Architect, engineer, and city planner Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant, who had earlier developed the initial plans for Washington, D.C., was the first planner for the SUM project. His plan proposed to harness the power of the Great Falls through a channel in the rock and an aqueduct. However, the society's directors felt he was taking too long and was over budget, and he was replaced by Peter Colt, who used a less-complicated reservoir system to get the water flowing to factories in 1794. Eventually, Colt's system developed some problems and a scheme resembling L'Enfant's original plan was used after 1846.
Paterson was originally formed as a township from portions of Acquackanonk Township on April 11, 1831, while the area was still part of Essex County. Paterson became part of the newly created Passaic County on February 7, 1837. Paterson was incorporated as a city on April 14, 1851, based on the results of a referendum held that day. The city was reincorporated on March 14, 1861.
The industries developed in Paterson were powered by the 77-foot high Great Falls, and a system of water raceways that harnessed the power of the falls, providing the power for the mills in the area until 1914 and fostering the growth of the city around the mills. The district originally included dozens of mill buildings and other manufacturing structures associated with the textile industry and later, the firearms, silk, and railroad locomotive manufacturing industries. In the latter half of the 19th century, silk production became the dominant industry and formed the basis of Paterson's most prosperous period, earning it the nickname "Silk City." In 1835, Samuel Colt began producing firearms in Paterson, although within a few years he moved his business to Hartford, Connecticut. Later in the 19th century, Paterson was the site of early experiments with submarines by Irish-American inventor John Philip Holland. Two of Holland's early models — one found at the bottom of the Passaic River — are on display in the Paterson Museum, housed in the former Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works near the Passaic Falls.
The city was a mecca for immigrantlaborers who worked in its factories. Paterson was the site of historic labor unrest that focused on anti-child labor legislation, and the six-month long Paterson silk strike of 1913 that demanded the eight-hour day and better working conditions, but was defeated by the employers with workers forced to return under pre-strike conditions. Factory workers labored long hours for low wages under dangerous conditions, and lived in crowded tenement buildings around the mills. The factories then moved south where there were no labor unions, and later moved overseas.
In 1919, Paterson was one of eight locations bombed by self-identified anarchists.
In 1932, Paterson opened Hinchliffe Stadium, a 10,000-seat stadium named in honor of John V. Hinchliffe, the city's mayor at the time. Hinchliffe originally served as the site for high school and professional athletic events. From 1933 to 1937 and 1939 to 1945, Hinchliffe was the home of the New York Black Yankees and from 1935 to 1936 the home of the New York Cubans of the Negro National League. The historic ballpark was also a venue for many professional football games, track and field events, boxing matches and auto and motorcycle racing.
Abbott and Costello performed at Hinchliffe prior to boxing matches. Hinchliffe is one of only three Negro League stadiums left standing in the United States, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1963, the Paterson Public Schools acquired the stadium and used it for public school events until 1997, but it is currently in a state of disrepair, while the schools have been taken over by the state.
Post-World War II era
During World War II Paterson played an important part in the aircraft engine industry. By the end of WWII, however, there was a decline in urban areas and Paterson was no exception, and since the late 1960s the city has suffered high unemployment rates and white flight.
Once a premier shopping and leisure destination of northern New Jersey, competition from the malls in upscale neighboring towns like Wayne and Paramus have forced the big-chain stores out of Paterson's downtown. The biggest industries are now small businesses, with the decline of the city's industrial base. However, the city still, as always, attracts many immigrants, who have revived the city's economy, especially through small businesses.
The downtown area was struck by massive fires several times, most recently January 17, 1991. In this fire, a near full city block (bordered on the north and south by Main and Washington Street and on the east and west by Ellison Street and College Boulevard, a stretch of Van Houten Street that is dominated by Passaic County Community College) was engulfed in flames due to an electrical fire in the basement of a bar at 161 Main Street and spread to other buildings. Firefighter John A. Nicosia, 28, of Engine 4, went missing in the fire, having gotten lost in the basement. His body was located two days later. A plaque honoring his memory was later placed on a wall near the area. The area was so badly damaged that most of the burned buildings were demolished, with an outdoor mall standing in their place. The most notable of the destroyed buildings was the Meyer Brothers department store, which closed in 1987 and since had been parceled out.
In August 2011, Paterson was severely affected in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, particularly by flooding of the Passaic River, where flood waters rose to levels unseen for 100 years, leading to the displacement of thousands and the closure of bridges over the river. Touring the area with Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declared, "This is as bad as I’ve seen, and I’ve been in eight states that have been impacted by Irene." The president the same day declared New Jersey a disaster area, and announced that he would visit the city.
The skyline of Paterson, New Jersey, showing the canyon of the Passaic River in the foreground. The area along the river was formerly the site of most of the mills that flourished throughout the city's history.
The Great Falls Historic District is the most famous neighborhood in Paterson, because of the landmark Great Falls of the Passaic River. The city has attempted to revitalize the area in recent years, including the installation of period lamp posts and the conversion of old industrial buildings into apartments and retail venues. Many artists live in this section of Paterson. A major redevelopment project is planned for this district in the coming years. The Paterson Museum of industrial history at Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works is situated in the Historic District.
Downtown Paterson is the main commercial district of the city and was once a shopping destination for many who lived in northern New Jersey. After a devastating fire in 1902, the city rebuilt the downtown with massive Beaux-Arts-style buildings, many of which remain to this day. These buildings are usually four to seven stories tall. Downtown Paterson is home to Paterson City Hall and the Passaic County Courthouse Annex, two of the city's architectural landmarks. City Hall was designed by the New York firm Carrere and Hastings in 1894, and was modeled after the Hôtel de Ville (city hall) in Lyon, France, capital of the silk industry in Europe.
