Property Information;

Name of Property: Central Railroad of New Jersey, Jersey City Terminal Train Shed

Address: Foot of Audrey Zapp Drive (formerly Johnston Avenue) at the Hudson River

City/State/Zip: Jersey City, NJ 07305

Location: Jersey City, Hudson County, NJ

Date property established or built: The first terminal was established in 1865; The current Terminal building was completed in 1889 and restoration was completed by 1989; the enlarged adjoining and connected Train Shed was completed with 20 tracks in 1914 and has not been restored; In 1967 Ferry and Railroad Passenger Service was terminated.

Ownership (choose one) _X_ Public ___Private

Property owned by: State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection, and managed by the State Park Service

Address: 501 East State Street, P. O. Box 420

City/State/Zip: Trenton, NJ 08625 - 0420

Phone: (Amy Cradic, Assistant Commissioner) 609-292-3541 Fax: 609-984-0836

Indicate designation, if any, by checking appropriate status:

_X_ National Historic Landmark _X_ State Register _X_ National Register

__ Local Designation __Save America's Treasures __Other

Legislative District for Property: 31

Name of Individual/group nominating property: Liberty Historic Railway, Inc.

Address: (Martin Robins, Treasurer & contact) 7 Cowperthwaite Square

City/State/Zip: Westfield, NJ 07090

Phone: 908-233-3891 Email:

Fax: 908-233-3891 (call first) Website:

Are you a member of Preservation New Jersey? Yes, Liberty Historic Railway, Inc. is a member

Questions to address:

Describe the property and its significant features (architecture, landscape, surroundings, etc.);

The Train Shed structure was designed by Abraham Lincoln Bush and is the largest of its type ever built. It has cast iron columns, steel frame, and reinforced concrete canopy roofs. It is an important part of the sole remaining building complex from the Central Railroad of New Jersey era of Liberty State Park. On the north side is a display track with three railroad cars, Audrey Zapp Drive, a short term parking lot, a lawn area, the Morris Canal Big Basin, and the large, recently completed, 9-11-01 "Fallen Sky" monument. On the East side is the Concourse (which was used by passengers as well as for movement of baggage, mail and express shipments to and from the ferries and the express building) and the 1889 Terminal building, ferry slips and the Hudson River / NY Harbor. On the south side is an access road, paved parking, and a lawn area. On the west side is an access road and the large, long term ferry parking lot.

1What is the property's history?

John Taylor Johnston, a lawyer, at age 28, became the second president of the Elizabeth and Somerville RR, reorganizing it as the Central RR of New Jersey (C RR of NJ) and began the push toward the Delaware River. He is credited with building the railroad from a 25-mile local passenger carrier to a 400-mile Anthracite coal carrier and one of the principal terminal railroads on New Jersey / New York Harbor. In the process, he must be given credit for creating much of the land which now makes up Liberty State Park by filling tidal flats.

The New Jersey Legislature granted permission to the Central RR of NJ to extend its line over Newark Bay to the Hudson River at Communipaw Cove, Jersey City, and construction began.

The Central RR of NJ purchased the American Dock & Improvement Co., the owner of rights to the shore of the South Cove (Communipaw Bay) along the Hudson River. At the time this was a shallow fishing ground off the old section of Jersey City known as Communipaw, south of the Morris Canal Big Basin. A vast section of this wetland was filled in over a period of decades, partly with NYC ashes and garbage. The C RR of NJ's terminal yards were built on this fill. In terms of acreage, it was the largest waterfront terminal possessed by any of the railroads at the New Jersey / New York Harbor.

Extensive and complicated litigation occurred when the Central RR of NJ attempted to build its new Communipaw terminal south of the Morris Canal Co. basin. The canal company fought valiantly, but in the end, the C RR won out.

The Central RR of NJ was extended nearly a mile across Communipaw Cove tidal flats on a wood piling trestle to the site of the new Terminal building also to be supported by piles.

The Central RR of NJ constructed America's first prefabricated railroad station (terminal). It was built in sections in Bound Brook and transported by train to Jersey City where it was assembled.

Communipaw ferry connection to New York was re-established for steam operation with the ferryboats Central and Communipaw, terminating at Liberty Street.

The Central RR of NJ bridge over Newark Bay and extension of line from Elizabethport to Communipaw (Jersey City) was opened for passenger traffic on 1 August.

