Wednesday, October 7, 2009

City Hall - Orange, NJ

The old Orange City Hall was originally constructed in 1869 as the Day Street School. It was sold and converted into City Hall in 1906, and served in that capacity until 2002 - when a new city hall was constructed a few blocks away on the east side of town.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Columbus Hall - Orange, NJ

Construction of Columbus Hall, the parish school of Saint John's, was commenced in 1892 at the head of Ridge Street on top of a small hill just north of Main Street. It was named after Christopher Columbus (not surprising given its year of construction [which commemorated the 400th anniversary of his discovery]), who had a statue dedicated in his honor at the front entrance of the school. The school officially opened just over two years later on December 1st, 1894.

Today the building is still partially used as a school, but is no longer the bustling center of learning it once was.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Park Avenue - Orange, NJ

There aren't too many original buildings left from the original picture. Park Avenue was initially intended to be one of Orange's grand residential promenades - and named so because of its terminus in West Orange at Llewellyn Park ([still] a very upscale, gated community) - but unfortunately had those aspirations short-lived.

Today the area around Park Avenue suffers from urban decline and has a very high crime rate... As does much of Orange and East Orange.

The "now" photo was taken in 2007.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Our Lady of the Valley Church - Orange, NJ

This is the second building of the Our Lady of the Valley Church. The first building was that of the original Orange Valley Congregational Church (c. 1873), which was demolished in 1909 to make way for the current structure.

Remarkably, the original photo came with a month and year (February 1911) - which means it was most likely taken immediately after completion.

The "now" photo was taken in August 2006.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hillside Presbyterian Church - Orange, NJ

Hillside Presbyterian Church, at the corner of Scotland Road and Hillside Avenue, was opened in 1888 (though not fully completed until 1891).

Today it is known as International Faith Ministries and still holds services regularly.

The "then" photo dates back to somewhere between 1910 and 1920.

The "now" photo was taken in January of 2008.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Valley Congregational Church - Orange, NJ

This church at 448 Highland Avenue was completed in 1868 and remains relatively unchanged to this day (as the photos demonstrate). Originally called Valley Congregational Church, it was renamed Highland Avenue Congregational Church in 1916 (possibly to distinguish itself from Our Lady of the Valley Church just a few blocks south?), and is today known as the Love of Jesus Family Church.

Coincidentally, I lived for two years in the apartment building to the right of the church at 400 Highland Terrace.

The "now" photograph was taken in August of 2006.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

First Presbyterian Church - Orange, NJ

Same church as mentioned in the previous post - built on the site of the old burial grounds at Scotland Road and Main Street in 1928.

The "now" photo was taken in May of 2007.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Old Burying Grounds - Orange, NJ

Originally on (what was then) the "outskirts" of town, the old (Presbyterian) burying grounds at 420 Main Street (southwest corner of Main and Scotland Road) contains some of the oldest tombstones in the state, some of which date back to before the Revolutionary War.

In the 1920's, the First Presbyterian Church built their second building (the first one was located a few blocks east, and lost to fire) on the site, after careful relocation of several grave sites.

In doing so, they also notably improved the brick retaining wall around the site.

The First Presbyterian Church lives on today as of the oldest congregations in the Oranges, having served its parishioners since 1812.

The "then" photo is not specifically dated, but was most likely taken pre-1900 as the Dispatch Rider statue (erected at the corner for the 1907 Orange Centennial celebration) isn't there yet.

The "now" photo was taken in May of 2007.

Orange Memorial Hospital - Orange, NJ

The hospital building in the "then" photo was newly constructed when the image was shot back in 1907 (southwest corner of Henry Street and South Essex Avenue). Although slated for demolition, the original building was still standing as of 2007. Note the trolley tracks in front of the hospital in the original photo. This route is now assumed by NJ Transit's #92 bus.

The entire hospital complex (more than 9 buildings) is scheduled to be razed in the near future to make way for a mixed-income housing development - given the site's close proximity to Orange Station (with Midtown Direct service to Manhattan) and Interstate 280.

Grace Episcopal Church (2) - Orange, NJ

Same church as the previous post, just from a different angle.

This original photo was taken a few years after the shot below... Most likely sometime during the 1910's.