The former Orpheum Theatre located on Van Houten street, has been converted to a Mosque by The Islamic Foundation of New Jersey. The massive structure now known as Masjid Jalalabad, can accommodate 1,500 worshippers.
As with many other old downtown districts in the United States, Downtown Paterson suffered as shoppers and retailers moved to the suburban shopping malls of the region. Many historic buildings are in disrepair or are abandoned after years of neglect. In addition, Downtown Paterson is an Urban Enterprise Zone. The city has, in recent years, begun initiatives in hopes of reviving the downtown area. A project called the Center City project will convert a downtown parking lot into a commercial and entertainment center with office space. Downtown Paterson is located in the city's 1st Ward.
Eastside Park Historic District consists of about 1,000 homes in a variety of architectural styles, including Tudors, Georgian colonials, Victorians, Italianate villas and Dutch colonials. It is located east of downtown. Once the home of the city's industrial and political leaders, the neighborhood experienced a significant downturn as industry fled Paterson. In recent years, gentrification has begun to occur in the neighborhood and some of the area's historic houses have been restored. The Eastside Park Historic District is a state and nationally registered historic place. The jewel of the neighborhood is Eastside Park and the mansions that surround it. This section of Paterson once had a large Jewish population that reached 40,000 at its peak, and there is still a synagogue left. Eastside Park and what is commonly known as the Upper Eastside are located in Paterson's 3rd Ward.
East River Section is a section that is referred to by locals roughly bordering Riverside at 5th Ave. and extending south to Broadway, sandwiched in by Madison Ave. to McClean Blvd. (Route 20), although the neighborhoods layout unofficially extends to the "Paterson-Newark/Hudson Route" of River Rd. in the Paterson-Memorial Park Section of Fairlawn (whose house addresses are in alignment with the now defunct Jewish Temple on the corner of 33rd St. and Broadway), which connects Paterson to Newark/Hudson, and at one time was a Main Route through River Drive (which starts in Elmwood Park and rides north to south along the East Bank of the Passaic River in Patersons original county). Built when Paterson was still Bergen County, River Dr. changes to "River Rd" in the greater Eastside Sections of Upper Eastside-Manor Section, East River and Riverside Sections, and turns into Wagaraw Rd, North of 1st Ave/Maple Ave. in the old Bunker Hill extension of Columbia Heights in Fairlawn (as indication of not only entering the Industrial Section, but also entering the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains in Hawthorne). River Dr. then turns into E. Main St. to indicate that you have entered the Northside Section. The East River neighborhood which was and still has maintained its "Blue Collar" working class identity, was st one time known for its high number of Jewish, as well as Neapolitan/Italian population and more recently other Mediterranean and Adriatic Europeans, Caribbean and South Americans, and other modern immigrant groups from all over the world, as well as African Americans.
Manor Section is a residential neighborhood in Paterson. It is located east of East 33rd Street, north of Broadway and south-west of Route 20 and the Passaic River. The Manor section of Paterson is located in the city's 3rd Ward. The layout and culture of the Manor Section also extends into the neighboring Lyncrest and Rivercrest Sections of Fair Lawn, with all the addresses aligning themselves to the now defunct Jewish Temple, located at the corner of 33rd and Broadway.
South Paterson is a diverse neighborhood in the city's 6th Ward with a significant Arab as well as Turkish, and Hispanic community located east of Main Street and west of West Railway Avenue. A majority of the city's Arabs live in this section of Paterson. Many of the retail shops and restaurants cater to this community. The neighborhood is characterized by Halal meat markets which offer goat and lamb, and shop signs are in Arabic. South Paterson's Arab community is mostly made up of Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese people.
Lakeview is situated in the southern part of the city, and is a middle class neighborhood. Interstate 80 runs north of this district. Lakeview is home to the Paterson Farmers Market, where many people from across North Jersey come to buy fresh produce. The neighborhood is roughly 65% Hispanic, although this neighborhood also has a sizable European, Middle-Eastern, African-American, and Asian populations, including a significant Filipino presence. Lakeview also shares some of the same characteristics as neighboring Clifton as they both share a neighborhood bearing the same name. The Lakeview section of Paterson is located in the city's 6th Ward.
Hillcrest is a large mostly residential, middle classenclave, to the west of the downtown area. Its borders' limits are Preakness Avenue to the east, Cumberland Avenue to the west and Totowa Avenue along with West Side Park and the Passaic River to the south. Hillcrest is one of Paterson's most desirable neighborhoods. The Hillcrest section of Paterson is located in the city's 2nd Ward.
People's Park is a neighborhood located north of 23rd Avenue and South of Market Street. Twenty-First Avenue or "La Ventiuno" as it's known by most of Paterson's Spanish-speaking community, is located in the People's Park section of Paterson. It is an active and vibrant retail strip featuring a variety of shops and services catering to a diverse clientele. Twenty First Avenue used to have a large Italian population. Although there is still a significant Italian presence left in the neighborhood, it also has a large first-generation Hispanic population, particularly Colombian.
House in Paterson's inner city, 1974. Photo by Danny Lyon.
Wrigley Park is a neighborhood that has suffered from years of poverty, crime, and neglect. It is mostly African-American. Poverty, crime, open-air drug markets, prostitution, vacant lots, and boarded-up windows are all common in this area. However, there are new houses being built and crime has dropped in recent years. This neighborhood is located north of Broadway.