By the end of this year the Central RR of NJ passenger and ferry Terminal buildings, a freight house, and coal pockets in Jersey City had been completed. At Communipaw the engine house and machine shops were enlarged and a block of dwelling houses was erected.

Central RR of NJ began freight service at their Jersey City Terminal.

The first Central RR of NJ ferryboat named Elizabeth was launched.

Johnston Avenue (it was named after Central RR of NJ President, John Taylor Johnston and renamed Audrey Zapp Drive by Liberty State Park officials in the 1980's) was built from the former Communipaw Cove shore line to the C RR of NJ Terminal using Belgian block paving.

On 11 November a Central RR of NJ train ran overboard at its Terminal at Communipaw and an engine and two cars went into the Hudson River.

The first recorded Central RR of NJ sponsored employee outing utilized the C RR steamboat Kill von Kull to take railroad families from Jersey City Terminal to Coney Island for the day.

The current Central RR of NJ terminal in Jersey City, designed by Peabody & Sterns, was completed and opened, and the railroad's four track main line expansion was completed to Bound Brook.

The Ellis Island Immigration Station opened as the principal immigration station in the US. It is estimated that 12 million immigrants entered the US through Ellis Island. Two thirds of the immigrants who boarded ferries for the mainland were taken to the CRR of NJ Jersey City Terminal where they were led to trains that would take them to their new homes.

The Baltimore & Ohio RR, a Central RR of NJ tenant at Jersey City Terminal, wanted ferry service to Whitehall Street, Manhattan, so its passengers could have a direct connection to Third Avenue Elevated trains. The C RR obliged and the new service was known as The Royal Blue Ferry.

The Central RR of NJ inaugurated the Queen of the Valley, an express passenger train between Jersey City and Harrisburg, PA.

A speed record between the Central RR of NJ Jersey City Terminal and Washington, DC of 226 miles in 4 hours and 7 minutes, including stops for locomotive changes and stations, was set during a heavy snow storm by the Baltimore & Ohio.

A new 6,000-ton capacity concrete retail coal pocket and trestle facility was completed near the Central RR of NJ Jersey City Terminal to replace the one destroyed in 1910. It was leased by C RR of NJ to Burns Brothers. Coal was delivered from the pockets to locations in NYC via horse-drawn wagons, and later by trucks, using the C RR of NJ ferries.

Lehigh Valley RR passenger trains began using the Central RR of NJ between Oak Island Junction, Newark and C RR of NJ Jersey City Terminal.

Expansion of the Central RR of NJ Jersey City Terminal, including the construction of the world's largest Abraham Lincoln Bush Train Shed (with twenty tracks), and a double decked ferry shed was completed.

The Central RR of NJ claimed there were 60,000 passengers per day passing through their Jersey City Terminal in this year. Peak numbers exceeded 100,000 during special events and trains for some of these happenings had to be run in as many as 28 sections to handle all the riders.

The Black Tom explosion, south of the Jersey City Terminal, involved scores of boatloads and carloads of ammunition delivered by the Central RR of NJ and Lehigh Valley RR. The blast wave extensively damaged and weakened the two-year-old C RR of NJ Jersey City Terminal Train Shed and destroyed piers, 13 warehouses, 161 railroad cars, barges and canalboats. The magnitude of the shock wave was estimated to be 5.5 on the Richter Scale. Property damage was estimated at $20 million in what was thought, at the time, to be one of the worst acts of terrorism in American history.

Through passenger trains of the Baltimore & Ohio and Lehigh Valley Railroads were shifted from the Central RR of NJ, Jersey City Terminal to Pennsylvania Station in NYC by the wartime United States RR Administration. Some LV passenger trains were also routed to the Pennsylvania RR Exchange Place Terminal in Jersey City.

The NY area terminal for Baltimore & Ohio passenger trains was changed from NY Penn Station to the Jersey City Terminal of the Central RR of NJ on August 29th due to the refusal of the Pennsylvania RR to extend the B & O's lease. The C RR of NJ assigned the B & O the two most northerly platforms in the terminal. Tracks 2 and 3 were removed from between the platforms and paved over as a driveway for the B & O Train Connection motor coach service which commenced in August and was the first railroad operated train-side motor coach connection. A short turntable was installed at the west end of this driveway to turn the motor coaches. A fleet of Deluxe motor coaches carried B & O passengers from train side via the Jersey Central ferries to several routes in New York City. At peak year the buses terminated at four points in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn.

