Making Headlines

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:

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 


Santo Domingo + Paterson = MacArthur Fellowship for Junot Díaz
Junot Díaz
 Junot Díaz

The latest success story in Paterson literature is novelist Junot Díaz, who won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2012. Díaz' Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, is set partly in Paterson.

For more than two hundred years, writers and poets have drawn inspiration from Paterson for their works.  Two John Updike novels, Allen Ginsberg's poetry, an epic poem by William Carlos Williams, and Washington Irving's only published poem. Díaz himself writes, "The Paterson Falls are where the pulse of our state communicates itself, where the true land that we have sought to bury under the concrete detritus of our civilization can still speak to us. A natural treasure of alarming power, a place where I have repeatedly sought refuge, inspiration and a sense of my self. Despite the many attempts to shackle, to hem, to pacify, to in wit destroy the falls, they have survived, a reminder of the tenacity of wild spaces but also, in their singularity, a warning that if we do not act this splinter too will vanish and all of us, in our state, in our country--and yes--in our world will be diminished for it."

Junot Díaz is featured in our new Mill Mile audio tour smartphone app. Watch his appearance on the Colbert Report.

Paterson Great Falls Becomes America's Newest National Park

Paterson Great Falls Becomes America's Newest National Park Its official! On November 7, the Secretary of Interior signed an agreement with the city of Paterson that formally established the Paterson Great Falls National Park. In an uplifting ceremony at the Great Falls on a picture-perfect day, Paterson residents gathered to hear remarks by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, Senators Frank Lautenberg and Bob Menendez, Congressman Bill Pascrell, and Mayor Jeffery Jones.

Congressman Bill Pascrell exclaimed, "this is our Yellowstone." Now the Great falls is part of the National Park System, protected forever by federal legislation and stewardship in a partnership with the city of Paterson.

The dedication also marked the beginning of the National Park Service’s intensive two-year planning process. With the help of the Paterson National Park Advisory Commission and the active participation of residents of Paterson and the region, the National Park Service will create a detailed plan for the park and its educational dimensions.

Officials expressed gratitude to the congressional delegation and the Paterson community for the unwavering unity sustained throughout the years. That unity was perhaps most pronounced among the Paterson youth present at the ceremony, many of whom were members of the Great Falls Youth Corps, flanking the crowd with signs celebrating the Park’s establishment and thanking their congressional representatives.

This was truly a day to celebrate Paterson’s historic past. We look forward to the work we have ahead of us as we create a national park for the 21st century, one that will help us improve the quality of life today and in the future.

Our friends at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation posted these wonderful photos of the event.

To watch highlights from the dedication ceremony, click here.

Darren Boch Named Superintendent for Paterson National Park

The National Park Service has named Darren Boch, a National Park Service employee who was born in Paterson, superintendent of the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park.

Since 2006, Boch has been the public affairs officer for the National Parks of New York Harbor, a network of 10 national parks in the New York City metropolitan area. He is currently deputy superintendent of the national park sites in Manhattan.

"My grandparents lived in Paterson,” said Boch, “and I look forward to returning to the city in which I was born. I have spent my career bringing together groups of people to work for a common cause, and I can think of no better purpose than establishing a great national park right here in Paterson."

Prior to joining the National Park Service in 2006, Boch was vice president for public affairs at Keating & Co Strategic Communications in Florham Park, NJ, where he developed strategic communications plans for clients concentrated in the manufacturing, healthcare and financial services sectors. Previously, he was director of communications for the Essex County Office of the County Executive in Newark, NJ, with responsibility for all external communications for the County Executive and the departments of New Jersey's largest county government. Prior to assuming that position, he was director of policy and communications for Jersey City. Heresides in New Jersey with his wife and three children.

Great Falls Youth Corps Launches Second Summer Program

The Great Falls Youth Corps has returned to begin its second summer program. Comprised of 24 newcomers and 6 returning senior members, the GFYC brings together youth from several Paterson area high schools to learn about the city of Paterson as they play a vital role in the launching of the new Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. The members will take part in an improved educational curriculum that will provide hands-on, place-based educational experiences on topics ranging from the architecture of the Historic District, the National Park System, the environment, renewable energy, civic engagement, and the history of Paterson and its legacy as the first planned industrial city. Members will have the opportunity to share these lessons with other Paterson high school and elementary students. The Youth Corps will also participate in the maintenance and beautification of the site of the new park, helping to foster the public’s enjoyment of the public space.

Funded by the National Park Service, as well as several grants and private donations, the Corps was founded in 2009 and is administered by the New Jersey Development Corporation. Paterson schoolteachers and AmeriCorps members will also play key roles in the GFYC’s professional development and organization.

Building on the impressive gains the students made in the GFYC’s inaugural summer last year, the members will continue to develop a sense of pride in their city and in themselves, growing as ambassadors to their neighborhood and active participants in shaping Paterson’s future. Members will take the lead in the organization and management of the GFYC’s activities, including maintenance and clean-up, interactive educational activities, outreach to the larger Paterson community, and documentation of the students’ accomplishments. As part of the training for their full-time jobs, members will once again travel to the national park in Lowell, MA, where the students last summer were able to see first-hand how Lowell celebrates America’s industrial heritage.

