New Providence, New Jersey
—  Borough  —
Map of New Providence in Union County. Inset: Location of Union County in New Jersey
Census Bureau map of New Providence, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°42′01″N 74°24′12″W / 40.70028, -74.40333Coordinates: 40°42′01″N 74°24′12″W / 40.70028, -74.40333
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Union
Incorporated March 14, 1899
 • Type Borough (New Jersey)
 • Mayor J. Brooke Hern (2014)
 • Administrator Douglas R. Marvin [1]
 • Total 3.7 sq mi (9.5 km2)
 • Land 3.7 sq mi (9.5 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation[2] 217 ft (66 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 12,171
 • Density 3,289.4/sq mi (1,249.8/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 07974
Area code(s) 908
FIPS code 34-51810[4][5]
GNIS feature ID 0885321[6]

The New Providence sign which marks the boundary of the town

New Providence is a borough on the northwestern edge of Union County, New Jersey, United States. It is located on the Passaic River, which forms the county boundary with Morris County. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 12,171.


New Providence is located at 40°42′02″N 74°24′11″W / 40.700501, -74.403096 (40.700501, -74.403096).[7]

New Providence is bordered to the north by Chatham Township, across the Passaic River Berkeley Heights lies to the southwest and south, and Summit to the east. Much of the unincorporated area of Murray Hill lies in New Providence, with the remainder in Berkeley Heights.

The borough lies on the western slope of Second Watchung Mountain. There are several creek beds carved into the landscape, most of which are forks and branches of Salt Brook. These creeks join together near the center of town then flow into the Passaic River. Over nine percent of New Providence's land area is permanently protected, publicly owned parkland. Most of this land is wooded floodplain adjacent to the Passaic. Union County owns much of the riverfront parkland and New Providence owns the remainder. There are several Borough-owned parks that bracket Salt Brook, including Veterans Memorial Park on South Street, Lyons Park on Livingston Avenue, and Clearwater Park near the end of Central Avenue.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the New Providence has a total area of 3.7 square miles (9.6 km2), all of it land.


The written history of New Providence begins in 1664 when James, Duke of York and brother to King Charles II, purchased the land from the Lenni Lenape Native Americans. This acquisition was known as the Elizabethtown Tract.

Its first European settlers were members of a Puritan colony established in 1720, which was the first permanent settlement of its type.[8] The settlement was originally called Turkeytown, due to the presence of wild turkeys in the area.

By 1737, the Presbyterian Church was formed and became the center of this growing community.

In 1759, the balcony of the Presbyterian Church in the town collapsed. The lack of serious injuries was declared by Divine Providence, and the town was renamed to New Providence.

According to local tradition, George Washington spent the night in a local home, which still stands to this day. Supposedly, the local stream, Salt Brook, is named for an incident when the salt supply of the colonial village was dumped into the brook to prevent passing British soldiers from taking it. Ironically, the British Army never crossed the Watchung Mountains into this region. Salt Brook winds through town, starting near the eponymous Salt Brook Elementary School.

On April 14, 1794, Springfield Township was formed, which included the present-day township, along with the towns of Summit, New Providence, and Berkeley Heights.[9]

Growth continued in the area, and on November 8, 1809, New Providence Township was formed from within Springfield Township. It included what is now Summit, New Providence, and Berkeley Heights.[9]

On March 23, 1869, Summit withdrew from the New Providence Township and reincorporated as a township without any other town.[9] It remained under a township form of government until April 11, 1899, when Summit reincorporated as a city.

On March 14, 1899, New Providence also withdrew from the New Providence Township and was reincorporated as a borough.[9] With Boroughitis sweeping across the state, many communities within townships were reverting to small, locally-governed communities (mostly reincorporating as boroughs) due to acts of the New Jersey Legislature that made it economically advantageous for communities so do so. (Present-day Berkeley Heights retained the name of New Providence Township until November 6, 1951.)

The cultivation of roses played an important role in the local economy in the 1900s.[10]

New Providence is a semi-dry town. There are no bars, and no restaurants are permitted to sell alcoholic beverages. Retail liquor sales are legal, however, and restaurant-goers may bring their own alcoholic beverages. In 2011, the borough announced that it was considering issuing on-premises liquor licenses, which could bring in as much as $500,000 for each bar granted a license, with plans to use the money raised to pay for improvements to recreation areas.[11]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1930 1,918
1940 2,374 23.8%
1950 3,380 42.4%
1960 10,243 203.0%
1970 13,796 34.7%
1980 12,426 −9.9%
1990 11,439 −7.9%
2000 11,907 4.1%
2010 12,171 2.2%
Population 1930 - 1990.[12]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 11,907 people, 4,404 households, and 3,307 families residing in New Providence. The population density was 3,236.9 people per square mile (1,249.3/km2). There were 4,485 housing units at an average density of 1,219.2 per square mile (470.6/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 89.77% White, 0.88% African American, 0.03% Native American, 7.60% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.68% from other races, and 1.01% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.50% of the population.