Beginning on 14 October, special trains were operated under contract to the American Zeppelin Transport Co. to carry zeppelin passengers and mail between Lakehurst and the Central RR of NJ Jersey City Terminal with ferry connection to NYC. The C RR of NJ also operated special trains for sightseers to each arriving and departing zeppelin.

The Central RR of NJ train, The Blue Comet, with fine quality dining service was established on 21 February between Jersey City Terminal and Atlantic City via Elizabethport and Winslow Junction. It was designed by C RR of NJ president R. B. White in 1928. The colors chosen for the locomotive and train were Packard blue, for the sky; dark blue for the sea; cream for the sandy coastal beaches; and nickel. A special deep toned whistle (described as a cross between a steamboat whistle and a cathedral organ) was installed on each locomotive of The Blue Comet. Tickets for the train were blue, car chairs were upholstered in blue, and the porters were dressed in blue as well. It was the first all reserved seat, all coach fare, named train and the first east of the Mississippi to be equipped with roller bearings.

The Baltimore & Ohio RR inaugurated "Rail - Air Passenger Service" between the Central RR of NJ Jersey City Terminal and Los Angeles / San Francisco. Passengers traveled by air during daylight hours and by train at nighttime.

The Baltimore & Ohio RR introduced the world's first completely air-conditioned deluxe intercity passenger train, the Columbian, between Jersey City Terminal and Washington, DC on 24 May and it was an instant success.

The Baltimore & Ohio introduced diesel-electric locomotives on its new streamlined Royal Blue train between the Central RR of NJ Jersey City Terminal and Washington, DC the first diesel locomotives in long distance service in the US.

Our nations' billions of dollars of gold bullion reserves were moved from lower Manhattan to a new gold vault at Fort Knox. The heavily guarded shipments continued for two years and were alternated between the Central RR of NJ and the Pennsylvania RR so as not to establish a pattern. The C RR movements were made using armored vehicles from NYC via the C RR ferryboats to Jersey City Terminal where they were transferred to special trains operating via the C RR main line for the first part of the journey.

In December the Reading RR introduced a train with new streamlined (the first in the east), stainless steel, light weight, air conditioned cars between Philadelphia and Central RR of NJ Jersey City Terminal via Bound Brook. A month later, in the new year, a contest produced the name for it the Crusader. It had reclining, swivel, armchair seats, porter service, wide vision windows, an observation club car, a luxury diner, smoking lounges, a cocktail lounge, and scientific lighting all with no extra fare.

The Central RR of NJ Jersey City Terminal Restaurant began offering new club breakfast combinations at the bargain price of 20 to 40 cents.

The last trip of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt over the Central RR of NJ (name was changed to Jersey Central Lines and referred to as JCL) was from the Jersey City Terminal to Warm Springs, GA, where he died two weeks later. He had made 142 unpublished trips over the JCL since he was first elected President in 1932.

First run of the new Reading RR Wall Street train was made from Philadelphia to the JCL Jersey City Terminal.

The first practical demonstration of television aboard a moving train was on Baltimore & Ohio's Marylander between Washington and JCL Jersey City Terminal.

The JCL conveyed to the City of Jersey City eight parcels of waterfront and other terminal land aggregating 150 acres. The annual tax savings on the unneeded properties were approximately $250,000.

The Jersey Central Lines emerged from a decade of bankruptcy on 1 October. A gala ceremony commemorating the event and their 100th anniversary was held in the Jersey City passenger terminal two days later. This and three other bankruptcies which the JCL endured produced long periods of deferred maintenance. Structures, such as the Train Shed, were unfortunately low on the priority list for maintenance and repair funds. Failure to maintain the roof drainage system, which was routed through the center of the cast iron columns, and the roof coverings were a major cause of the progressive failures of the Train Shed structure. Water began to seep into the reinforced concrete roof panels. Since the reinforcing steel was not encapsulated it rusted. Rust expanded the volume of the steel by six times and exploded the concrete which encased the steel.

At the request of JCL management the employee's Big Little Railroad Show vocalists sang carols and popular songs of the season for several hours each Christmas eve afternoon in the Jersey City Terminal. They performed from the balcony for commuters and employees on their way home annually until the Terminal closed.

A storm of hurricane proportions occurred on 25 November, which raised the tide at Jersey City a foot above all previous high water records, flooding the JCL Jersey City Terminal and surrounding yard areas.