Sandy Hill is a neighborhood in the Eastside located roughly west of Madison Avenue, north of 21st Avenue, south of Park Avenue and east of Straight Street. Due to Paterson's significant population turn-over, this neighborhood is now home to a large and growing Hispanic community, mostly first-generation Dominicans. The Sandy Hill section of Paterson is located in the city's 5th Ward. Roberto Clemente Park, which was originally known as Sandy Hill Park is located in this neighborhood.
Part of the 5th Ward is called Near Eastside by residents to differentiate it from the Eastside Park Historic District to its immediate east.
Northside, located north of Downtown, suffers from many of the social problems currently facing the Wrigley Park neighborhood, but to a lesser extent. This neighborhood borders the boroughs of Haledon and Prospect Park and is known for its hills and having sweeping views of the New York City skyline. The Northside section of Paterson is located in the city's 1st Ward.
Totowa section is a large neighborhood located west of the Passaic River, south-west of West Broadway and north-east of Preakness Avenue. As the name implies, it borders the town of Totowa. It is mostly Hispanic but with an increasing South Asian community, mainly Bangladeshi. Many Bengali grocery stores and clothing stores are locating on Union Avenue and the surrounding streets. Masjid Al-Ferdous is located on Union Ave, which accommodates the daily Bangladeshi pedestrian population.
A large Italian presence remains in this neighborhood. Many Peruvian and other Latin American restaurants and businesses are located on Union Avenue. Colonial Village and Brooks Sloate Terraces are located in this neighborhood. The Totowa Section is located in parts of the 1st and 2nd Wards of Paterson.
Stoney Road is Paterson's most south-west neighborhood, bordering Woodland Park to the south and Totowa across the Passaic River to the west. This neighborhood is home to Pennington Park, Hayden Heights, Lou Costello Pool, the Levine reservoir, Murray Avenue, Mc Bride Avenue, and Garret Heights. A strong Italian presence remains in this neighborhood. The Stoney Road section of Paterson is located in the city's 2nd Ward.
Riverside is a larger neighborhood in Paterson and, as its name suggests, is bound by the Passaic River to the north and east, separating the city from Hawthorne and Fair Lawn. Riverside is a working-class neighborhood. The neighborhood is mostly residential with some industrial uses. Madison Avenue cuts through the heart of this district. Route 20 runs through the eastern border of Riverside providing an easy commute to Route 80 East and New York City. This section is ethnically diverse with a growing Hispanic community concentrating mostly north and along River Street. Many Albanians are making their home in the East 18th Street and River Street areas. River View Terrace is located in this neighborhood. Riverside is located in parts of the 3rd and 4th Wards of Paterson.
Bunker Hill is a mostly industrial area west of River Street and east of the Passaic River.
Westside Park located off Totowa Avenue and probably best known to young boys of days past for storing the Holland submarine, Fenian Ram. Built in 1879-81  for the Fenian Brotherhood, it became the target of graffiti artists because the fence surrounding it was too low and too close to the submarine itself. The sub is now located in Paterson Museum.
Paterson's black community consists of African Americans of Southern heritage and more recent Caribbean and African immigrants. Paterson's black population increased during the Great Migration of the 20th century, but there have been Patersonians of African descent since before the Civil War. However, Paterson's black population declined between the years 2000 and 2010, consistent with the overall return migration of African Americans from Northern New Jersey back to the Southern United States. A house once existing at Bridge Street and Broadway was a station on the Underground Railroad. It was operated from 1855 to 1864 by abolitionists William Van Rensalier, a black engineer, and Josiah Huntoon, a white industrialist. There is now a memorial at the site.
Western Market Street, sometimes called Little Lima by tourists, is home to many Peruvian and other Latin-American businesses. In contrast, if one travels east on Market Street, a heavy concentration of Dominican-owned restaurants, beauty salons, barber shops and other businesses can be seen. The Great Falls Historic District, Cianci Street, Union Avenue and 21st Avenue have several Italian businesses. To the north of the Great Falls is a fast-growing Bangladeshi population. Park Avenue and Market Street between Straight Street and Madison Avenue are heavily Dominican and Puerto Rican. Main Street, just south of downtown, is heavily Mexican with a declining Puerto-Rican community. Broadway — also called Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way — is predominantly black, as is the Fourth Ward and parts of Eastside and Northside. Costa Ricans and other Central American immigrant communities are growing in the Riverside and Peoples Park neighborhoods. Main Street between the Clifton border and Madison Avenue is heavily Turkish and Arab. 21st Avenue in the People's Park section is characterized by Colombian and other Latin American restaurants and shops.
Every summer, Patersonians have enjoyed an African-American Day Parade, a Dominican Day Parade, a Puerto Rican Day Parade, a Peruvian Day Parade, and a Turkish-American Day Parade, though budget cuts in 2011 have meant that parade organizers have been asked to contribute to cover the costs of police and other municipal services.
Paterson is considered by many as the capital of the PeruvianDiaspora in the U.S. Paterson's rapidly growing Peruvian community celebrates what is known as Señor de los Milagros or "Our Lord of Miracles" in English on October 18 through 28th of every year and also participates in the annual Passaic County Peruvian Day Parade, which passes through Market Street and Main Street in the Little Lima neighborhood of Downtown Paterson every July. In the 2000 Census, 4.72% of residents listed themselves as being of Peruvian American ancestry, the third-highest percentage of the population of any municipality in New Jersey and the United States, behind East Newark with 10.1% and Harrison with 7.01%. The community includes both Quechua and Spanish speakers.