There were 4,404 households out of which 37.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.3% were married couples living together, 6.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.9% were non-families. 21.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.13.

In New Providence the population was spread out with 26.3% under the age of 18, 4.0% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.3 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $90,964, and the median income for a family was $105,013. Males had a median income of $72,926 versus $46,948 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $42,995. About 1.3% of families and 1.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.0% of those under age 18 and 2.0% of those age 65 or over. Currently, based on per-capita income, New Providence is ranked 48th among municipalities in the state.


Local government[]

New Providence is governed under the borough system of municipal government. The government consists of a mayor and a borough council composed of six council members, with all positions elected at large. A mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The borough council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year.

As of 2011, the mayor of New Providence is J. Brooke Hern, who in November 2010 defeated incumbent Mayor John Thoms by a nearly 2-1 margin. Earlier last year, Mayor Hern, then a Councilman, narrowly defeated former two-term Mayor Allen Morgan in a hotly contested battle for the Republican nomination. Mayor Hern's term in office continues through December 31, 2014. Members of the New Providence Borough Council are Council President Michael Gennaro (term of office ends December 31, 2013), James Cucco (2012), Armand Gallucio (term of office ends December 31, 2011), Alan Lesnowich (term of office ends November 2011, at which time a special election will be held to fill the remainder of unexpired term of the seat vacated by Mayor Hern through December 31, 2012), Robert Munoz (2013) and Vincas Vyzas (2011).[13]

Federal, state and county representation[]

New Providence is in the 7th Congressional district. New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District is represented by Leonard Lance (R, Clinton Township). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Frank Lautenberg (D, Cliffside Park) and Bob Menendez (D, Hoboken).

New Providence is in the 21st Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature, which is represented in the New Jersey Senate by Thomas Kean, Jr. (R, Westfield) and in the New Jersey General Assembly by Jon Bramnick (R, Westfield) and Nancy Munoz (R, Summit).[14]

Union County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose nine members are elected at-large to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis with three seats coming up for election each year.[15] As of 2011, Union County's Freeholders are Chairman Deborah P. Scanlon (Union, term ends December 31, 2012)[16], Vice Chairman Alexander Mirabella (Fanwood, 2012)[17], Linda Carter (Plainfield, 2013)[18], Angel G. Estrada (Elizabeth, 2011)[19], Christopher Hudak (Linden, 2011)[20], Mohamed S. Jalloh (Roselle, 2012)[21], Bette Jane Kowalski (Cranford, 2013)[22], Daniel P. Sullivan (Elizabeth, 2013)[23] and Nancy Ward (Linden, 2011).[24][25]


The New Providence School District serves students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. Schools in the district (with 2008-09 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[26]) are Allen W. Roberts Elementary School (grades K-6; 613 students), Salt Brook Elementary School (K-6; 625), New Providence Middle School (7&8; 331) and New Providence High School (9-12; 632). The middle school and high school share the same building and some of the same facilities (art rooms, auditorium, east wing, west wing, gyms, music rooms, TV production room, cafeteria). Recently a new gym was added to the building.

New Providence is also home to a private Catholic elementary school in the Archdiocese of Newark, The Academy of Our Lady of Peace. Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, The Academy has students in PreK-3 through Grade 8.


  • The Presbyterian Church is a large, white, historic church in the center of town.
  • The Village Shopping Center is a shopping center in the middle of downtown. The shopping center takes up the majority of space that comprises downtown New Providence.
  • Right outside of New Providence is Alcatel-Lucent, in Murray Hill. New Providence School District currently links together the computer networks of its buildings by using a wireless LAN which includes Yagi antennas at two towers by the large copper pyramid-shaped roof. The transistor and laser were invented in this Bell Laboratories when it was part of AT&T.
  • Our Lady of Peace is a Roman Catholic church and school located on South Street. Once every spring, for three days, the parking lot at OLP becomes the home of the town's OLP fair. Complete with rides, games, food, and an indoor auction/junk fest.


Service on the New Jersey Transit Gladstone Branch of the Morris & Essex Lines is available at the New Providence and Murray Hill stations, offering service to Hoboken Terminal and to Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan. Two Gladstone Branch trains each weekday morning offer one-seat rides to Manhattan, and two evening trains leave New York and stop at both of New Providence's stations on the way to Gladstone. All other rail service is to or from Hoboken. These trains connect at Summit or Newark Broad Street with Manhattan-bound trains.

Lakeland Bus Lines offers weekday rush hour service from stops along Springfield Avenue to New York's Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Newark Liberty International Airport is approximately sixteen miles east of New Providence.