In this era the Railway Express Agency occupied the long, three story, brick building on the north side of the JCLs Jersey City Terminal. The Johnston Avenue side of the building had a continuous line of truck docks. Over 18,000 parcels were handled daily via the JCL, Baltimore & Ohio and Reading routes in 10 to 12 carloads of about 1,500 pieces each. In addition, individual packages went on any train which had an express car.

The last JCL camelback steam locomotive in scheduled service, No. 773, departed the Jersey City Terminal on 23 April with train No. 709 for Dunellen.

JCL 4-4-2 Camelback steam locomotive No. 592 departed Jersey City Terminal on loan to the Baltimore & Ohio RR Museum in Baltimore on 1 May and remains on display there.

The Ellis Island Immigration Station closed on 12 November. During its 62 years of operation, 17 million immigrants were processed. Most boarded trains at the nearby CNJ Terminal to travel to their new homes across the US.

For its last run, JCL locomotive No. 1000 hauled a special passenger train from Jersey City Terminal to Elizabethport and return on 13 June. It was then displayed for two weeks in the Jersey City Terminal. Then, No. 1000, the first successful diesel-electric locomotive in America, departed the Jersey City Terminal on loan to the Baltimore & Ohio museum at Baltimore, MD, where it remains on display.

The Baltimore & Ohio RR terminated all passenger service between Jersey City and Baltimore on 27 April. Thus ended nearly a century of luxurious Royal Blue trains and over 30 years of connecting bus service from the JCL Jersey City terminal to NYC.

Morris Pesin launched his successful campaign for the establishment of what became Liberty State Park by a canoe ride with a Jersey Journal reporter from the Jersey City waterfront to the Statue of Liberty. His early plan included parking lots in the park and a tram line to transport visitors on a causeway to the Statue.

A crew-less, runaway diesel locomotive, #1706 departed the JCL Jersey City Terminal yards moving west. At Elizabethport it was shunted south toward Perth Amboy. The engine roared out of control at speeds averaging 40 miles per hour for 36 minutes until it was finally "caught" by another locomotive which got up to speed ahead of the runaway and stopped it. The throttle of the "ghost locomotive" was found to be wide open.

From the Terrace, a 20th Century Fox movie starring Joanne Woodward and Myrna Loy, was filmed at the JCL Jersey City Terminal using Reading RR 4-8-4 steam locomotive #2124.

All JCL offices remaining in NYC were moved to their Jersey City Terminal as an economy measure.

Jersey Central Lines reverted to their prior name, Central RR of NJ (CNJ)

The CNJ advertised that their Jersey City passenger terminal and the right-of-way leading to it would be auctioned on 17 November "subject to the implementation of the Aldene Plan" (which would divert their trains to Newark Penn Station). The State of NJ stepped in and notified the CNJ that it would condemn the land before the sale and prohibited the CNJ from selling it. The state paid the CNJ $1.6 million for the land and the Terminal and took title to it on 29 December, with the stipulation that the CNJ could continue to use the land and passenger terminal until the Aldene Plan was implemented.

The CNJ filed for its fourth and final bankruptcy on 22 March. Perry M. Shoemaker, CNJ President since 1962 and John E. Farrell became Trustees of the CNJ.

The use of "Fog Tickets" by the CNJ for alternative transportation for rail passengers when fog prevented operation of their ferry boats between the Jersey City Terminal and New York City ended.

Under the Aldene Plan, CNJ passenger service to Jersey City Terminal was rerouted to Newark Penn Station via the Lehigh Valley RR route with a new connection provided at Aldene and their Jersey City Terminal was closed. At Newark passengers had the option of transferring to PATH trains for either downtown or uptown or taking the Penn Central RR into New York Penn Station. The end of CNJ Jersey City to Manhattan ferry operation brought to a close a 306-year service begun by William Jensen in 1661.

Columbia Pictures filmed Funny Girl, starring Barbara Streisand (her first film), at the CNJ Jersey City Terminal. The train used in the movie was hauled by a steam locomotive and was the last passenger train to depart from the Jersey City Terminal.

The CNJ Jersey City Terminal and some of the harbor front properties were purchased with state and federal funds in 1966, while the City of Jersey City donated 156 acres to help preserve this important piece of American history. This was the basis of Liberty Park which became Liberty State Park.

