Skip to Main Content

The Newark Experience

The Worst American City

"The Worst American City: A Scientific Study to Confirm or Deny Your Prejudices,"
Arthur M. Louis. Harper's Magazine 250(1496), January 1975, 67-71.
Considers the nation's fifty largest cities in 24 categories. Found that "[Newark] ranked among the worst five cities in no fewer than nineteen of the twenty-four categories, and it was dead last in nine of them. Rutgers-restricted Access


South Broad Urban Renewal Project 1960
Area between Broad Street, High Street, Court and West Kenney. Newark Public Library Digital Collection.
Staging of Redevelopment Projects 1960
Downtown Newark from Bloomfield Avenue to Lincoln Park.
Newark Central City Area Study 1968

Newark Housing Authority

Urban Renewal Project Files, 1960s-1970s
Collection at the City of Newark Archives and Records Management Center.
Newark Housing Authority Photographs, 1940-1967
Newark Public Library Collection.

Model Cities

Application to the Department of Housing and Urban Development for a Grant to Plan a Comprehensive City Demonstration Program [Part IA]. April 1967.
Description of Newark submited as part of a Model Cities grant application.
Newark Model Cities Program.
Newark, N.J. Community Development Administration, 1969. 3 vols.
Contents: Vol. 1: Problem Analysis. Goals and Program Approaches. Strategy. Vol. 2: Five Year Forecast. Vol. 3: First Year Action Program. Available?
Newark: Model Cities, Architectural & Environmental Design, Public Amenities Program & Specific Projects: Final Report.
Washington, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, 1971. Available?
Model Cities Program, Newark, N.J.
U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Banking and Currency. Subcommittee on Banking and Currency. Hearing. September 8, 1972.
"Hearing in Newark, N.J., before the Subcom on Housing on local operation of Federal housing and urban development programs, with emphasis on model cities and public housing programs and FHA operations in the center city." Rutgers-restricted Access

