Weekend Walks: A Photographic Tour of Downtown Hoboken


Weekend Walks is our weekend column where we explore the photographic beauty of various neighborhoods through the lenses of history, architecture and commerce.

downtown hoboken photo tour brownstones leadWhile Hoboken’s admittedly beautiful waterfront may get all the press, much history lies around those shiny high rises and in some cases, it’s right in front of it.

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Pier A Park

Pier A, now a park, was once used during World War I to ship doughboys off to Europe. The hope for a speedy return led to a quote from General John Pershing that stated American soldier’s fates would be in “heaven, hell or Hoboken, by Christmas.”

Pier C Park hoboken love locks
Love Locks at Pier C Park

Just north, a newer park named Pier C has a section that’s been taken over by lovelocks. No one quite knows exactly how it started or who initiated it, but they keep popping up despite the city occasionally removing them, perhaps proving that you really can’t stop love.

Frank Sinatra Park hoboken birthplace
Frank Sinatra Park, Blue Eyes Cafe, Sinatra’s Birthplace

If you don’t know that Frank Sinatra was born here, you must be new in town. The best spot bearing him namesake is Sinatra Park, which sports a soccer field and a restaurant, appropriately named Blue Eyes Cafe. Fans can also stop by 415 Monroe Street and see his birthplace (it’s even currently for sale).

DeBaun Auditorium hoboken photo tour
DeBaun Auditorium at Stevens Institute of Technology

While Sinatra may be Hoboken’s most famous son, inventor John Stevens has him beat in terms of architectural influence. The technology institute bearing his name is filled with century-old structures, including a gatehouse that resembles a castle.

stevens institute of technology hoboken gatehouse
Gatehouse at Stevens Institute of Technology

While new construction in the city has been significant, Hoboken’s housing stock is still brownstone-heavy, with some adaptively reused factories and industrial spaces as well, like a former Keuffler & Essel factory.

Keuffler Essel Factory hoboken photos
Keuffler & Essel Factory

hoboken townhouses

hoboken apartments for rent

hoboken real estate for saleThe city has been home to many different ethnicities over the years. The early 20th century saw many German families settle in the city, while many Italian and Irish families followed during the World Wars. Post WWII, Cubans, and Puerto Ricans became increasing prominent, a history that is noted on the city’s 150th-anniversary mural.

hobokens 150th anniversary mural
Hoboken’s 150th-Anniversary Mural

All those groups have contributed to the greater culture of the city, which includes everything from Fiore’s Deli (in business since 1913) to even a live poultry market.

Fiores Deli hoboken restaurants
Fiore’s Deli
the cuban hoboken new jersey restaurants
The Cuban
willie mcbrides hoboken irish bar
Willie McBride’s
mis suenos hoboken chicken shop
Mis Suenos

One can’t forget Hoboken’s west side, which has landmarks like St. Ann Church, host of the city’s Italian festival each year. It also features a growing number of art galleries and even sports a community garden.

St Anns Church hoboken
St Ann’s Church
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Barsky Gallery

art galleries hoboken

hoboken community garden
Jackson Street Garden

While these days, everybody seems to know where this is…

carlos bake shop hoboken
Carlo’s Bake Shop

…you get big props if you know this road’s name.

belgian block cobblestone road hobokenAnd even bigger props if you remember these companies.

old business signs hoboken


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