Governor Cahill revealed plans for a Liberty State Park, including a marina at the southeast corner, a transportation terminal, a mini rail shuttle line, a Bicentennial Festival Plaza, a visitor's center, multi-level traveling exhibitions, a 5,000-seat indoor-outdoor amphitheater, an ecological center, a ceremonial plaza, botanical gardens, a children's zoo, a pedestrian bridge over the Morris Canal basin, a fire museum, and a doll museum.

The estimated $25 million restoration of the abandoned CNJ Jersey City Terminal was begun. At this time the ferry house, the yard towers, express building to the north of the Train Shed, coaling tower, round houses, and maintenance buildings were still standing. The ferry building contained a ferry concourse, offices and terminal support facilities, and provided cover for passengers between the Terminal and the ferry boats. Over objections of the architects, Geddes Brecher Qualls Cunningham, the state later demolished the 1914 ferry house which stood in front of the 1889 Terminal building and covered the floating bridges providing access to the ferryboats. The bridges, now exposed to the elements subsequently rotted and disintegrated.

The remaining Central RR of NJ (CNJ) Jersey City Terminal and the adjoining Train Concourse and Train Shed structures were added to the NJ and National Registers of Historic Places.

The Phase One Progress Report for Liberty Park outlined proposed improvements and venues including: Historical Museum, Immigration Museum; Maritime Museum; Transportation Museum; Conservation Museum; Working restoration of a 19th century Carousel; Water Terminal for ferry service to lower Manhattan; Pedestrian bridge across the Morris Canal Basin; Heliport; Direct connection to the PATH system; etc.

The State of New Jersey dedicated Liberty State Park as New Jersey's Bicentennial gift to the nation. The Park opened and restoration of the CNJ Terminal Building was begun. Restoration of the attached Train Shed was not included. The Terminal and train shed were designated a National Historic Landmark.

The Geddes plan for Liberty State Park proposed: Commercial development with shops and restaurants for the present marina area; a farm demonstration; plus an antique railroad and fire engine museum for the CNJ Terminal Train Shed area.

A new ferry service between Liberty State Park (the Morris Canal big basin, near the Central RR of NJ (CNJ) Terminal area in Jersey City) and the Statue of Liberty was established by Circle Line.

A Reuse Plan for the Central Railroad of New Jersey Marine Terminal, Liberty State Park: Jersey City, New Jersey was produced by Historic Conservation and Interpretation, Inc. of Newton, NJ in December.

Ferry service was re-established between Liberty State Park (Jersey Central Terminal area in Jersey City) and Ellis Island. Ferry service between the Jersey Central Terminal and nearby Ellis Island existed after 1890 when it was a US immigration station. Over the years, the ferry delivered thousands of immigrants to the terminal where they boarded trains to transport them west to their new homes in the new country.

A commercial doll museum proposal for the historic CNJ Terminal was halted by supporters of Liberty State Park.

Centennial and rededication of the Central RR of NJ Jersey City Terminal building was held. Governor Thomas H. Kean was the keynote speaker and now supports our Train Shed restoration initiative. At that event the Central RR of NJ Vets Association presented a large bronze plaque to the Park which summarized the history of the CNJ in what had become Liberty State Park

The Friends of the Central RR of NJ (CNJ) Terminal, at Jersey City, was established and published their Vol. 1, No. 1 of Jersey Central News. Frank T. Reilly was their president and editor. In it they launched a proposal called "Rail Link" - to restore active railroad service into the Train Sheds using tracks 16 through 20 for static displays and operational trains. Phase one was to place a single track to connect Conrail (Phillips Street) with the restored C RR of NJ Terminal, passing Liberty Science Center. Phase two called for a rail shuttle between the Terminal and Liberty Science Center (Hudson Bergen Light Rail System was not yet a reality). Phase three proposed using historic trolley cars between the C RR of NJ Terminal and the south visitor area, paralleling the Hudson River with a stop near the Interpretive Center.

The CNJ Historical Society was established and held their organizational meeting in the Blue Comet theater of the Central RR of NJ Terminal at Liberty State Park. The new organization superseded the Friends of the CNJ Terminal Historical Society. Both organizations were formed by Frank T. Reilly, who was president and newsletter editor of both.

The CNJ Main Line was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

On 18 February, Curtis and Ginsberg Architects LLP of New York produced their report: Liberty State Park Train Shed Historic Preservation Plan: Preliminary Report. (ODC Project No. PO781-00.) No action was ever taken on that report.

