Linden is a city in southeastern Union County, New Jersey, United States. It is part of the New York Metropolitan Area, located about southwest of Manhattan and bordering Staten Island, a borough of New York City, across the Arthur Kill. As of the 2020 United States Census, the city's population was 43,738.
Linden was originally formed as a township on March 4, 1861 from portions of Elizabeth, Rahway and Union Township. Portions of the township were taken to form Cranford (March 14, 1871), Linden Borough (March 30, 1882) and Roselle (December 20, 1894). Linden was incorporated as a city by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on January 1, 1925, replacing both Linden Township and Linden Borough, based on the results of a referendum held on November 8, 1923. The city's name derives from linden trees brought from Germany.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 11.42 square miles (29.56 km2), including 10.69 square miles (27.68 km2) of land and 0.73 square miles (1.88 km2) of water (6.37%).
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the city include Bayway, Grasselli, Morses Mill, Tremley, Sunnyside, Vreeland Mills, Warners and Wheatsheaf.
The city borders the municipalities of Clark Township, Cranford Township, Elizabeth, Rahway, Roselle and Winfield Township in Union County; Carteret and Woodbridge Township in Middlesex County; and Staten Island in New York City across the Arthur Kill tidal strait.
Polish and Polish-American community
Linden is a regional hub of Polish immigration and features a significant number of establishments featuring the food and culture of Poland. 13.1% of residents are of Polish origin and 15.6% of its residents five years old and above in the center of the city of Linden primarily speak the Polish language at home. The Skulski Art Gallery of the Polish Cultural Foundation of neighboring Clark has exhibited Linden-based artists.
Polish-American grocery specialty shop Pulaski Meats takes up nearly a city block. Polish language services are held at two Roman Catholic churches, including at the heavily Polish parish St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Roman Catholic Church, established in the 1920s.
Linden holds an annual Polish Heritage Day Festival to showcase local Polish cuisine, pottery, dance, traditional fashion and other Polish arts for visitors.
In 2021, the mayor of Linden hosted a state visit by Poland’s president Andrzej Duda and first lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda to the Polish community in Linden.
In old pagan Slavic mythology, the tree for which the city is named, the linden tree (lipa, as called in all Slavic languages) was considered a sacred tree.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey shows that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $55,859 (with a margin of error of +/- $2,529) and the median family income was $64,439 (+/- $4,027). Males had a median income of $45,890 (+/- $3,397) versus $39,288 (+/- $2,842) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $27,011 (+/- $1,161). About 5.9% of families and 7.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.1% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 39,394 people, 15,052 households, and 10,084 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,645.5 people per square mile (1,407.0/km2). There were 15,567 housing units at an average density of 1,440.6 per square mile (556.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 66.08% White, 22.80% African American, 0.14% Native American, 2.35% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.88% from other races, and 3.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.40% of the population.
There were 15,052 households, out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 27.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.21.
In the city the population was spread out, with 22.5% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $46,345, and the median income for a family was $54,903. Males had a median income of $39,457 versus $30,395 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,314. About 5.0% of families and 6.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.1% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.
The east side of Linden is located along the Arthur Kill, a navigable strait which plays an important role in bulk cargo transportation in the Port of New York and New Jersey.
Together with Elizabeth, Linden is home to the Bayway Refinery, a Phillips 66 refining facility that helps supply petroleum-based products to the New York/New Jersey area, producing approximately , making it the second-largest on the East Coast of the United States and one of the country's 25 largest facilities.
From 1937 to 2005, Linden was home to Linden Assembly, a General Motors manufacturing plant that produced Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Buick and other GM automobiles, but also produced planes during World War II. By early 2008 most of the plant has been torn down for redevelopment by Duke Realty Corporation, which purchased the site for $76.5 million.
Linden, together with Rahway, is home to Merck & Co., one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. In 2003, the pharmaceutical company celebrated 100 years in Rahway and Linden.
Sunnyside section of Linden
The residential area of Linden west of St. Georges Avenue is known as Sunnyside, named for the former Sunnyfield Golf Club located in that area. It borders on Clark, Cranford and Winfield on the west and Roselle on the east.
Like the rest of Linden, Sunnyside is a diverse neighborhood featuring residents of many different backgrounds. Congregation Anshe Chesed is a Modern Orthodox synagogue in the Sunnyside section that was founded in 1914. It has a large modern building on St. Georges Avenue and its former synagogue building on Blancke Street was converted for use for community athletics.
Among the parks in the Sunnyside section is Sunnyside Park, at the corner of Summit Terrace and Edgewood Road, dubbed the “Shabbos park” by the area's Modern Orthodox community as a place where families meet on Saturday afternoons.
An eruv links the Sunnyside section of Linden to Roselle, Warinanco Park, the Jewish Educational Center of Elizabeth, and Hillside.
Linden media includes:
Parks and recreation
Linden is governed under the City form of government. The city is one of 15 of 565 municipalities statewide that use this traditional form of municipal government. The governing body is comprised of the mayor and the 11-member City Council. The mayor and council president are elected at-large to four-year terms of office, while the other 10 members are elected from wards to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either two or four of the ward seats up for election each year in a three-year cycle.
, the Mayor of Linden is Democrat Derek Armstead, whose term of office ends December 31, 2022. Members of the City Council are:
The 8th Ward seat expiring in December 2020 became vacant in January 2019 when Michele Yamakaitis took office as Council President. The Democratic municipal committee chose Paul Coates to fill the vacancy, but Mayor Derek Armstead sought to keep the seat vacant until the November 2019 general election. After a legal battle waged by the Linden Democratic municipal committee and its chairman Nicholas Scutari, a Superior Court judge ruled in May 2019 that Coates should be immediately seated to the council to serve until the November general election. In the November 2019 voting, Garret Blaine was elected to serve the balance of the term of office.
