Spotlight on CLIFTON
Passaic County, NJ
Populaton: 78,500 - Square Miles: 11.3
Median Household Income: $56,500 - Median Home Value 2009: $314,400
Only 15 miles from New York City, Clifton is perfectly situated for commuting via train or bus and perfectly situated to access most of northern NJ because it is connected to six major highways - Routes 3, 19, 21, 46, 80 and the Garden State Parkway.
Clifton is a vibrant mix of residential and commercial. Relatively low taxes and afordable housing make Clifton a magnet for young and first time home buyers. Although there are some stately homes in Clifton, it is largely a town of modest single and two family homes, townhouse complexes, condos and rental apartments. Much of the housing stock is from the 1940's through the 1960's.
Shopping opportunities abound in Clifton on Routes 3 and 46, along with many thriving small businesses on Clifton Ave., Main Ave. and Allwood Rd. A diverse population mix gives parts of Clifton a particularly international flavor, reflected in the many ethnic eateries on Clifton's commercial streets.
The city has 28 parks, the largest of which is the 36 acre Main Memorial Park, which has baseball diamonds, tennis courts and a pond. The four-acre Morris Canal Park contains part of the 102 mile canal built in the early 1800's to link the Delaware River with the Hudson River at Jersey City.
The City of Clifton was established in 1917, but its existence goes back over two centuries prior. Dutch Settlers purchased a tract of land which included modern day Clifton from the Leni Lenape Indians in 1679 and this tract was incorporated as Acquackanonk Township in 1683. Primarily farmland through the 1800's, Clifton became industrialized in the 1900's when it was home to numerous factories including several large silk mills.
Although much of the industry is now gone, much of the history remains. Clifton's history can be seen in many places including the Botany District (a restored Victorian era neighborhood), the Athenia section, the Hamilton House Museum and the Clifton Municipal Complex and Clifton "Arts Center housed in renovated brick barns built in the early 20th century and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Just across the Paterson border is historic Lambert Castle, built by silk tycoon Catholina Lambert in 1892 in the style of castles he had visited in England. A museum since 1926, it is on both the NJ and National Registers of Historic Places.
Clifton also epitomizes much that is distinctive about northern NJ popular culture, including its share of notable diners and hot dog joints. Many scenes from the Sopranos and movies were filmed in Clifton, including Main Memorial Park and Clifton High School.
The golf scenes were filmed at the Upper Montclair Country Club, which is located in Clifton and which has also been home to tournaments including the NFL Golf Classic and most recently the LPGA Sybase Classic presented by Shop Rite.