Paterson is home to the third-largest Dominican-American Community in the United States, after New York City and Lawrence, Massachusetts. In the 2000 Census, 10.27% of residents listed themselves as being of Dominican American ancestry, the eighth highest percentage of the population of any municipality in the United States and the third highest percentage in New Jersey, behind Perth Amboy's 18.81% and Union City's 11.46%.
Paterson has incorporated a rapidly growing Bangladeshi American community, which is estimated to number 15,000, the largest in the United States outside New York City. Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman was ultimately certified as the winner of the 2012 race in the Second Ward, making him North Jersey's first first Bangladeshi-American elected official.
A branch of the Sonali Exchange Company Inc. has opened on Union Avenue in the Totowa Section; the Sonali Exchange Company is a subsidiary of Sonali Bank, the largest state-owned commercial bank in Bangladesh.
Demographic surveys and census data finds Paterson, NJ ranks the highest percentage of disabled persons of any city over 100,000. About 30% of males and 29% of females not classified as poor in Paterson are listed as having a disability.
There were 44,329 households, of which 38.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.4% were married couples living together, 29.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.2% were non-families. 21.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.24 and the average family size was 3.71.
In the city, 27.9% of the population were under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 22.9% from 45 to 64, and 8.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.1 years. For every 100 females there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.9 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $34,086 (with a margin of error of +/- $1,705) and the median family income was $39.003 (+/- $2,408). Males had a median income of $30,811 (+/- $825) versus $28,459 (+/- $1,570) for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,543 (+/- $467). About 24.1% of families and 26.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.0% of those under age 18 and 25.4% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 149,222 people, 44,710 households, and 33,353 families residing in the city, for a population density of 17,675.4 per square mile (6,826.4/km2). Among cities with a population higher than 100,000, Paterson was the second most densely populated large city in the United States, only after New York City.
There were 44,710 households out of which 40.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.4% were married couples living together, 26.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.4% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.25 and the average family size was 3.71.
In the city the population was spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 8.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $30,127, and the median income for a family was $32,983. Males had a median income of $27,911 versus $21,733 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,257. About 19.2% of families and 22.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.0% of those under age 18 and 19.4% of those age 65 or over.
The City of Paterson operates under a Faulkner Act Plan-D Mayor-Council form of government, which was adopted in 1974 in a change from a 1907 statute-based form.
Under the Mayor-Council plan, the Mayor is the chief executive and is responsible for administering the City's activities. The Mayor is elected for a four-year term by the citizens and is responsible for them. The mayor enforces the charter and the ordinances and laws passed by the City Council. The Mayor appoints all department heads including the business administrator, with the advice and consent of the Council and may remove any department heads after giving them notice and an opportunity to be heard.
With the assistance of the business administrator, the Mayor is responsible for preparation of the municipal budget. The Mayor submits the budget to the Council along with a detailed analysis of expenditures and revenues. The Council may reduce any item or items in the budget by a majority vote, but can only increase an item by a two-thirds vote.
As of 2014[update], the Mayor of Paterson is Jose "Joey" Torres, whose term of office ends June 30, 2018 and who had previously served as mayor from 2002-2010. Torres defeated incumbent mayor Jeffrey Jones on May 13, 2014. City Council Members are Ken Morris, Jr. (at-large), Maritza Davila (at-large), Alex Mendez (at-large), Anthony Davis (First Ward), Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman (Second Ward), William McKoy (Third Ward), Ruby Cotton (Fourth Ward), Council President Julio Tavarez (Fifth Ward), and Andre Sayegh (Sixth Ward).
In the May 2010 Paterson city elections, City Council President Jeff Jones defeated the incumbent mayor Joey Torres in a three-way election with sixth ward councilman Andre Sayegh. Incumbent Councilman At-Large Kenneth Morris was returned to office and Paterson recreation director and former Paterson Catholic football coach Benjie Wimberly was elected to one of the other At-Large seats.
The third at-large position on the City Council had been in dispute since the results of the May 2010 election, where newcomer Kenneth McDaniel and incumbent councilman Rigo Rodriguez had engaged in various court battles over the results of the election. When the initial count was completed McDaniel was ahead of Rodriguez by 25 votes. An automatic recount was conducted and Rodriguez gained nineteen votes, with 49 mail-in ballots in dispute. A New Jersey court ruled that 47 of the ballots had to be counted, and Rodriguez's name was on all 47. This gave the councilman a 41-vote victory and he was sworn in with the rest of the council in July 2010. McDaniel has continued to insist the ballots were tampered with and filed a motion in state court to overturn the results of the election, but the same judge that ordered the recount dismissed his motion. However, McDaniel appealed to New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow to investigate, and the resulting findings caused several Rodriguez aides to be arrested on November 30 and December 1, 2010, and eventually the councilman himself on December 2, 2010, on charges of witness tampering in the court case where McDaniel's claim was dismissed.
The status of the Fourth Ward seat held by Vera Ames-Garnes was in question as well. Councilwoman Ames-Garnes was brought up on charges in a Hawthorne, New Jersey court on a disorderly persons charge. The councilwoman was arrested by a Prospect Park, New Jersey police officer after she allegedly interfered with a traffic stop the officer made in Paterson after the suspect in the incident crossed over from Prospect Park into Paterson. Ames-Garnes contends that the officer had no right to issue a summons to the suspect, a Paterson resident, while the officer maintains the infraction occurred in Prospect Park and Ames-Garnes' interference was unwarranted. In December 2010 the trial concluded with the councilwoman being convicted, but she was only required to pay a fine and was not forced to forfeit her office. On February 21, 2012, both sides brought appeals before the Passaic County Superior Court. The councilwoman's appeal seeks to have her conviction overturned while the prosecution is seeking to have the fine overturned and to force Ames-Garnes to vacate her office.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 68,324 registered voters in Paterson, of which 27,926 (40.9% vs. 31.0% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 3,100 (4.5% vs. 18.7%) were registered as Republicans and 37,285 (54.6% vs. 50.3%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 13 voters registered to other parties. Among the city's 2010 Census population, 46.7% (vs. 53.2% in Passaic County) were registered to vote, including 64.8% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 70.8% countywide).
