• Hoboken #TBT: The Houses of Hudson Street

    As many know {though many don’t}, Hoboken didn’t start developing into the post-industrial port city it is today until after the Civil War ended in 1865. Prior to that the marshy meadow, turtle sanctuary island {yes, Hoboken was once an island!} was a resort oasis for day-trippers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the ever-growing, gritty and crowded city. Once modern industry began to arrive, of course, the newly cobblestoned streets closest to the river along the serpentine rock formation of the great Palisades were snapped up by wealthy industrialists, merchants and of course Stevens Institute for their proximity to the waterfront and primo views of the Hudson and Manhattan to the east. In this Hoboken #TBT installment, we’re exploring the homes on Hudson Street. 

    hudson street hoboken

    As a brief overview back in time, going north on Hudson Street from Hudson Place, the character changed every few blocks in the early 20th Century. At the South end were the German Seamen’s Institute, Eagan School of Business and the Terminal Building, followed by blocks of storefront businesses, banks, theaters, restaurants, hotels, the YMCA and the fire headquarters. In fact, the west side of the block between Newark and 1st still features most of the original commercial buildings from the late 1800s – early 1900s.

    hudson street hoboken

    In the next section from 1st through 4th were more hotels and the boarding house district, a very popular and economical way to live in the New York Metro area basically until the 1950s. Interestingly, historians estimate that in the 19th century, up to 50% of the U.S. population either took in boarders or lived as boarders at some point in their life. At their best, boarding houses offered single working urbanites a safe and clean home with two to three hot meals a day and a built-in sense of community. In New York, there were boarding houses to meet nearly everyone’s needs; Jewish and Quaker boarding houses, boarding houses catering to Chinese, German and Irish immigrants, boarding houses for sailors, medical students and “marriageable women,” single-sex boarding houses, as well as co-ed arrangements. The same is to be said for Hoboken.

    READ: Hoboken #TBT: The Willow Terrace

    Further along, one passes churches, Hudson Square Park, and Stevens. Here the progressively more grand homes are on the west side of the street before arriving at 8th Street and the former stone gate entrance to Castle Point. The street continues uptown with some of the finest limestone and brownstone homes built in the city that rival Europe lining both sides of the street. Elysian Park at 11th Street marks the corner where River Road joins it, along the old rails of the Hoboken Manufacturers Railroad {now essentially Sinatra Drive}.

    hudson street hoboken

    From there, Hudson Street changed its profile again and developed into an increasingly industrial stretch on the east side up to 14th street with shipyards, lumberyards and warehouses including Lipton Tea Building capping off the town at 15th Street.

    Just past the southern-most port terminal area, the residential gems begin to pop up on 2nd Street with the 500 – 900 blocks being particularly special. Judging from the listed dates and census information, Hoboken was on the population and economic upswing from 1870 – 1920 and a majority of the featured homes here were built in 1901 – apparently a booming year. We can’t attest to the state of the interiors but from south to north our favorites for your exterior Peeping Tom pleasure are:

    218 Hudson – 1858, Condos

    422 Hudson – 1901, Condos

    504 Hudson – 1901, Single Family Home with Carriage House Garage/Studio

    518 Hudson– No Date, Mystery Rental Building

    526 Hudson – 1901, Single Family Home

    618 Hudson – 1901, Single Family

    632 Hudson – 1870, Single Family

    634 Hudson – 1901, Single Family

    638 Hudson– 1883, Single Family with Carriage House, Full Gilded Age Restoration, For Sale

    722 Hudson – No Date, Single Family/Condos & Commercial, Unusual 28’ Width, and Copper Mansard Roof

    724 Hudson – 1880, Condos

    732 Hudson – 1870, Condos, Writer’s Personal Favorite

    802 Hudson – 1880, Single Family

    809 Hudson – 1901, Single Family

    820 Hudson – 1901, Condo, Former Abbey

    822 Hudson – 1876, Condo

    900 Hudson – 1880, Condo

    916 Hudson – 1860, Condo, Former Rectory

    925 Hudson – 1901, Condo

    928 Hudson – 1870, Single Family

    933 Hudson – 1901, Condos, Former Private Hospital

    1016 Hudson – 1901, Condos

    hudson street hoboken

    What’s your favorite home on Hudson Street? Do you live in any of these historic buildings? Share with us in the comments below!

    See More: A Hoboken Legend: Dorothea Lange {American Documentary Photographer}

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    Written by:

    Kate Cummings of Freestyle Restyle is a local interior designer specializing in affordable design therapy and decorative solutions for home and office, a history nerd, and rescue dog mama to Special Jonesy Brown. When not at her studio in town or walking from end-to-end checking out favorite buildings, you can find her hiking the mountains and howling at the moon in the Catskills region of the Hudson Valley.


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