Notable residents[]

Notable current and former residents of New Providence include:

  • Andrew Fastow (born 1961), convicted CFO of Enron, went to NPHS and grew up in New Providence on the same street as the Allen W. Roberts Elementary School.[27]
  • Jeff Grob, drummer of the 1970s rock band Looking Glass, was born and raised in New Providence and is a current resident.[28]
  • Andrew Lewis (born 1974), professional soccer player for the MetroStars and the Chicago Fire.[29]
  • Thomas McCarthy (born 1966), NPHS graduate has been actor in several movies, including Meet the Parents and Good Night, and Good Luck; television shows, such as Boston Public, Law & Order and The Wire; and director of the indie film The Station Agent.[30]
  • Jim Wood, President of USA Swimming since 2006.[31]


  1. ^ Borough Administrator, Borough of New Providence. Accessed April 8, 2011.
  2. ^ USGS GNIS: Borough of New Providence , Geographic Names Information System. Accessed January 4, 2008.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ A Cure for the Common Codes: New Jersey, Missouri Census Data Center. Accessed July 14, 2008.
  6. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  8. ^ Union County history
  9. ^ a b c d "The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968", John P. Snyder, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 239 re New Providence, p. 241 re Springfield Township.
  10. ^ New Providence community profile, Epodunk. Accessed October 10, 2007.
  11. ^ Neavill, Mike. "Council ponders cocktail mixing booze, Open Space", The Independent Press, April 8, 2011. Accessed April 8, 2011. "Sobered by a thirst for improved recreational facilities coupled with limited funds, the governing body is taking the unprecedented move of shifting the borough from “dry” to “wet”.Although there are package stores in New Providence, there are no on-premise consumption licenses. Basically, the borough has been a “bring your own” town. “We’re looking for ways to generate income for turf fields,” Mayor J. Brook Hern said."
  12. ^ Jersey Resident Population by Municipality: 1930 - 1990. Workforce New Jersey Public Information Network. Accessed March 1, 2007.
  13. ^ Mayor & Council of New Providence, NJ, Borough of New Providence. Accessed February 3, 2011.
  14. ^ "Legislative Roster: 2010-2011 Session". New Jersey Legislature. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  15. ^ County Government, Union County, New Jersey. Accessed January 6, 2011.
  16. ^ Vice Chairman Deborah P. Scanlon, Union County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2011.
  17. ^ Freeholder Alexander Mirabella, Union County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2011.
  18. ^ Freeholder Linda Carter, Union County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2011.
  19. ^ Freeholder Angel G. Estrada, Union County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2011.
  20. ^ Freeholder Christopher Hudak, Union County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2011.
  21. ^ Freeholder Mohamed S. Jalloh, Union County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2011.
  22. ^ Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski, Union County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2011.
  23. ^ Chairman, Daniel P. Sullivan, Union County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2011.
  24. ^ Freeholder Nancy Ward, Union County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2011.
  25. ^ Board of Chosen Freeholders, Union County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2011.
  26. ^ Data for the New Providence School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed April 8, 2011.
  27. ^ Murphy, Bill. "Andrew Fastow: A study in contrasts - Described as a charmer, Fastow's ferocious tirades revealed his dark side", Houston Chronicle, October 2, 2002, accessed April 22, 2007. "Born the second of three sons in Washington, D.C., Fastow was raised in northern Virginia, Long Island and finally New Providence, N.J., an upper middle-class suburb about 25 miles southwest of New York City."
  28. ^ Meola, Patricia E. "Free concert series in New Providence kicks off July 9", Independent Press, July 6, 2009. Accessed February 3, 2011. "Mr. Grob, who designed Centennial Park, is a lifelong New Providence resident and was the drummer in the 1970s rock group Looking Glass, who recorded 'Brandy, You're a Fine Girl.' It sold more than a million copies, and was the nation's number one record in August 1972."
  29. ^ Staff. "Battery signs Fire's Lewis", The Post and Courier, March 16, 2002. Accessed February 3, 2011. "The Charleston Battery has signed former Major League Soccer defender Andrew Lewis for the upcoming A-League season... The New providence, N.J., native was drafted in the ninth round of the 1997 MLS expansion draft, by Chicago."
  30. ^ Van Dyk, Meaghan. "New Providence native looking to 'discover' lead for next movie", Home News Tribune, January 16, 2010. Accessed February 3, 2011.
  31. ^ Brown, Geoff. "James M. Wood, A&S '72: On Deck for Olympians and Kids", Johns Hopkins University Magazine, September 2008. Accessed February 3, 2011. "A native of New Providence, New Jersey, Wood returned to the Garden State in 1977. 'The house I now live in is the house I grew up in,' he says."

External links[]

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