In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 38,085 votes here (86.7% vs. 58.8% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 4,098 votes (9.3% vs. 37.7%) and other candidates with 150 votes (0.3% vs. 0.8%), among the 43,946 ballots cast by the city's 70,925 registered voters, for a turnout of 62.0% (vs. 70.4% in Passaic County). In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 28,896 votes here (79.2% vs. 53.9% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 5,959 votes (16.3% vs. 42.7%) and other candidates with 151 votes (0.4% vs. 0.7%), among the 36,470 ballots cast by the city's 64,151 registered voters, for a turnout of 56.9% (vs. 69.3% in the whole county).
In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 17,334 ballots cast (85.7% vs. 50.8% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 2,213 votes (10.9% vs. 43.2%), Independent Chris Daggett with 264 votes (1.3% vs. 3.8%) and other candidates with 129 votes (0.6% vs. 0.9%), among the 20,233 ballots cast by the city's 66,603 registered voters, yielding a 30.4% turnout (vs. 42.7% in the county).
The City of Paterson is served by a professional police department. The Paterson Fire Department, headed by Chief Michael Postorino, operates out of seven fire stations with a total of 400 employees, and is also responsible for the city's emergency medical services division and ambulance units.
In addition to local services, Paterson is home to the Passaic County Sheriff's Office Courts Division in the Passaic County Courthouse and Correctional Division in the Passaic County Jail.
In April 2011, Paterson laid off 125 police officers, nearly 25% of the total force in the city, due to severe budget constraints caused by a $70 million deficit. At the same time, the Guardian Angels, a New York City-based volunteer citizen safety patrol organization, began operating in Paterson at the invitation of the Mayor.
St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center is a large institution providing comprehensive emergency services as well as non-emergency medical care to Paterson and the surrounding community.
Portions of Paterson are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the Zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3½% sales tax rate (versus the 7% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants.
Roads and highways
As of 2010[update], the city had a total of 195.28 miles (314.27 km) of roadways, of which 157.62 miles (253.66 km) were maintained by the municipality, 29.21 miles (47.01 km) by Passaic County and 8.45 miles (13.60 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Paterson also served as the terminus for numerous major secondary roads in northern New Jersey. Paterson Plank Road linked the city to Jersey City and eventually the Hudson River waterfront in Hoboken, while the Paterson-Hamburg Turnpike connected the city with Sussex County along what is now parts of State Route 23.
As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's 48 schools had an enrollment of 24,365 students and 1,845.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.21:1.
In 2011, all of Paterson's high schools were changed to theme schools, as part of a goal to give students a better choice in areas they wanted to pursue.
Paterson Charter School for Science and Technology is a charter school serving students in Kindergarten through twelfth grade.
The city is host to the state's annual robotics competition that is held at Passaic County Community College. The competition called the North Jersey Robotics Competition or NJRC began with the idea to place high educational merit on the students of Paterson. The competition brings schools from around NJ, to take part in the event. Three events make up the meet which takes place on two different days. The competition's tenth anniversary event in 2011 was won by Paterson's PANTHER Academy.
Paterson has a significant parks and recreation system, including larger areas such as Eastside, Westside and Pennington Parks, as well as neighborhood parks such as Wrigley, Robert Clemente, and People's. The Great Falls of the Passaic are part of the state park system.
The Paterson Museum, located in the Great Falls Historic District, was founded in 1925 and is owned and operated by the city of Paterson. Its mission is to preserve and display the industrial history of the city. Since 1982, the museum has been housed in the Thomas Rogers Building on Market Street, the former erecting shop of Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works, a major 19th-century manufacturer of railroad steam locomotives.
Belle Vista, locally known as Lambert Castle, was built in 1892 as the home of Catholina Lambert, the self-made owner of a prominent silk mill in Paterson. After Lambert's death in 1923, his family sold the building to the city, which in turn sold it to the County of Passaic a few years later. The county used the building for administrative offices, and in 1936, provided one room to the fledgling Passaic County Historical Society to serve as its historical museum. As time went by the museum grew, room by room, until the entire first floor became the historical museum.
In the late 1990s, the Castle underwent a multi-million-dollar restoration and all four floors of the building were developed into a museum and library. Today, Passaic County remains the owner of the building and supports the facilities' operation; however, the Passaic County Historical Society is solely responsible for the operation and management of Lambert Castle Museum with its historical period rooms, long-term and changing exhibition galleries, educational programs for elementary and middle-school students, and research library/archive.
Above Lambert Castle stands a 75-foot (23 m) observation tower, located at the peak of Garret Mountain, which while technically standing in Woodland Park, was constructed when the property was considered part of Paterson. The tower is part of the Garret Mountain Reservation and renovations were completed in 2009 to restore the tower to the original condition as built in 1896 by Lambert, who used the tower to impress guests with its view of the New York City skyline.
Attempts are being made to fund the restoration of the Paterson Armory as a recreation and cultural center.