A 10-week engagement of Cirque du Soleil occurred on the north east corner of Liberty State Park, north of the Central RR of NJ (CNJ) Terminal, drawing a total of 200,000 attendees. Due to limitations of parking at LSP, most of the daily 12,000 or so attendees parked in Bayonne and traveled to LSP by ferry.

The first annual Jersey Central RR Heritage Festival was held at the CNJ Jersey City Terminal and Concourse. As part of the festival a CNJ oral history project was begun by LSP officials.

Public presentations were made CNJ Terminal Blue Comet Auditorium of the positive conclusions of the Rutgers Bloustein School Studio by Graduate Students and a final report was completed. A heritage trolley connection between the Hudson Bergen Light Rail Station / Liberty Science Center and the CNJ Terminal / Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Ferry Docks as well as a rail connection to facilitate display of appropriate historic rail equipment were recommended.

On 29 January, Liberty Historic Railway was established as a non-profit, public benefit corporation to advance rail shuttle connections within Liberty State Park; to allow appropriate historic transportation equipment to be displayed and interpreted; and to jump-start the restoration of the deteriorating Central RR of NJ (CNJ) Jersey City Terminal Train Shed.

Is the property: A. occupied, in regular use Yes B. vacant, unused Yes

Please explain. The Terminal Building and the Concourse are occupied and in regular use. The Train Shed is enclosed by a security fence and is off limits.

Current condition of the property's building(s) or structure(s): very poor / poor / fair / good / unknown

Please explain. The Train Shed has been vacant and unused since the Central RR of NJ left the premises. Condition is well documented in the 2000 Curtis and Ginsberg Study and will be updated soon by a study to be funded by Liberty Historic Railway.

Is the property open to the public? Yes/No Visitors and tourists can walk around all four sides of the Train Shed, but can not enter it.

Is the property visited by tourists or children? Yes/No The majority of the 6,000,000 annual visitors and tourists to Liberty State Park arrive by private automobile and park in the long term ferry parking lot west of the Train Shed. They walk over 1,000 feet; past the Train Shed; through the Concourse and into the Terminal building to buy tickets; go through security; and board ferries to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Why is this place important?

Because the Liberty State Park and the C RR of NJ Terminal are currently visited by about 6,000,000 people per year, making it the most-visited state park in New Jersey and the second most visited state park in the country. With breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty, Liberty State Park is invaluable open space in the state's second most-populous city. Not only is it an amenity for nearby residents, it is a world class destination for visitors from around the US and the world.

Because the un-restored Train Shed is an integral part of the restored 1889 Central RR of NJ Terminal and is physically connected to it. The entire building complex is listed on the New Jersey and National Historic Registers and also is a National Historic Landmark.

Because the C RR of NJ Terminal is an integral part of the Historic Trilogy which includes the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. With the opening of the Immigration Station on Ellis Island in 1892, rail traffic increased dramatically. Of the 12 to 17 million immigrants, welcomed by the Statue of Liberty and processed through Ellis Island's Great Hall between 1892 and 1954, approximately two-thirds of the courageous newcomers started their new lives via the C RR of NJ Terminal. They settled in New Jersey or traveled on to other states.

Because by 1900 the C RR of NJ Jersey City Terminal accommodated between 30,000 and 50,000 people per day on 300 trains and 128 ferry runs.

The Terminal is the cornerstone of Liberty State Park and the focus of numerous community, metropolitan and statewide special events. Interpretive exhibits are on display, offering present day visitors the opportunity to experience both the history and the renaissance of this great landmark.

The Train Shed could be restored as the fourth jewel in the Jersey City waterfront's necklace of historic resources.

How is this place unique?

Liberty State Park is a green oasis in the most densely populated region of New Jersey. With magnificent views of the New York / New Jersey Harbor and Manhattan skyline, it is truly a gem of the Northeast. Consisting of 1,212 acres, the park includes wildlife habitats, open water, fields, nature trails, bike paths and a waterfront walkway.

The area that is now Liberty State Park was once a major transportation hub. From the Lenape Indian encampments and European colonization in the mid-1600s through colonial times, the NY / NJ Harbor served as an essential transportation terminal and corridor. In 1836, coal from the mines of Pennsylvania was first transported here via the Morris Canal, which terminated at what is now the north side of the park. With the dawning of the Industrial Revolution, railroads quickly replaced canals as the primary means of transportation for both cargo and people. This site hosted the greatest concentration of freight as well as long distance and commuter rail facilities in the NY /NJ Harbor area.

