Ten Historic Sites in Jersey City


Jersey City is filled with vibrant culture from local businesses, nonprofit organizations, food, and most importantly, its people. This city we call home also has an incredible history you can explore by visiting historical sites. So, get ready to uncover captivating stories at its historic sites, immersing yourself in the city’s industrial revolution days and the tales of immigrants who made it their home. Enjoy the ten historic sites listed below for you! 

Barrow Mansion – 83 Wayne Street 

The historic Barrow Mansion tells the story of multiple generations who came to Jersey City in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to better their lives. You can learn more about the Barrow Mansion by booking a tour. Historical tours of the Barrow Mansion are given by appointment on the first Saturday of the month. They also host events, so check out their list of upcoming events here


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Colgate Clock – 100 Hudson St. 

The Colgate Clock is one of the world’s largest clocks and an iconic symbol in Jersey City. It was erected in 1924 and served as a sign for the Colgate-Palmolive Company to advertise its products. It holds a historical significance to Jersey City’s industrial past by being one of the major employers during the 20th century. 


Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal – 1 Audrey Zapp Dr.

The Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal, also known as the Communipaw Terminal and Jersey City Terminal, dates back to 1889 and is a local landmark and a historic site. It played a significant role in transporting immigrants arriving at Ellis Island. It accommodated 30,000-50,000 people daily on 128 ferry runs and 300 trains. Read more about the history here


Ellis Island – Access from Liberty State Park Ferry Terminal 

Part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, Ellis Island served as the central immigration station for millions of immigrants entering the United States between 1892 and 1954. We are so lucky to access this historic site easily by taking a ferry from Liberty State Park. You can spend an entire day here reading about the stories of immigrants and immersing yourself in the early 1900s.  


Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Powerhouse – 130 Bay St. 

The Powerhouse, constructed from 1906 to 1908, holds significant historical value and is a registered site on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1999, a dedicated group of civic activists took a stand against the planned demolition of the Powerhouse by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, along with the Jersey City government, to preserve the Powerhouse due to its architectural and industrial significance. It played a vital role in Jersey City’s transportation history by housing massive generators that supplied electric power for the railroad’s operations, including the subway tunnels that connected Jersey City with Manhattan. 


Landmark Loew’s Jersey City Theatre – 54 Journal Square Plaza

Located in Journal Square, this historic theatre was built in 1929. When it opened, it was called the “most lavish template of entertainment in New Jersey.” It was popular during the early 20th century and still holds its popularity until this day. The venue is home to live performances, film screenings, and community and cultural events. 


Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery – 435 Newark Ave. 

Harsimus Cemetery was established in 1829 and was the final resting place for many individuals, including veterans of various wars. The cemetery collaborates with local groups to organize events throughout the year, which help raise funds for maintaining the grounds and caretaker facilities. 


Museum of Jersey City History at the Van Wagenen (Apple Tree) House – 298 Academy Street 

The Van Wagenen House is the oldest in Jersey City. It is also known as the Apple Tree House and is a National Historic Landmark. This historical site features free humanities lectures, history exhibitions, heritage celebrations and special events. For more information and to book a public tour, click here


Old Bergen Church – 1 Highland Ave

The Old Bergen Church, established in 1660, holds the distinction of being New Jersey’s oldest continuous religious congregation. It serves as the resting place for members of the Dutch Reformed Church. Added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 14, 1973, the church’s original building dates back to 1680, while the current structure was erected in 1841.


The Empty Sky MemorialLiberty State Park, 1 Audrey Zapp Drive

Located in Liberty State Park, the Empty Sky Memorial is dedicated to New Jersey’s 749 innocent loved ones who were violently and senselessly murdered that day at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Shanksville, PA. The walls channel visitors to the location in the Manhattan skyline where the former World Trade Center towers once stood. The length of each wall is equal to one side of the former World Trade Center Towers as the height reflects the proportion of the former buildings if they were lying on their side. 


Interested in Learning More?

Jersey City’s Landmarks Conservancy holds walking and bus tours to share the history of Jersey City with visitors and residents. This incredible organization has advocated for landmark preservation at the local and state levels. Partnering with neighborhood associations, students, artists, churches, and individuals and organizations throughout our diverse city, the team continues to create change to preserve the history of Jersey City. Visit their website to learn more and learn how you can get involved! 

Arati Patel
Author: Arati Patel

Arati is a professional immersed in the environmental and animal welfare field. In her free time, she enjoys walking and spending time with shelter dogs, exploring the outdoors, and always ready to find a new coffee shop. A born and raised Jersey City local, she considers herself a life-long learner who is ready to write and craft inspiring stories to share with everyone!