There is a pact of friendship with the town of Montescaglioso (Italy) , as testified by mutual naming of two streets in their city centers. Paterson was a place of Italian emigration in the late nineteenth century and today houses a large community of citizens of Montescaglioso emigrated in those years.
Garret A. Hobart (1844–1899), Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly, President of the New Jersey State Senate and the 24th Vice President of the United States, serving under President William McKinley.
^Paterson, New Jersey:America's Silk City, National Park Service. Accessed April 18, 2012. "These mills manufactured many things during the long history of this industrial city--cotton textiles, steam locomotives, Colt revolvers, and aircraft engines. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they produced silk fabrics in such quantities that Paterson was known as 'Silk City.'"
^Get to Know Paterson, Merchants & Businesses of Downtown Paterson. Accessed August 16, 2012. "Today, the city’s growth and economy has been boosted my immigrants who still migrate to Paterson for the small business opportunities."
^Last Alarm, Paterson Fire Journal, June 21, 2008. Accessed August 5, 2014.
^Jackson, Herb. "Paterson prepares for President Obama's visit today", The Record (Bergen County), September 4, 2011. Accessed September 4, 2011. "Details are being tightly guarded about where President Obama will go Sunday when he visits Paterson to see the damage wrought by Hurricane Irene. Only Obama’s arrival at Newark Liberty International Airport is open to the press. The rest of his travels Sunday afternoon will be watched by a small group of pool reporters."
^Hyman, Vicki. "Colonial mansion restored in Paterson's once- (and again) grand Eastside Park", The Star-Ledger, July 1, 2009. Accessed September 22, 2011. "Smaller but no less spectacular examples of Tudor, Craftsman, Dutch Colonial, Federal, Greek Revival, Spanish and even mid-century modern homes sprang up over the next half-century. Eastside Park at one point was home to as many as 40,000 Jews, but they decamped rapidly to burgeoning suburbs starting in the late 1950s (though Temple Emanuel, the octogonal art deco neighborhood landmark, didn't pull up roots until 2005)."
^Sharkey, Joe. "Finding a Lost Page From a Family History", The New York Times, November 10, 1996. Accessed May 3, 2012. "BLINKING back tears, Delores Van Rensalier pushed a shovel into the damp earth in a vacant lot wedged between a Wendy's restaurant and the police and courts complex in downtown Paterson. Beside her, workers were putting up a sign to mark the lot as the location of 'the Huntoon-Van Rensalier Station of the Underground Railroad, 1855-1864.'... Paterson, a prosperous milltown before the Civil War, was a station on the Underground Railroad, the clandestine network of way stations operated by northern abolitionists to help slaves escape to Canada from the South. Huntoon operated his station in partnership with Van Rensalier, whom Ms. Van Rensalier now suspects came here on a slave ship and later assumed the Dutch name as a free man.
^Schectman, Joel; and Patberg, Zach. "Ethnic parades in Paterson likely to be victims of city budget stress", The Record (Bergen County), June 13, 2011. Accessed September 4, 2011. "The Puerto Rican, Dominican and African-American parades, which attracted tens of thousands of people, face shutdown after Mayor Jeffery Jones demanded that organizers pay as much as $100,000 for police and cleanup after the event.... Peruvians were set to celebrate their 25th annual parade in Paterson next month. The event has brought in more than 35,000 people from as far away as Florida."
^Clunn, Nick. "Officials certify election of Akhtaruzzaman to Paterson's 2nd Ward", The Record (Bergen County), November 27, 2012. Accessed August 5, 2014. "Election officials Tuesday certified Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman as the winner of a special City Council race, settling a prolonged political contest that ended with his reclaiming the seat he lost in a court challenge.... It was unclear when Akhtaruzzaman would take office as the representative for the 2nd Ward and reclaim his mantle as the first Bangladeshi-American elected to municipal office in North Jersey."
^City Council, City of Paterson. Accessed January 14, 2013. "The City of Paterson Municipal Council was created as a result of a 1974 decision to change its form of government from a 1907 statute-based form, to a Faulkner Act Plan-D Mayor-Council Form."
^Mandell, Meredith. "Mail-in ballots put Rodriguez on top in Paterson council race", The Record (Bergen County), June 2, 2010. Accessed May 3, 2012. "The decision to count the unopened mail-in ballots reversed election results in which Kenneth McDaniel defeated Rodriguez by six votes. Wednesday’s tally is 5,239 to 5,198, giving Rodriguez a 41-vote victory. “To make them invalid would punish those 49 individuals who spoke and need to be heard,” Superior Court Judge Thomas Brogan said in issuing his decision."
^Petrick, John. "Councilwoman fights to keep Paterson post", The Record (Bergen County), February 23, 2012. Accessed May 3, 2012. "Veteran Paterson Councilwoman Vera Ames-Garnes' political post — and perhaps her legacy — hung in the balance Wednesday as lawyers argued appeals of her 2010 conviction on charges of disorderly conduct and obstruction of administration of the law."
^Terry Duffy, Passaic County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2013.
^Pat Lepore, Passaic County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2013.
^Freeholders, Passaic County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2013.
^Patberg, Zach. "Democrats take full control of Passaic County freeholder board", The Record (Bergen County), January 4, 2013. Accessed January 9, 2013. "Ronda Casson Cotroneo, a family law attorney, wants [to] establish a program that links lawyers and counselors with victims of domestic violence. John Bartlett, also a lawyer, imagines more parks, calling them the county’s 'undiscovered gem.'... Lora, a Passaic city councilman, says better communication with constituents is the key to good government, whether through handshakes or social media."