The Train Shed was designed for 20 tracks by Abraham Lincoln Bush and is the largest such Shed ever built.

Over the years the Train Shed served the trains of four railroads: the Central RR of New Jersey, the Reading, the Baltimore & Ohio, and the Lehigh Valley.

The Terminal complex includes the last surviving original structures from the railroad era in Liberty State Park.

On 14 June 1976, the State of New Jersey dedicated Liberty State Park as New Jersey's Bicentennial gift to the nation.

Currently ferry service to and from the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island operates from the C RR of NJ Terminal.

Although the C RR of NJ Terminal is the focus of Liberty State Park other amenities and attractions include: The (Environmental) Interpretive Center, the Richard J. Sullivan Natural Area, the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, the Fallen Sky 9-11-01 Memorial, the Grove of Remembrance for NJ victims of 9-11-01, Columbus & Liberation Monuments, Liberty Science Center, Liberty Landing Marina and the historic lightship Winter Quarter (now named Liberty Landing Marina), Liberty House Restaurant, the Ferry Service, Picnic Areas, Fishing & Crabbing, Morris Canal Peninsula Park, Children's Playground, the Caven Point Boardwalk, a stop on the Hudson Bergen Light Rail System, Visitations of historic sailing vessels which offer cruises, and Boat Launch.

This unique, magnificent Train Shed structure has the capacity to serve a variety of worthwhile public purposes (e.g. covered walkway for visitors arriving by auto and making their way from the ferry parking lot to the ferry, public meeting place, interpretive exhibits, museum and display space, including display of historic locomotives and rail equipment which once used the Terminal), all of which will be lost if the shed is destroyed.

Why should one care that it is endangered?

Please see the 67 reasons why the C RR of NJ Train Shed should be restored on the Liberty Historic Railway website: (

What is the threat to the property?

The greatest threat to the Train Shed is further delay of stabilization, rehabilitation and restoration. The condition of the Train Shed was documented in the 2000 Curtis and Ginsberg Architects, LLP of New York report: Liberty State Park Train Shed Historic Preservation Plan: Preliminary Report. No action was taken on the recommendations of this excellent report.

If the Train Shed is not saved, we can predict with regretful certainty that the space would merely be converted to parking for automobiles, causing further detriment to the park environment through increased vehicular traffic.

How significant / immediate is the threat?

Each year of delay in taking the needed remedial action brings the structure closer to the point of no return. Sections of the reinforced concrete slab canopy roofs of a ton or more have already fallen. The threat of a domino type collapse which could damage restored sections of the Terminal Complex is very real. Because of the lack of action on the Curtis and Ginsberg 2000 recommendations the structure has significantly deteriorated. An immediate condition reassessment is necessary. On 22 November Liberty Historic Railway was given permission by NJ DEP to proceed with an update to the Curtis and Ginsberg Preservation Plan. LHRy will provide the $21,000 funding for this update at no cost to the state of New Jersey.

How could the threat be eliminated or resolved?

Additional Funding would certainly be a great help. No doubt the amount of funding needed ($50,000,000+) has been an obstacle in the past to moving forward with restoration. Unfortunately, the current situation of the State budget offers scant hope of immediate funding. However, a start needs to take place soon to end the decades of procrastinated maintenance by both the C RR of NJ and the State of New Jersey. before it is too late.

Increased Interest and Education are areas which Liberty Historic Railway believes can effect change in thinking about the historic Train Shed. That is exactly why LHRy was incorporated and has established a website ( ), created and printed a rack card and distributes post card views of the Terminal / Train Shed as well as other literature to promote our initiatives. We have also embarked on a public education effort by taking tables at various public events to publicize the need for action.

A Positive Mindset would be most welcome. Over a year ago Liberty Historic Railway offered to fund at no cost to the State of New Jersey the hiring of professional fundraiser(s) to begin building the funds necessary to start the Train Shed stabilization and restoration work. We have been asked to hold off until May, 2012 to give Parks an opportunity to complete their strategic plan for Liberty State Park. We are nevertheless very encouraged by the State's recent approval of LHRy's offer to fund an updated study of the Train Shed by Curtis and Ginsberg. In addition, NJ DEP supported a $200,000 grant which has been received by the City of Jersey City through the North Jersey Planning Authority for a Sub-Regional Study for a Liberty State Park (Transportation) Circulator Cost Benefit Analysis.

Who opposes preservation of this property?

