Making Headlines

Breaking News: New Visitor Center Coming to the Paterson Great Falls

Future park visitors will have a new way to experience the history, culture, and beauty of the Great Falls—the Alexander Hamilton Center. The plan for the Center was announced at today's meeting of the national park's Federal Advisory Commission.

Alexander Hamilton Center, courtesy of Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Inc.

The world-class visitor center will include exhibits that explore the national park's major interpretive themes, including economic independence, immigration and labor, industry and innovation, arts and literature, and Negro League baseball.

It All Started with a Picnic at the Great Falls

On July 10, 1778, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Marquis de Lafayette stopped for lunch at the Great Falls. Years later, as the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton founded the City of Paterson as the birthplace of America's economic independence, fueled by the rushing water of the Passaic River.

On Sunday July 10, 2016, we will hold a series of free events in the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park to commemorate the "most important picnic in American history." The event starts at 12:30 p.m. in Mary Ellen Kramer Park (parking is available in Overlook Park at 72 McBride Street). Hamilton Partnership President Leonard Zax will speak about the Great Falls as the inspiration for Alexander Hamilton to create the world's first planned city of innovation, and launch what we have come to call the American Dream.

At 1:00 p.m. living historians portraying Washington, Hamilton, and Lafayette will recreate the famous picnic. We encourage visitors to bring their own picnic lunch and dine along with the founding fathers! After the picnic, visitors will be able to meet and talk to the founding fathers.

At 2:00 p.m. rangers will lead an hour-long walking tour of the national park. The tour will conclude at the Paterson Museum, where visitors can explore some of the incredible inventions and technological innovations from Paterson that would forever change life in America, and around the world. The Museum will also feature the traveling exhibition Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made America, organized by the New-York Historical Society. This beautifully-designed display tells the story of Hamilton’s life, from his childhood as a poor orphan in the Caribbean, to his journey to New Jersey to begin his education, to his rise as one of our most important founding fathers.

 

These events are hosted by the National Park Service and the Hamilton Partnership, and by the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society as part of their annual CelebrateHAMILTON program. For a full schedule of 2016 CelebrateHAMILTON programming, visit www.celebratehamilton.com. 

Click the link below to download the flyer for the event.

Paterson at the Cannes Film Festival

Paterson, the latest film by acclaimed indie director Jim Jarmusch, premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Paterson stars Adam Driver, best known for his performances in Girls and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as a New Jersey Transit bus driver and poet named, aptly, Paterson.

Click the image to watch a clip from the film.

Jarmusch's Paterson is quiet and serene, a place for reflection and inspiration. The film has introduced the beautiful landscapes and vibrant character of the city to new audiences from around the world. The Daily Telegraph, one of London's top newspapers, reminds readers that the city of Paterson "was an early birthplace of American industry, on a site chosen by founding father Alexander Hamilton (yep, the one from the Broadway musical) near the Passaic River’s Great Falls."

The film's reviews have been uniformly positive.

"Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson is a singular ode to the ordered life, domestic harmony and poetry as something worth living for." The Hollywood Reporter

"A quiet delight which celebrates small-town life and dreams." The Guardian

"Unquestionably Adam Driver's finest performance to date." Indiewire

"It is a sublime slice of life in the city of bards." Collider

"This is one of the most beautiful-looking films of the festival so far, even though it’s set, and was filmed, in a city that many may not think of as beautiful." Time Magazine

"A work of becalmed eccentricity and unforced charm, Paterson is a portrait of an artist's world." Los Angeles Times

Paterson will be distributed in the United States by Amazon Studios.

Hamilton at the Great Falls

Thanks to the hit Broadway musical Hamilton Paterson's founding father is becoming a pop culture icon. A recent NPR story about the connection between the musical and Alexander Hamilton's economic legacy began not in New York City but at Paterson's Great Falls. Last year we hosted a brunch with Lin-Manuel Miranda and many other cast members from HAMILTON, along with historian Ron Chernow and playwright John Guare. Before seeing the show Ron and John led our group in a lively conversation about Lin's creation of the musical inspired by Ron's best-selling biography of Paterson's founder. In October we honored Hamilton star Jasmine Cephas Jones and Paterson's own Doug Herzog, president of Viacom's Music and Entertainment Group.Lin-Manuel Miranda with John Guare; Jasmine Cephas Jones

NPR Reports on Hamilton's Financial Legacy at the Great Falls

HAMILTON may be the hottest ticket in New York today, but the story of Alexander Hamilton and his vision for America's economic independence begins here in Paterson.

NPR visited the Great Falls to explore how Hamilton implemented his ambitious strategy to stimulate manufacturing and industry to secure the new nation's economic independence, and talked to Lin-Manuel Miranda about turning Hamilton's legacy into a Broadway hit.

Listen to the full story here.

First Phase of Park Renovations Complete!

Ribbon Cutting at Mary Ellen Kramer Park

The first phase of improvements to the National Park was completed this summer, and we celebrated with a ribbon-cutting cermony on August 28.

The newly-renovated section of the park, tucked in between the Great Falls and Hinchliffe Stadium, is known as Mary Ellen Kramer Park.

It is named for Paterson's former first lady, whose work in the 1970s was instrumental in preserving the land around the Falls and establishing the Great Falls National Historic District.