In November 2015, the City Council selected Ralph Strano from a list of three candidates nominated by the Democratic municipal committee to fill the Seventh Ward seat expiring in December 2016 that had been held by Mike Minarchenko until his resignation from office the previous month; Strano served on an interim basis until the November 2016 general election, when he was elected to serve the balance of the term of office.
John T. Gregorio, served as mayor of Linden for 30, non-consecutive years until December 31, 2006, and was repeatedly tagged with scandal during his mayoral career, including one felony conviction, later pardoned, which forced him from office for two terms. Gregorio returned as mayor following his conviction.
Rhashonna Cosby-Hurling, who represents the Fifth Ward, became the first African American female elected to the City Council when she took office in 2011.
Federal, state and county representation
Linden is located in the 10th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 22nd state legislative district. Prior to the 2010 Census, Linden had been split between the , the 10th Congressional District and the , a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 21,494 registered voters in Linden, of which 11,831 (55.0% vs. 41.8% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 1,319 (6.1% vs. 15.3%) were registered as Republicans and 8,339 (38.8% vs. 42.9%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 5 voters registered to other parties. Among the city's 2010 Census population, 53.1% (vs. 53.3% in Union County) were registered to vote, including 67.9% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 70.6% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 11,213 votes (73.3% vs. 66.0% countywide), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 3,814 votes (24.9% vs. 32.3%) and other candidates with 135 votes (0.9% vs. 0.8%), among the 15,303 ballots cast by the city's 22,753 registered voters, for a turnout of 67.3% (vs. 68.8% in Union County). In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 10,728 votes (66.5% vs. 63.1% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 5,037 votes (31.2% vs. 35.2%) and other candidates with 162 votes (1.0% vs. 0.9%), among the 16,142 ballots cast by the city's 22,266 registered voters, for a turnout of 72.5% (vs. 74.7% in Union County). In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 9,222 votes (64.0% vs. 58.3% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 4,966 votes (34.4% vs. 40.3%) and other candidates with 116 votes (0.8% vs. 0.7%), among the 14,419 ballots cast by the city's 20,596 registered voters, for a turnout of 70.0% (vs. 72.3% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Democrat Barbara Buono received 54.6% of the vote (4,255 cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 43.9% (3,420 votes), and other candidates with 1.6% (123 votes), among the 8,158 ballots cast by the city's 22,416 registered voters (360 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 36.4%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 5,429 ballots cast (57.8% vs. 50.6% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 3,272 votes (34.8% vs. 41.7%), Independent Chris Daggett with 452 votes (4.8% vs. 5.9%) and other candidates with 98 votes (1.0% vs. 0.8%), among the 9,390 ballots cast by the city's 21,742 registered voters, yielding a 43.2% turnout (vs. 46.5% in the county).
The Linden Public Schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of 12 schools (one alternate high school; not counted), had an enrollment of 6,342 students and 561.4 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.3:1. Schools in the district (with 2018–19 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are
School No. 1 (with 431 students; in grades PreK–5),
School No. 2 (631; PreK-5),
School No. 4 (435; PreK-5),
School No. 5 (315; PreK-5),
School No. 6 (370; PreK-5),
School No. 8 (348; PreK-5),
School No. 9 (344; PreK-5),
School No. 10 (270; PreK-5),
Myles J. McManus Middle School (687; 5-8),
Joseph E. Soehl Middle School (679; 6-8) and
Linden High School (1,696; 9–12). School No. 5 was one of nine schools in New Jersey honored in 2020 by the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, which recognizes high student achievement.
Sinai Christian Academy serves grades Pre-K through 12th grade.
Saints Mary and Elizabeth Academy was a Catholic school serving students in Pre-K through 8th grade that operated under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark until its closure at the end of the 2013–14 school year due to declining enrollment.
Roads and highways
, the city had a total of of roadways, of which were maintained by the municipality, by Union County, by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
The New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95) passes through the eastern portion of the city, with a few ramps that lead to the nearest exit (Exit 13 for I-278) which is right on the city limits with nearby Elizabeth. The city is also the western terminus of Interstate 278, which travels through all five boroughs of New York City. Linden is also served by U.S. Route 1/9 and Route 27. The Garden State Parkway passes about 500 feet west of the city limits.
Local public transportation is provided by NJ Transit with bus service to Elizabeth, Perth Amboy and Newark. New Jersey Transit routes 112 and 115 provide local service and interstate service to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan, on the 48 to Elizabeth and 94 routes to Newark, and local service on the 56 and 57 routes.
The Linden train station offers a one-seat ride to Manhattan in 39 minutes via service on NJ Transit's North Jersey Coast Line and the Northeast Corridor Line. Trains travel northbound to Newark Penn Station, Secaucus Junction and New York Penn Station, and southbound towards the Trenton Transit Center, with connections available at those locations
Linden Airport is a small general aviation facility and reliever airport located on the eastern side of the city along U.S. Route 1/9. The airport was constructed for the United States Navy in 1942 for use in development and testing of the Grumman F4F Wildcat and was taken over by the City of Linden after World War II. The airport served as a road racing course in June 1954 for a race in the then-NASCAR Grand National Division (now known as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series), with Al Keller winning the 50-lap race over a course.
Newark Liberty International Airport is approximately 15 minutes away.
Arts and culture
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Linden include:
This page uses material from the Wikipedia article Linden, NJ, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 4.0.