About West Orange

Welcome to West Orange NJWelcome to West Orange NJ

West Orange is a township in central Essex County, New Jersey with a population in excess of 47,000. West Orange adjoins the South Mountain Reservation.

City Buildling in West Orange NJ
City Buildling

The oldest and most densely populated part of the township lies in the low valley along the border with the City of Orange, between Montclair Township in the north and South Orange Township to the south ("down the hill"). The Edison National Historic Site is located on Main Street in this section, and several major east-west arteries of the Newark street grid have their western terminus here, notably Central and Park Avenues. Downtown West Orange has a more urban character than the rest of the township.  

Downtown West Orange NJ
Downtown

Moving west, the neighborhoods along the First Watchung Mountain become increasingly suburban, ascending the steep hill along Northfield, Mount Pleasant, and Eagle Rock Avenues. The housing stock in neighborhoods of Hutton Parkand, the First Mountain neighborhoods, is a mixture of 19th-century and Jazz Age estates, large pre-war Tudor-style houses, garden apartments, and post-war suburban houses. Llewellyn Park, one of the country's first planned communities, is also located on the First Mountain. These parts of town overlook downtown West Orange and many streets, often called terraces, have sweeping views of the skylines of downtown Newark and New York City.

Home in West Orange NJ
Home in West Orange NJ

Beyond the high ridge of Prospect Avenue ("up the hill"), the township transitions to a predominantly post-war suburban neighborhood, interspersed with pockets of older homes, golf courses, and shopping centers, sloping back down toward Pleasant Valley Way. Pleasantdale includes a business district and large Orthodox Jewish community.  

Pond in West Orange NJ
Pond

The westernmost section of West Orange lies along the eastern face of the Second Watchung Mountain, and includes a large part of South Mountain Reservation. The post-war housing stock in this neighborhood resembles Pleasant Valley, bordering the townships of Millburn, Maplewood and Livingston.  




The Jersey Rockhoppers Hockey Team of the Eastern Professional Hockey League will play home games at the Richard J. Codey Arena beginning in Fall 2008. The arena also used to be the practice facility for The New Jersey Devils.  

Explore Millburn, Summit & Livingston Communities

Economy

For years West Orange has been a hotbed for the mass-media and telecommunications industries. The first movie studio ever was located in this town and there are a number of antennas located in the town. From the mid-1970's until the early 1990's Channel 68 TV maintained their offices, studios and transmitter on Eagle Rock Avenue which was then occupied by WNBC-TV and WPXN-TV as a backup transmitter facility. after Channel 68 moved to West Market Street in Newark. As of March 2007, the 416 Eagle Rock Avenue property is now an empty lot. The main building which housed Channel 68 was recently demolished and the transmitter tower now stands alone. WFME Radio has their offices, studios and transmitter while their sister station WFME-TV has their executive offices in the same building on Mount Pleasant Avenue next to an MCI Communications (Now part of Verizon Communications). There is a fiber optics and satellite transmission facility on Eagle Rock Avenue next to the old Channel 68 building. Former Upsala College radio station WFMU's transmitter is on Marcella Avenue just down the street from WFME. Sprint Nextel and Verizon Wireless all have cell towers located throughout the township to provide clear coverage and Verizon maintains a huge Central Office on Prospect Avenue.  

History

Scenery West Orange NJ
Scenery

The Essex County Parks and Recreation Department erected a memorial inside of Eagle Rock Reservation to the memory of those Essex County residents who were killed during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The memorial is located on a site that overlooks the New York Cityskyline, and was dedicated on October 20, 2002.  

West Orange was frequently used as a locale in the HBO mafia series The Sopranos. Filming locations included the Green Hill Retirement Community on Pleasant Valley Way depicted as the Green Grove Nursing Home where Tony's mother Livia resided and the Police Department headquarters located at 60 Main Street was depicted as the East Haledon Police Department in the episode Johnny Cakes.  

The New Jersey Devils, a NHL team, used the Richard J. Codey Arena at South Mountainas their practice facility until the 07-08 season.  

Scenic building in West Orange NJ
Scenic building

Thomas Edison bought a property known as Glenmont in 1886 as a wedding gift for his bride. It occupies 13.5 acres(55,000 m²) in the Llewellyn Park district. The remains of both Thomas and Mina Edison are now buried there. Glenmont is maintained by the National Park Service as part of the Edison National Historic Site.  

The first motion picture studio, The Black Maria, was located on the grounds of Edison's factory in West Orange. 

West Orange NJ home
West Orange NJ home

The first Linens-N-Things store which has since permanently closed was located on the upper level of the Essex Green Shopping Center.  Turtle Back Zoo, founded in 1963 and currently one of only four zoos in New Jersey, is located in the South Mountain Reservation.  

West Orange has the largest population of Jewish and Roman Catholic residents in Essex County.  

Transportation

Sign in West Orange NJ
Thomas A Edison Park Sign

West Orange is 12 miles from Manhattan and many residents commute to the city. The busses are easily accessible, with a commuting distance of 50 minutes to the Port Authority. Route 280, an interstate spur linking West Orange with the New Jersey Turnpike, the Holland Tunnel and Route 80, cuts through the community. While there is no NJ Transit train station in West Orange, train stations in Orange, South Orange and Montclair are only a short drive from most neighborhoods in West Orange. The town of West Orange also offers a shuttle bus in the Gregory and St. Cloud neighborhoods to and from the Mountain and South Orange train stations during the morning and evening rush hour, Monday through Friday. Commuter parking passes for the South Mountain Arena in West Orange are available. To obtain information on the parking passes you can call Essex County Dept. of Parks at 973-266-3520.

Education

West Orange Public Schools  

School in West Orange NJ
West Orange School 

The West Orange Public Schools serves students in Kindergarten through 12th grade, including a total of eleven school facilities. Schools in the district (with 2005-06 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[14]) are seven elementary schools (all K-5, except as noted) Gregory (471 students), Hazel Avenue (334), Mount Pleasant (350), Pleasantdale (PreK-5; 454), Redwood (496), St. Cloud (363) and Washington (412)  three middle schools — Edison (6; 483), Liberty (7&8; 528) and Roosevelt (7&8; 438)  and one high school, West Orange High School (1,998), for grades 9-12. In the 1990s, the West Orange school district was ranked among the top 1% of schools in the nation by The Washington Post.