Mary Ellen Kramer Park now has a variety of new amenities including paved and lighted walking trails, benches and picnic tables, and a decorative brick-and-iron entrance gate. A stepped walkway leads to an observation deck, giving visitors new and improved opportunities to get up close to the Great Falls.

Visitors tour the newly-renovated Mary Ellen Kramer Park.

Now that Mary Ellen Kramer Park is open, park visitors can once again walk the full Mill Mile. Download the audio tour app (Android or iOS) to take a walk around the Great Falls with Super Bowl star Victor Cruz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz, MacArthur Prize-winning creator of HAMILTON Lin-Manuel Miranda, and other friends of Paterson.

Photos courtesy Giacomo DeStefano ⓒ2015
Hinchliffe Stadium: Newest Addition to National Park

Hinchliffe StadiumOn Friday, December 19, President Obama signed legislation to add Hinchliffe Stadium, the historic home of the NY Black Yankees and NY Cubans in Negro League baseball, to the Paterson Great Falls National Park. Hinchliffe played a central role in Paterson's cultural history and now will be a permanent part of the National Park System. This has been one of our top priorities and we are proud to have played a role in helping our NJ congressional delegation make it happen.

Hinchliffe Stadium was named one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The 10,000 seat, poured-concrete Art Deco stadium was the home field of the New York Black Yankees for more than a decade. Another Negro League team, the New York Cubans, also made Hinchliffe their home field for some years. Today it is one of the only remaining Negro League stadiums in the country. The Negro Leagues brightest stars—including Hall of Famer Larry Doby, who became the first African American to sign with Major League Baseball's American League—played on Hinchliffe's hallowed field. A beloved community landmark, Hinchliffe also hosted automobile and motocycle racing, pro football games, and boxing matches attended by celebrities from Babe Ruth to Joe Louis to Lou Costello.

In March 2013 the stadium was designated a National Historic Landmark. Listen to testimony delivered to the National Historic Landmark committee by Leonard Coleman—former president of the National League in Major League Baseball and friend of the late Larry Doby.

In December 2014, Congress passed legislation to expand the boundary of the Paterson National Park to include Hinchliffe Stadium. Read the Hinchliffe Stadium Heritage Act of 2014.

Hinchliffe has been closed since 1997 and is dangerously deteriorated. The stadium's new national park status will help the growing movement to restore the stadium for sports and other events. 

Legendary baseball star Cal Ripken, Jr., one of the stadium's many supporters, said, "Hinchliffe deserves to be restored into a place where tomorrow's youth will be able to walk in the footsteps of yesterday's legends and experience history first hand." Once restored, we will honor at Hinchliffe the unparalleled athletic achievement by Americans of color and immigrants. We will celebrate the demise of segregation in baseball and growth of a national pastime inclusive of African Americans and Latinos.

Learn more about the history of baseball in Paterson.

Mill Mile Audio Tour App Launched

Mill Mile BrochureThe Hamilton Partnership released the Mill Mile audio tour smartphone app, the latest dimension of our gritty city self-guided walking tour of the Paterson Great Falls National Park.

Watch our video to learn more.

Why is one of America's newest national parks at the Great Falls in Paterson, New Jersey? Mill Mile answers that question, featuring messages from NBC's Brian Williams, NFL star and Paterson son Victor Cruz, MacArthur Prize-winning novelist Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Ron Chernow, Broadway composer Lin Manuel-Miranda, and a diverse mix of other friends of Paterson.

Mill Mile is available for free download on iTunes and Google Play. 

Or you can follow the self-guided Mill Mile brochure, available for download here or at www.MillMile.org

 

A National Historical Park for Economic Independence Day

It was July 4th but the year was 1792 when Alexander Hamilton launched the battle for America’s economic independence. The place was Paterson, NJ.

We celebrate America’s political independence by looking back to the Declaration of Independence, approved on July 4, 1776 at what is now Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia. But precisely sixteen years later, Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first Treasury Secretary, met with a group of leading American investors on a New Jersey riverbank near what was then the nation’s most powerful waterfall, pouring up to two billion gallons of water into a deep gorge each day. Here Hamilton would establish the world’s first city of innovation, ending America’s dependency on Europe for essential manufactured goods, especially military supplies. At the Great Falls in Paterson, Hamilton launched the first battle to secure our nation’s economic independence. 

Explore the birthplace of America’s economic independence with Mill Mile, Paterson National Park's new audio tour smartphone app featuring NBC’s Brian Williams and Super Bowl star Victor Cruz. Check out this trailer: http://bit.ly/MillMile

Frank R. Lautenberg: Paterson Boy Who Did Good
Frank R. Lautenberg (right) with Henry Taub  (center) and Joe Taub (left).

Frank R. Lautenberg (right) with Henry Taub (center) and Joe Taub (left).

We mourn the loss of Senator Frank R. Lautenberg. From his heart and for his lifetime, he was a kid from Paterson. He rose from poverty to help Henry and Joe Taub build ADP into a great American success story---and to do good for our city and our nation. Senator Lautenberg was a leader in the quest to create the Paterson Great Falls National Park, which ten days before he died he called the most important work he wanted to do for Paterson.

Read more about young Frank Lautenberg's Paterson on northjersey.com