Renewing Newark: the Sixties, Seventies, and Eighties

The Newark Frontier: Community Action in the Great Society Rutgers-restricted access
Mark Krasovic. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2016.
"The Newark Frontier shows how, during the Great Society, urban liberalism adapted and grew, defining itself less by centralized programs and ideals than by administrative innovation and the small-scale, personal interactions generated by community action programs, investigative commissions, and police-community relations projects." Available?
The Fixers: Devolution, Development, and Civil Society in Newark, 1960-1990
Julia Rabig. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2016
"Understanding how some individuals and organizations in the complex and vibrant landscape of 1960s activism came to act as fixers illuminates two intertwined developments that shaped twentieth-century US history: the uneven political incorporation of black Americans and the evolution of the urban crisis...To understand why fixers emerged in the late 1960s and what distinguishes them, we must first understand the problems they promised to address, problems that Newark shared with many other cities around the country but that were also exacerbated by New Jersey’s particular history of localism and suburban expansion." Available?
Broken Deal: Devolution, Development and Civil Society in Newark, New Jersey, 1960-1990Rutgers-restricted access
Julia Rabig. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Pennsylvania, 2007.
"This dissertation explores the enduring conflicts over race, federalism, and local self-determination in postwar U.S. cities through the experience of Newark, New Jersey... Newark's residents and their suburban neighbors mounted imaginative challenges to the city's decline, many of which resonated nationally among policymakers and residents of similarly distressed cities." Available?
The Law and Practice of Municipal Land Assembly: Fifty years of Urban Redevelopment and Community Opposition in Newark, New Jersey
Alan Drew Cander. Ph.D. Thesis, Rutgers University, 2011.
"Using a three-pronged qualitative methodology based on semi-structured interviews, archival analysis, and site visits, I conducted case studies of four urban redevelopment projects (two in one neighborhood) in Newark, New Jersey spanning a fifty-year period and revealing several overarching themes."
"State, Meet the Ghetto: Researching the Great Society in Newark."
Mark Krasovic. Three Historians: John Gutierrez, Mark Krasovic, and Julia Rabig. Newark History Society program, June 22, 2009.
"Who Speaks for the City?: Insiders and Outsiders in Newark's History."
Julia Rabig. Three Historians: John Gutierrez, Mark Krasovic, and Julia Rabig. Newark History Society program, June 22, 2009.
The People Who Rebuilt Newark During Tumultuous Decades
WNYC interview with Julia Rabig, October 27, 2016.
Relocation of Elderly People. Part 2, Newark, N.J.
United States. Congress. Senate. Special Committee on Aging. Subcommittee on Involuntary Relocation of the Elderly. Hearings. Oct. 26, 1962. Washington, D.C., 1963.
The elderly were among the populations most affected by urban renewal projects.
"Urban Renewal and Civil Rights,"
Stanley B. Winters. Studies on the Left 4(3), Summer 1964, pp. 16-31.
"The involuntary removal of large numbers of Negroes from their homes, businesses, churches and communities through the operations of a joint private and public program makes urban renewal a civil rights problem of enormous magnitude." Available?
Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America, And What We Can Do About It
Mindy Thompson Fullilove. New Village Press Edition, 2016.
Using the stories of the people who have lived through it, psychiatrist Mindy Fullilove describes the profound traumatic stress- the "root shock"that results when a neighborhood is demolished. Focuses on the Hill District of Pittsburgh, the Central Ward in Newark, and Roanoke, Virginia. Rutgers-restricted Access
"In the Way of Progress": How a Federal Highway and Political Fragmentation Blighted Neighborhoods in the Weequahic Section of Newark
John Johnson, Jr. New Jersey Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal Summer, 2023, pp. 91-129
"This paper chronicles the history of interstate highway construction through the Weequahic Section of Newark, New Jersey...Tracing how urban renewal led to a broader set of changes in the Newark cityscape, this paper examines how city and state officials exploited Newark’s geographic resources, not for the benefit of Weequahic residents or Newark citizens more generally, but for downtown and regional commercial interests, and suburban commuters."
Filling in the 'Grocery Gap' : Supermarkets and the Shaping of the Food Retail Landscape in Newark, NJ, 1950-1990
James McElroy. (M.A. Thesis) Rutgers University - Newark, 2016.
As approaches to the problem of food deserts are being developed, it is essential to keep in mind that barriers to nutrition have social as well as economic origins.
Re: New Newark: A Continuing Ten-Year Program. Final Report.
Newark, N.J. Central Planning Board. Prepared with the assistance of the Newark Commission for Neighborhood Conservation and Rehabilitation. 1961.
"[This report] is divided into three parts: principal elements of a continuing 10-year renewal program; community elements; and methods and techniques. This study embodies the experience and knowledge gained from an extensive analysis of Newark's renewal problems." Available?
Newark Urban Renewal Areas.
Newark, N.J. Division of City Planning, October, 1963.
Data and status of all urban renewal projects current in October 1963.
Marketability Material for Urban Land Institute Panel: Second Meeting, September 20, 21, 22, 1965.
Newark, The Housing Authority, Community Renewal Program, 1965. Available?
"'No Med School!' Black Resistance to The New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry (NJCMD) Urban Renewal Proposal, Between 1960 and 1970"
Edad Mercier. Journal of Ethnic an Cultural Studies 7(3), August 14, 2020, pp.48-62.
"This article is a historiographical study of urban renewal in Newark, New Jersey. The paper offers a cross-sectional view of policymaking and appropriation at the federal and local levels, which is critical when analyzing the delimitations of ethnic coalition building. The article centers on a typological study of Black resistance to the New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry (NJCMD) construction project that was slated to commence around 1965-1966."
Uprooted: How Newark Acquired a Medical School and Destroyed a Neighborhood
2021. Includes an interactive map tracking the displacement of the residents of University Heights over two phases of emigration, 1955-1964, and 1964-1972. Includes names of displaced residents. From the Newest Americans project.
Urban Development Policy Newark.
Newark, N.J. Mayor's Policy and Development Office. Division of Review and Planning, 1975. Available?
University City: New Town-In Town, Newark, New Jersey.
Grad Partnership. Newark, N.J., 1976. 2 vols.
Contents: Vol.1: Phase A. Analysis of Market Demands, Land Use and Activitiy Patterns. Vol.2: Phase B. Development of Concept Design for Nine Block Area. Available?
Renaissance Newark: Analysis of a New Strategy for Urban Redevelopment in Newark, New Jersey.
Debra Kim Flippen. Thesis (M.C.P.) Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 1981.
"Renaissance Newark, Inc. represents a collaboraiton between private sector business leaders and government officials to plan and facilitate redevelopment in the downtown...The proposal, with its emphasis on the downtown exclusively, raises questions about its impact on the city as a whole.
Note: File format does not allow for copying or printing.
The Newark Experience, 1967-1977.
Newark, N.J., Greater Newark Chamber of Commerce, 1977.
"The "Newark Experience" is an 11-category, 10-year review of the city's progress in the areas of economic development, transportation, municipal finance, protective services, residential development, education, health care, hospital development, recreation and parks, preservation of our heritage, and cultural activities." Available?
N.J.R-6 through N.J.R-196
13 sheets of various Newark neighborhoods allocated for demolition, redevelopment, and urban renewal. 1982. NPL Digital Collection
"Employment Decentralization and Accessibility: A Strategy for Stimulating Regional Mobility,"
Mark Alan Hughes. Journal of the American Planning Association 57(3), Summer 1991, 288-298.
"During the 1980s, northern New Jersey underwent a development surge that extended the metropolitan periphery and dramatically shifted employment across a larger and more dispersed set of locations throughout the region. This article explores the implications of this emerging settlement structure for employment accessibility from the region's center, the city of Newark. Rutgers-restricted Access
A Force For Urban Progress: The University Heights Story.
Newark, N.J., Council for Higher Education in Newark, 1992. Available?

