Early Englewood Cliffs history, likes its neighbor Englewood, is similar during the American Revolutionary War period as Englewood Cliffs was part of the same area as Englewood. The present Borough of Englewood Cliffs was developed from the original parcel of The Township of Englewood which had been formed in 1872 from part of Hackensack Township. The present borough was incorporated in 1895.
During the nineteenth century there were 2 settlements in Englewood Cliffs, consisting of Undercliff and Coytesville. Undercliff, was settled as early as 1825, and consisted of smalll riverfront fishing villages that dotted the Hudson River shoreline before the formation of the Palisades Interstate Park. It was comprised of predominetly Dutch ancestry and its main landing area of Englewood Dock, was the port from which farmers from Northern New Jersey shipped their produce to New York markets. By the mid-nineteeth century, rock quarrying became a lucretive enterprise, until after the Civil War when the cliffs were threatened by annihilation from blasting. To ensure the survival of the Palisades, the creation of the Palisades Interstate Park was formed. With the creation of the park, came the demise of the Undercliff settlements, and only future archeological sites remained. The first of several large estates were constructed atop the Palisades in the middle of the ninteeneth century by William Dana, the foster father of Englewood's Cliffs first mayor, William O. Allison. Built in 1861 Greycliff stood at the cliff's edge near Demerest Street. In 1886 the Sisters of Saint Joseph purchased 5 1/2 acres of land south of the Allison Estate for a summer retreat for young women known as Villa Lourdes. The property was soon doubled in size after the abondened Allison Estate was added to the property. The beautiful surroundings and views of the river and the New York shoreline made the Palisades a popular resort area for wealthly New Yorkers, and the most famous resort was the Palisades Mountain House, which stood where Saint Peter's College now resides. The spectacular resort was short lived as it was destroyed by fire in 1864.
In 1900 The Palisades Intersate Park was created. Although with the demise of the waterfront settlements the borough lost much of its tax revenue. That coupled with the tax exempt statue of the park, and the demise of the large estate along the top of the Palisades forced the borough to create new means to raise tax revenue. However, between 1900 and 1920 there was a huge increases in automobile ownership, and the additional success and development of the Coyetsville movie industry in Fort Lee to the south. The two event had a a significant impact on the population growth in Englewood Cliffs, as new residents flocked to the area. The 150% increase in polulation in the 20 year period changed the landscape of this rural community. With the additional residents the first school was built on Bayview in 1922. The next population surge came as a result of the completion of the George Washington Bridge in 1931. After World War 2, the population surged from 966 to 5938. The Palisades Intersate Parkway was constructed in 1947 and a new trend started in Englewood Cliffs as large campus-like office complexes became attracted to surbaban locations close to major metropolitan hubs. With their lower taxes, and modern facillities, Englewood Cliffs became a destination for these giant corporate office complexes. The first was Prentice-Hall Inc, and was later followed by Unilever, Best Foods, LG Electronics, and CNBC. With their large tracts of beautifully landscaped facilities, their open spaces, these corporate headquarters offset the taxes from the local residential population. The result gave Englewood Cliffs residents some of the lowest property taxes in New Jersey. With these exceptionaly low taxes, homeowners and developers soon recognized their lands's value and started a trend by redeveloping existing lots and building modern mini-mansions on the smaller lots. The result was a stunning growth of stunning contemporary styled homes on smaller lots and soon tthe area became a destination for anyone seeking residences on some of the lowest taxed land anywhere in the area.
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Englewood Cliffs Demographics
Population change since -41: 2010%
Zip code: 07632
Median Family income: $130,215, 2012
Median House Value: $918,459
Population Density: 2,528/square mile people/sq mi
Englewood Cliffs Town Website: CLICK HERE
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