The Hoboken Historical Museum is a neat, easy to miss space dedicated to – as you might guess from the name – the history and people of the city of Hoboken. While the 2,000-square foot space it’s located in is relatively small for a museum, there’s still a lot to see and with an entry fee of only $5, it’s worth stopping in to view some lovely historical photos and gain a new appreciation for the town.
The Hoboken Historical Museum is in a former Bethlehem Steel building and opened in 1986. Exhibits change throughout the year, and they offer both walking tours of the city and self-guided tour information. During my visit I checked out the Sinatra memorabilia – the famous singer was born in Hoboken in 1915 – and also their “The Avenue: A History of Washington Street” exhibit, which had some incredible photos of the city’s past. I also discovered that legendary photographer Dorothea Lange (known for her incredible Migrant Mother image) was born in Hoboken, as was Alfred Stieglitz, another incredible photographer who helped popularize the medium as an art form. Some of Robert Frank’s most iconic photos were taken in the city as well. I also learned that Hoboken was popularized as a resort area for visitors from New York City in 1820-1850 and was home to the first organized game of baseball in 1846. Past displays have focused on industry in the area, the city’s relationship with immigration, the creation of the Holland Tunnel, and the impact of Hurricane Sandy. In addition to the exhibits on the main floor, the museum also has an art gallery upstairs that features different local artists’ work throughout the year.
The gentleman who was working there, Bill, was extremely friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable, and recommended a lot of great resources about the area. I would definitely recommend checking the website first and schedule your visit so you can take a guided tour of the city. You also should be sure to walk to the nearby waterfront, where there is a beautiful view of New York City and some great parks/piers for strolling.
The Hoboken Historical Museum is open six days a week and you can find more information about exhibits and events on their website: https://www.hobokenmuseum.org/
Matthew Christopher NJ Hoboken Sep 20, 2022 History Museums Reviews