Economic Redevelopment

Capital Program...As Recommended by the Mayor.
Newark, N.J., Division of City Planning, 1964-
Annual capital improvement program report. Available?
"A Large City's Capital Improvement Program Newark's 1964-1969 Plan,"
New Jersey Municipalities 41, June 1964, 17-23.
Excerpts from Newark's 1964/69 Capital Program report. Available?
An Economic Blueprint for Newark: The Overall Economic Development Program.
P. Bernard Nortman. Newark, N.J., Office of Economic Development, 1968. Available?
A Blueprint for Solving New Jersey's Fiscal & Tax Problems: A Guideline for Action for the State, for Newark and all Other Municipalities in New Jersey.
P. Bernard Nortman. Newark, Office of Economic Development, 1970. Available?
Economic Development Framework for the City of Newark, New Jersey.
Centaur Management Consultants. Prepared for the Overall Economic Development Program Committee, Inc., of Newark, New Jersey. Washington, D.C., 1973. Available?
South Orange Avenue Commercial Zone Improvement Study.
Abeles, Schwartz and Associates. Newark, Newark Economic Development Corporation, 1976. Available?
"Enterprise Renaissance Revitalizes Newark, N.J."
Rafael Zabala. Forum for Applied Research and Public Policy 10, Winter 1995, 112-115.
At the end of 1984, twenty percent of Newark was designated as the first enterprise zone in New Jersey. Results of the enterprise zone program. Available?

James Street Commons

James Street Commons Historic District
2 photos. 46-58 James Street; 111-117 University Avenue. January 1979.
Press Release
Announcement of a plan to restore and revitalize the James Street Commons historic district.
James Street Commons Historic District
National Register of Historic Places nomination. History, significance, maps, etc. 1977.
Guidelines for the Development of the James Street Commons, Newark, New Jersey
Newark, N.J., Mayor's Policy and Development Office. Division of Review and Planning, 1977.
James Street Commons: The James Street Study Report: A Plan of Action for the Restoration of an Historic Neighborhood
Newark, N.J., Mayor's Policy and Development Office, 1976. Available?
Comprehensive Plan for the James Street Commons Area
1976. Available?
Bricks, Mortar, Memories, and Pride: The James Street Commons Reconsidered
Clement Alexander Price and Robin Foster. Exhibition at the Newark Public Library, June 12-Aug. 31, 2013. Available?
Bricks, Mortar, Memories, and Pride: The James Street Commons Reconsidered
Documentary film by The Arts Culture and Media Department in collaboration with The John Cotton Dana Library of Rutgers University - Newark. 2013

© , Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Rutgers is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to direct suggestions, comments, or complaints concerning any accessibility issues with Rutgers websites to or complete the Report Accessibility Barrier / Provide Feedback form.