National Design Competition to Be Held for Trenton and Paterson Sites

NEWS RELEASE Governor James E. McGreevey

October 21, 2004

 FOR MORE INFORMATION: Micah Rasmussen - 609-777-2600

(PATERSON) - Governor James E. McGreevey today announced the designation of three new state parks at historic destinations in Paterson, Trenton and River Edge, adding that a national competition would be held for the design of the Trenton and Paterson sites.

"Our parks and open spaces are the pride and joy of New Jersey," said McGreevey. "Parks create a sense of place, provide recreational and educational experiences, protect the environment and boost the economy. A world of opportunities and advantages rests in these new parks, which benefit not just our urban centers but all of New Jersey."

In his 2003 State of the State Address, McGreevey promised to create at least two new state parks and upgrade or create 200 local parks across New Jersey. To date, 205 local parks have been either built or improved.

The Governor made the announcement at the Great Falls in Paterson, where he was joined by Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell and Paterson Mayor Josť "Joey" Torres.

"Trenton, Paterson and River Edge have natural and historic treasures that are pathways to New Jersey's history - from the Dutch settlements at River Edge, to the pivotal Battle of Trenton, to the advent of the industrial revolution in Paterson," said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "New parks in these cities will be centerpieces of community renewal in areas that are under-served by our parks system."

The design competition for the Paterson park will focus on ecological aesthetics of the Great Falls and the city's Native American and industrial history. The 77-foot Great Falls is the second largest waterfall by volume and width east of the Mississippi River. Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, called Paterson America's first planned industrial city as a result of the extensive waterpower the Great Falls provided.

"Tourism is an important part of Paterson's future," said Torres. "I thank Governor McGreevey for recognizing the significance of the Great Falls. By designating this area a state park, we are extending an invitation for visitors to come experience Paterson's rich history and proud culture."

The park in Trenton will link the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park to existing parks and historic sites including the Hamilton-Trenton Marsh, Stacy Park, Mill Hill Park, the Trenton Battle Monument and three national historic landmarks - the Old Barracks Museum, the John Abbott National Historic Landmark and the William Trent House. The reclamation and restoration of Stacy Park will complete the historic restoration of the State House Complex.

The River Edge state park will be located at Historic New Bridge Landing and will include the state-owned Steuben House and the historic pony-truss swing bridge, as well as a new visitor's center, an interpretive center and additional open space. During the American Revolution, Historic New Bridge Landing was a strategic river crossing that served as a battleground, intelligence-gathering post, encampment ground and military headquarters. Historic New Bridge Landing is located in River Edge, Bergen County, at the edge of Teaneck, Hackensack and New Milford.

The design competition seeks submissions that will enhance accessibility, connectivity, and the integration of natural and man-made environments and will emphasize historical and ecological treasures. The state has allocated $300,000 to implement the competition, which DEP and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts will jointly sponsor. The competition will be open to architects, landscape architects, planners, engineers, artists, urban designers and students sponsored by a design professional.

"New York's Central Park, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, and the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Mall in Washington, DC are just a few of the dozens of major public spaces that were the result of design competitions," said Tom Moran, senior program officer for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. "The Council looks forward to managing a design competition process that yields fresh and creative concepts for these important new urban state parks. The competition will promote design excellence and innovation for these parks and will be an opportunity for both unrecognized as well as established talents to enter."

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts will accept expressions of interest from those interested in submitting designs for the Trenton and Paterson parks through February 2005. Informational sessions will be held in Trenton and Paterson following the close of registration.


Photos and audio and video clips from Governor McGreevey's press conferences are available in the Office of the Governor section on the State of New Jersey web page,