This year, the GFYC has the pleasure of welcoming Manny Martinez, a Paterson native and accomplished educator from the Community Charter School of Paterson, as its new director. He brings to the program a wealth of experience in the education of Paterson’s youth and a passion for improving the quality of life for the city’s residents. Mr. Martinez will provide a new level of inspiration and empowerment to the youth of the GFYC.

Celebrate Economic Independence Day in Paterson

For the American economy, Independence Day was also the 4th of July—but the year was 1792.

We celebrate America's political independence by looking back to the Declaration of Independence, approved by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, at what is now Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia. But precisely sixteen years after the Declaration of Independence, 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.

In 1792, America remained woefully dependent upon England and Europe for all manufactured goods-even military supplies. Hamilton told Congress that America would forever be at the mercy of foreign powers unless the young nation also won economic independence, and he created a strategy to achieve it, starting in Paterson.

True to Hamilton's vision, Paterson grew to become a great industrial city for many goods essential to America's economic independence. And to recognize both Paterson's natural beauty and the city's critical role in our economic history, President Obama signed into law legislation creating the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park.

Over the 4th of July weekend this year, visit this hidden gem of our nation's economic history, the Paterson Great Falls. No other natural wonder has played a more pivotal role in our nation's quest for independence and prosperity.

Paterson Arts Council Third Annual Art Walk, June 11

The Paterson Arts Council (PAC) will present the third annual Paterson Art Walk on June 11, a one-day collaborative exhibition of over one hundred local, regional and international artists and curators. The Art Walk's focus is to provide a novel opportunity for everyone to experience site-specific and other temporary art installations within the newly designated Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park and the adjacent Downtown Commercial Historic District. Visual and performing arts, dance, music, fine art, poetry, sculptural works, and site-specific installations will appear in a variety of Paterson venues, including fast-food restaurants, vacant industrial mills, theaters, 1900s Beaux Arts commercial buildings and Paterson's new downtown mall space, Center City. The Art Walk opens at 10am, Saturday, June 11, rain or shine and closes at 10pm the same day. Walking maps are available on the PAC website,, as well as at the Paterson Museum, Great Falls Cultural Center, Paterson Library and City Hall. Please note that not all participating locations are ADA accessible. A visit to the Great Falls, the Paterson Museum, a bite to eat and downtown shopping are just blocks away from each other. For more information or to participate, please contact the PAC at

Henry Taub, 1927 - 2011
Henry Taub (center) with his brother Joe (left) and Frank Lautenberg. (Credit:

Henry Taub (center) with his brother Joe (left) and Frank Lautenberg.
(Photo from ADP)

We mourn the loss of Henry Taub, whose love of Paterson joined with his generosity for many good causes, just one of which was the creation of the Hamilton Partnership. His philanthropy included charities from Paterson to Israel, including important centers for Middle East studies at NYU and Alzheimer's research at Columbia University.

Alexander Hamilton launched the American Dream in Paterson; Henry Taub lived it. From School No. 6 on one side of the Danforth Library to Eastside High School on the other, Henry developed a fervent belief in education as the key to economic advancement. He skipped two grades in the Paterson Public Schools and worked his way through NYU in three years, graduating with a degree in accounting at the age of 19, which was too young to become a CPA. With a small amount of borrowed money, he set up a small business to help local mill owners do their payroll more efficiently and accurately than the old way of trying to do it themselves. The business grew slowly, and he hired his brother Joe out of high school to help, moving to a larger office in the Carroll Plaza Hotel.

Henry and his brother met an insurance salesman named Frank Lautenberg, who helped them build the business, initially working part-time on commission. The small company grew steadily and expanded beyond Paterson and northern New Jersey to New York, and then to Boston and Florida and beyond. Today that company is known as ADP, a multinational payroll and data services corporation with more than $9 billion in revenues around the world.

Henry's immigrant father was the last licensed junk peddler in Paterson, traveling the streets with a horse, wagon, and bell long after his son's success meant that no one in the family had to work that way anymore. Henry too was a modest man and a quiet presence in business and philanthropy--and even in the NBA when he was one of the owners of the Nets

Despite these accomplishments--and many more--around the world, there always was joy in Henry's eyes when he talked about living on Carroll Street and later on Tenth Avenue, going to Eastside Park, and starting and growing his business in downtown Paterson. Last spring, he came to the Great Falls with three generations of the Taub Family so that his children and grandchildren could learn more about the city that was such an important part of his life.

Dodge Foundation Visits Paterson

Dodge Blog: Can an Urban Waterfall Repower Paterson?

Patterson Silk Machinery ExchangeA team of Dodge staff and trustees recently toured the Great Falls area - now the heart of the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. Leonard Zax, President of the Hamilton Partnership, and Bill Bolger, Paterson National Park Project Manager, brought to life a planned project called the Mill Mile. The Mill Mile will involve a series of walking tours and educational materials that will be an integral part of America's newest National Park. Mill Mile will engage Paterson residents and visitors through history, art, literature, and environmental education.