^County Clerk, Passaic County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2013.
^Lynn, Kathleen. "Guardian Angels begin Paterson patrols", The Record (Bergen County), April 17, 2011. Accessed September 4, 2011. "Responding to the layoffs of 125 Paterson police officers, the New York City-based Guardian Angels began patrols in the city Sunday. The Guardian Angels arrived in Paterson on Sunday to begin patrolling the city. The 18 Angels, in signature red jackets and berets, were greeted in front of City Hall by Mayor Jeffery Jones, who had invited the volunteer safety patrol organization in February as the city’s budget problems deepened."
^Home page, St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center. Accessed September 4, 2011.
^What are SDA Districts?, New Jersey Schools Development Authority. Accessed August 16, 2012. "SDA Districts are 31 special-needs school districts throughout New Jersey. They were formerly known as Abbott Districts, based on the Abbott v. Burke case in which the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the State must provide 100 percent funding for all school renovation and construction projects in special-needs school districts.... The districts were renamed after the elimination of the Abbott designation through passage of the state’s new School Funding Formula in January 2008."
^Admissions FAQ, Paterson Charter School for Science and Technology. Accessed November 3, 2014.
^Naanes, Marlene. "Paterson Catholic to close by end of school year", The Record (Bergen County), April 21, 2010. Accessed June 21, 2011. "Paterson Catholic Regional High School, which has prided itself for four decades on serving some of the area’s poorest and immigrant families, will close its doors the diocese said Wednesday, citing enormous debt, plummeting donations and a bad economy."
^Staff. "Mr Jones wants Surat as a sister city", Paterson Times, June 28, 2013. Accessed August 5, 2014. "Jeffery Jones, the mayor of Paterson, during his much lambasted visit to India, has proposed to establish sister city link between the Indian city of Surat, a large diamond cutting town with a population of more than 4 million, and the city of Paterson, according to a local Indian newspaper."
^Twenty-First Avenue: Place of Conjunction, Library of Congress. Accessed August 7, 2013. "Italians from that town found their way to Paterson, and settled in the 21st Avenue area earlier in this century. This population increased over the years, at least in part because of the Italian practice of chain migration. The Paterson Montese community was fed by renewed immigration after World War II, from about the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s, when immigration from Italy to the United States slowed considerably as a result of vastly improved economic conditions in Italy."
^Schiller, Kristan. "Kerouac's 'On the Road' And Its Jersey Ties", The New York Times, December 4, 1994. Accessed May 21, 2013. "Kerouac was born and raised in the Merrimack River valley town of Lowell, Mass., and lived in Ozone Park, Queens, with his mother, Gabrielle Ange Levesque Kerouac, when he started writing On the Road. He imagined himself in the story as Salvatore Paradise, a young writer attempting a novel while living with an unnamed aunt in another American city -- Paterson, N.J."
^DeLuca, Dan. "No payoff in 'State Property' A street thug aims to hit it big. The movie misses.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 19, 2002. Accessed August 16, 2012. "The setting is meant to be Philadelphia, but save for one quick shot of City Hall, State Property never looks the slightest bit familiar. Perhaps that's because it was shot in Paterson, N.J. (According to Abbott's production notes, efforts to film in town were thwarted because 'we could not afford to house everyone in Philly or commute from NYC,' where the Roc-A-Fella posse is headquartered.)"
^Staudter, Thomas. "How Main Street Cafe Got in the Movies", The New York Times, May 26, 1996. Accessed August 16, 2012. "In addition to the Chelsea Pier television and film production studios in Manhattan, other chief locales for The Preacher's Wife include Yonkers, Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, N.J., and Portland, Me."
^Adeva, soulwalking.co.uk. Accessed March 13, 2012.
^Cannizzaro, Mark. "CARTHON & MUIR RECEIVE INVITES TO STAY ABOARD", New York Post, January 20, 2001. Accessed March 13, 2012. "One of the offensive coordinators who's believed to be at or near the top of Edwards' list is Colts' quarterbacks coach Bruce Arians, a Paterson, NJ, , native who's had a close hand in the development of Peyton Manning."
^Staff. "Backstreet Takes Music Higher", Contra Costa Times, August 8, 1997. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Heavy R&B group Blackstreet has reached 'Another Level' with its current album. Led by Chauncey 'Black' Hannibal and Teddy 'Street' Riley, Blackstreet, which performs at Saturday's KMEL Summer Jam at the Concord Pavilion, has expanded its stylistic range, tightened its vocal harmonies and sought new audiences with its second album, 'Another Level.'... Weary of New York, the ace producer/musician moved his family to Virginia Beach about five years ago; Hannibal, from Paterson, NJ, followed."
^Idec, Keith. "Tardy Mets might have had Paterson’s Briggs", The Record (Bergen County), May 17, 2011. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Johnny Briggs’ baseball career might’ve turned out very different if a Mets scout hadn’t arrived late to his house one night in October 1962. Briggs, a former Eastside star, was eager to hear what the newest National League team had to offer. The Mets had just paid another amateur free agent, Ed Kranepool, $85,000 to sign, and the Paterson native was intrigued by the prospect of playing so close to his hometown."
^DeMasters, Karen. "Hearing the Laughter in Women's Lives", New York Times, August 1, 1999. Accessed May 1, 2010. "Like Ms. Langan, Ms. Croonquist now lives in Manhattan, but she grew up in Paterson, where she attended Roman Catholic schools from first grade through college."
^"Paterson Is Making Move to Honor Doby", The New York Times, June 27, 1997. Accessed January 24, 2012. "Larry Doby was a four-sport star in high school in Paterson, N.J., before going on to break the color barrier in the American League 50 years ago, when he joined the Cleveland Indians."
^Blumenthal, Ralph."Philharmonic Gets Diary Of a Savvy Music Man", The New York Times, July 29, 2002. Accessed January 24, 2012. "Hill played violin with the orchestra until he was over 70, then fell into poverty and depression. In 1875, living in Paterson, N.J., he wrote a farewell note to his second wife: 'Why should or how can a man exist and be powerless to earn means for his family?'"
^Silversey, Dylon. "Paterson's Holt gets back into title picture with knockout victory", NJ.com, May 14, 2011. Accessed December 13, 2013. "Former NABO & WBO champion and Paterson native Kendall 'Rated R' Holt returned to his previously highly regarded form on Friday night, knocking out the former champion Julio Diaz (38-7 27KO), in the main event on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights."
^Gordon, Peter M. King Kelly, Society for American Baseball Research. Accessed August 20, 2014. "Kelly told the story of what happened next in his autobiography, Play Ball, Stories of the Ball Field: 'Ill health compelled my father to leave the army, and we moved to Paterson, N.J.'"
^James, Randy. "2-MIN. BIO: Bernard Kerik", Time (magazine) November 6, 2009. Accessed May 1, 2010. "Born Sept. 4, 1955, in Newark, N.J., 'Bernie' grew up in a tough neighborhood of Paterson, N.J., a suburb of New York City."
^Senator Lautenberg's Biography, United States Senate. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Senator Lautenberg was born in Paterson, New Jersey, the son of Polish and Russian immigrants who came to the United States through Ellis Island. His early life was unsettled as his parents moved about a dozen times while struggling to support the family."
^Leal, John L. (1909). “The Sterilization Plant of the Jersey City Water Supply Company at Boonton, N.J.” Proceedings American Water Works Association. pp. 100-9.
^Martin, Douglas. "Edward L. Masry, 73, Pugnacious Lawyer, Dies", The New York Times, December 8, 2005. Accessed December 8, 2007. "Edward L. Masry was born in Paterson, N.J., on July 29, 1932. His parents started a silk apparel business, but when silk import tariffs were lifted, the business faltered. The family then headed for California."
^via Associated Press. "Dave Prater, 50, Dies; Soul Singer of the 60's", The New York Times, April 13, 1988. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Dave Prater Sr., of the soul-singing duo Sam and Dave, was killed Saturday when the car he was driving went off Interstate 75 near Sycamore, Ga., and hit a tree. He was 50 years old. Mr. Prater had lived in Paterson since 1974 and his body will be returned to New Jersey for burial next week, his widow, Rosemary, said Monday."
^Danforth Public Library, Paterson Arts Council. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Paterson adopted a free library law in 1885 and opened the first public library in the State of New Jersey in 1886. By 1888, having outgrown the Stimson House on Church Street, Mary Danforth Ryle donated her father’s residence for a new library."
^Staff. "Typists to Demonstrate Speed", The New York Times, October 7, 1928. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Albert Tangora of Paterson, t7. J ,and Irma Wright of Toronto, Canada, new professional and amateur typing champions, will give demonstrations at the National Business Show which opens in Madison Square Garden..."
^Popper, Steve. "PRO BASKETBALL; Marbury and Tim Thomas Connect in Victory", The New York Times, March 4, 2004. Accessed September 4, 2011. "One would like to believe that the play had been rehearsed on playgrounds and in gyms when they were younger. Stephon Marbury and Tim Thomas, one from Brooklyn, the other from Paterson, N.J., grew up playing together on all-star teams and in tournaments."
^Lancifer, Unkle. "Dante Tomaselli :: The Kindertrauma Interview", Kindertrauma, February 14, 2011. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Unforgettable. I grew up on Alice, Sweet Alice…originally titled Communion. It made its world premiere in 1976 in Paterson. All my relatives were there. Many were extras in the movie. My Aunt Matilda stands out in the funeral scene. Both of my grandmothers were from Paterson and I was born in Paterson General Hospital."
^Quintanilla, Michael. "enfoque; Elizabeth Vargas", San Antonio Express-News, January 26, 2006. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Vargas, a woman in a field with so few Latinos, was born in Paterson, N.J., to a Puerto Rican U.S. Army captain and his Irish American wife."
^Rohan, Virginia. "Former Paterson resident is man behind the lines at the Oscars", The Record (Bergen County), March 7, 2010. Accessed December 31, 2012. "And Bruce Vilanch will jump right on it. 'The only really spontaneous parts of the show are the winners. Everything else is scripted. And so, unless somebody else goes off script, we know what everybody else is saying,' says Vilanch, a former Patersonian, who has written for the Oscars for the past 21 years."
^Yannis, Alex. "Hockey; The Devils, And Fans, Ignite First Match", The New York Times, October 8, 1995. Accessed January 27, 2012. "Moments after the banner was raised, Patrick Warburton, the actor who portrayed a fanatic Devils' fan in a segment of the Seinfeld television show, was called upon to drop the puck. With his face painted in Devils red and black, the native of nearby Paterson dropped the puck, then stripped the Brodeur jersey he was wearing to display the letter D on his chest."
^Suderman, Alan. "The Weed Candidate", Washington City Paper, March 6, 2013. Accessed August 6, 2014. "The son of a self-taught musician who was a big wheel on the bar mitzvah and Jewish wedding circuit in Paterson, N.J., Zukerberg moved to D.C. 30 years ago to go to law school at American University."