We have not become aware of any one or any entity which has stated that they oppose the preservation and/or restoration of the Train Shed.

List the major players, such as "friends" groups, government entities, private citizens, etc.

Canal Society of New Jersey
Central RR of NJ Historical Society, Inc.
CNJ Veteran Employees Association
Friends of Liberty State Park
Friends of the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center, Inc.
Jersey Central Railway Historical Society (NRHS)
Jersey City Division of Planning
Jersey City Tourism
Liberty Science Center
Liberty Historic Railway, Inc.
Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance
National Park Service
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
New Jersey Historical Commission
North Jersey Electric Railway Historical Society
Save Ellis Island Foundation
Save Our Ships New York
Society for Industrial Archaeology, Roebling Chapter
Statue Cruises
Tri-State Railway Historical Society (NRHS)
United Railroad Historical Society of NJ
Volunteer Railroaders Association

What preservation issue(s) does this situation exemplify?

It is our opinion the situation exemplifies the failure or inability to give appropriate priority to the condition of this magnificent structure. The Train Shed has unfortunately suffered the ravages of prolonged maintenance neglect and continues to be so affected.

How would listing this property as one of New Jersey's 10 Most Endangered help to save this place?

Listing the Train Shed will greatly help to raise awareness of the serious threat facing this structure from any further delay in taking the needed action to preserve it. It will also help to galvanize preservation efforts and rally resources to save an iconic National Historic Landmark.

This property has not been nominated for the 10 Most Endangered list before.

Images of the property;

Color images, both current and historical, as well as some vintage black and white views of the Train Shed are being submitted on this same flash drive. The ten captions for each view below are for the ten images saved on this flash drive in the Photos folder.


View 1. Aerial photo ca. 1930s looking to the west from the Hudson River with Train Shed behind the Terminal building and the Morris Canal Big Basin to the right.

View 2. Train Shed looking west with NYC in the background, showing evening lineup of commuter trains ca. 1955 and Express building to the left.

View 3. Commuters embarking from a train under the Train Shed ca. 1955 heading to ferries for NYC. Note: Open slot directly above locomotive which was to allow exhaust smoke to vent to the atmosphere and not be trapped below the canopy roof. This was a key element of the A. L. Bush Train Shed design.

View 4. View of paved former tracks 2 & 3 area showing a lineup of Baltimore & Ohio "Train Connection" buses for transferring passengers to hotels in NYC, ca. 1935.

View 5. CNJ diesel locomotives under the Train Shed awaiting departure with commuter trains ca. 1960. Note: United Railroad Historical Society owns two locomotives from the very same series as No. 1521, pictured.

View 6. View of Train Shed and train looking west from concourse at track 9 train announcement (for a "Raritan Clocker") sign ca. 1960.

View 7. Reading locomotive and train under the Train Shed ca. 1960. These trains operated to and from Philadelphia. Note: United Railroad Historical Society owns a locomotive restored to this paint scheme.

View 8. Current view looking to the west from the concourse showing the deteriorated and off limits area under the Train Shed. Note steel beam "props" supporting weakened sections of the roof canopies in background.

View 9. Current view of west end of the Train Shed showing advanced deterioration of the reinforced concrete structure.

View 10. Current view of collapsed roof canopy sections at the south side of the Train Shed. This area is the most deteriorated of the entire structure.

Supplemental information for the Train Shed;

See the Photos folder on this flash drive.

Video clip: Historic Central RR of NJ operations @ Jersey City Terminal;

Historic Railroad Destinations;
Train routes to NJ points from the Jersey City Terminal -

Through train routes to distant points from the Jersey City Terminal

Typical historic track and train announcement signs at the Jersey City Terminal

Additional historical views of the Train Shed plus aerial views:

Three postcard views of the Concourse and Train Shed ca. 2000 - 7 each (more available if desired)

Central RR of NJ bookmark produced by the NJ Historical Commission - 7 each (more available if desired)

Liberty Historic Railway Promotional Rack Card 7 each (more available if desired)

Liberty State Park brochure & map NJ DEP State Park Service 7 each (more available if desired)

Curtis and Ginsberg Architects LLP of New York; Liberty State Park Train Shed Historic Preservation Plan: Preliminary Report. 18 February 2000
Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:

Historic American Engineering Record, Central Railroad of New Jersey, Jersey City Ferry Terminal (HAER NJ-27):



Number of passengers arriving at this Terminal since June 2010: