolished and replaced with the projects that currently sit on Manila Ave. Following the purchase and demolition of thier homes by the city, my friends who lived down there moved to closer to West Side Ave & Newark Ave

Posted on: 2013/4/1 18:41
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Re: History of Manila Avenue
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Great video!

Posted on: 2013/3/31 23:33
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Re: History of Manila Avenue
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Yvonne, that's great info on the city's history, is there a part 2?


Posted on: 2013/3/31 13:40
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Re: History of Manila Avenue
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Since the previous writer talks about the old house, I have a picture of it in my history of JC.
https://vimeo.com/26250602

Posted on: 2013/3/31 0:03
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Re: History of Manila Avenue
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Until 1967 one of the oldest structures in JC, the Van Vorst House, stood on the corner of 4th Street and Marin. Technically not where the "Bayonne Houses" are, but across the street in the project. Its a shame that JC didn't have the sense to save this awesome piece of history.
Recently as similar tragedy took place when they tore down the oldest structure in North Bergen for the Tonnele Ave Light Rail parking lot.

Van Vorst House

Posted on: 2013/3/30 20:17
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Re: History of Manila Avenue
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I live in one of the Bayonne-style houses, and the certificate on the first floor says it was constructed in 1976, which is a bit more recent than I would have thought.


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tommyc_37 wrote:
I've always wondered about Manila Avenue's history. From about 8th Street down to the block containing Grove Bicycle and Park & Sixth is in my opinion one of the ugliest stretches in Downtown Jersey City. The housing stock is almost exclusively those strange Bayonne-style houses.

Meanwhile, the blocks surrounding this stretch are mostly filled with historic rowhouses. Does anybody know what was on this stretch of Manila Ave before the 1960s or so (which is when these houses were built, I presume)? Why was it all demolished? I imagine it must have been done by the same homebuilder, as it is obviously reflected in the architectural designs.

Posted on: 2013/3/30 13:35
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Re: History of Manila Avenue
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Although the Wiki article says the buildings were tenements, over the years I've asked several long time residents who all told me the blocks were row houses (originally one family houses) and not tenements (originally walkup multi-family dwellings). I won't vouch for the architectural discernment of the people I asked, but at least four neighbors independently said the same thing.

I think these buildings are our very modest equivalent of Penn Station in that they underscore the importance of historic preservation, as do the horrible little buildings on Jersey across from Key Food.

Posted on: 2013/3/30 12:21
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Re: History of Manila Avenue
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harsimus

In the late 1950s container shipping in Port Newark supplanted railroad ports along waterfront, which by the 1970s were abdondoned, which in turn led to a decline of decline in population and economic activity. Urban renewal projects led to what was called slum clearance of tenements along Grove Street as well as the removal of the PRR elevated rail right of way. Middle, low income, and senior housing projects were developed. A section of Grove Street was renamed Manila Avenue in recognition of the city's resident Overseas Filipino, Henderson Street (renamed Marin Boulevard for the first governor of Puerto Rico Luis Mu?oz Mar?n), to reflect the influx of Puerto Rican and Filipino residents, and Railroad Avenue to now Columbus Drive and acknowledge the still large Italian population.

The renewal did not affect the 19th century blocks which were not demolished. A historic preservation movement and real estate reinvestment led to Harsimus?s designation as a Historic District in 1987.[27] Convenience to mass transit and relatively affordable rents attracted an artistic community, some of whom converted buildings to live/work spaces. Zoning in the form of "WALDO" (or Work and Live District Overlay) were unsuccessful in preserving and stimulating the creation of an arts district within the area where large warehouses still remained, and have given way the Powerhouse Arts District and the construction of residential highrises.

East of the neighborhood, the Lefrak Organization obtained title to most of the disused Erie-Lackawanna land and began the development of Newport, centered around the Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH) Newport Station in the 1980s.[28] To the south, the PRR abbatoir were also acquired.[29] Development plans did not include extending the 19th century urban grid to the waterfront, but the construction of large parking decks at the former and strip mall at the latter. The first segment of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail opened in 2002, including the Harsimus Cove Station nearby the landmark Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Powerhouse.

Posted on: 2013/3/30 5:51
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History of Manila Avenue
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I've always wondered about Manila Avenue's history. From about 8th Street down to the block containing Grove Bicycle and Park & Sixth is in my opinion one of the ugliest stretches in Downtown Jersey City. The housing stock is almost exclusively those strange Bayonne-style houses.

Meanwhile, the blocks surrounding this stretch are mostly filled with historic rowhouses. Does anybody know what was on this stretch of Manila Ave before the 1960s or so (which is when these houses were built, I presume)? Why was it all demolished? I imagine it must have been done by the same homebuilder, as it is obviously reflected in the architectural designs.

Posted on: 2013/3/30 5:13
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