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.
Linden lies west of the Arthur Kill and north of the Rahway River
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 11.407 square miles (29.545 km2), including 10.675 square miles (27.648 km2) of land and 0.732 square miles (1.897 km2) of water (6.42%).
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the city include Bayway, Grasselli, Morris Mills, Tremley, Vreeland Hills, Warners and Wheatshead.
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. The U.S. Congressman for neighboring Clark, Tom Malinowski, is a Polish immigrant.
There were 14,909 households out of which 29.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 17.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.1% were non-families. 26.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the city, the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 27.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.8 years. For every 100 females there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 87.7 males.
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.
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.
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 230,000 barrels per day (37,000 m3/d), making it the second-largest on the East Coast of the United States and one of the country's 25 largest facilities.
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.
Arts and culture
Raymond Wood Bauer Promenade is the home of outdoor concerts and other performing arts in Linden. Live bands play R&B, funk and jazz at several live performance venues, and late R&B and jazz vocalist Linda Hayes, who played with the well-known Platters (of which her brother was lead singer) was from Linden.
Catholic-born artist Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt grew up in poverty in 1950s and 60s Linden. Openly gay, he recently had a career retrospective on his exploration of "gay sexuality, class struggle, and religion" in his art at MoMA PS1, and is also known for being photographed as a youth at the Stonewall Riots. Lanigan-Schmidt worked as a 1960s Linden youth doing "odd jobs to help support his family and was bullied by high school thugs," moving to New York City as a young man. As a child in 1950s Linden, after Lanigan-Schmidt was assigned to decorate the school bulletin board in his Catholic elementary school, he built a detailed model of a church altar. The impressive model was featured in a local paper while Lanigan-Schmidt was a student at St. Elizabeth School at 170 Hussa Street. The school closed in 2014; it is a part of the campus of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Roman Catholic Church in Linden.
One of the artists from noted New Jersey hardcore (now LA-based) punk hip-hop group Ho99o9 (pronounced "Horror"), theOGM, has Linden roots.
De Luxe Records (later DeLuxe Records) was a record company and label formed in 1944 in Linden, New Jersey, and is known for its famed R&B and early rock recordings.
In the mid-20th century, Linden was the headquarters for the Regal Records, as well as the budget record label Springboard International Records later in the century. Transco, before acquisition by Apollo, made sound recording industry acetate discs (also called acetate blanks, dubplates or lacquers) out of Linden.
The Linden Cultural and Heritage Committee exists to bring entertainment events to area residents such as craft bazaars, street fairs, concerts, and plays, and the Linden Society for Historic Preservation works to preserve the history of the city.
The City is also famed for having one of the limited Chevy's restaurants remaining in the tri-state area which draws in patrons from all over the greater New Jersey area.
Linden was chosen as the primary filming location for Volume 2 of the streetball video series, AND1 Mixtapes. One of the original five streetballers to sign with AND1, Waliyy Dixon, a Linden native who also goes by the nickname "Main Event," helped host a night of basketball at 4th Ward Park that claimed attendance by 2,000 spectators.
Hal Linden, the stage and screen actor, television director and musician best known as the star of the TV series Barney Miller, based his stage name on the city's name, after seeing the word "Linden" on a water tower while heading from Philadelphia to perform in New York City.
John Russell Wheeler Park is home to the Linden Skatepark for skateboarders at Winans Avenue and West Edgar Road near where Morses Creek winds through the park. Residents have complained of pollution fears further down Morses Creek where it enters the Refinery and becomes polluted. Rosehill Cemetery in Linden was drenched during Sandy by an oil-soaked tidal surge from Bayway Refinery.
Peach Orchard Park sits at Dill Ave, Hussa St., and Cranford Ave behind School #4. It is home to Peach Orchard Brook, a tributary of Morses Creek.
Capt. James J. Dunn Memorial Park - Rose Parkway near Seymour Avenue
Sgt. Alexander Wales Memorial Park - West Curtis near Ainsworth Street
Clifford Lawson Memorial Park - Between Washington Ave. & Walnut St.
Cpl. Ronald Knosky Memorial Park - No. Stiles Street & Elm Street
Lexington Avenue Park at West Blanke Street
Blanke Street Park at Price Street
Miltonia Street Park at Stiles Street
James Dobson Park - East Blanke Street at Maple Avenue
Cleveland Avenue Park - Between Bower and McCandless
George T. Farewell Memorial Park - Ziegler Avenue and Bergen Avenue
Dr. Martin L. King Jr. Memorial Park - McCandless at Dill
Hattie Johnson Playground - Lincoln at Union
Charles Street Park at Middlesex Street
James Iozzi Memorial Park - Dill Avenue
Fifth Ward Park -Dill and Adams
Hagel Avenue Park – Alberta & Fay Avenue
Eddy Avenue Park- 12th Street – Mopsick & Winans
L/Cpl. Melnyk Memorial Park - at Clinton Street
Clinton Street Play Area at 15th Street
Buchanan Street Park at Lower Road & Parkway Avenue
Memorial Park (include Mather Spring) - Between Wood Avenue & Lower Road
Seventeenth Street Park - E. 17th and 18th Streets
Seventh Ward Park - So. Stiles, between 17th & 18th St.
Tremley Park – Main Street at Wood Avenue
Wanda Anita Green Memorial Park - Grier Avenue & Mack Place
United Airlines Flight 93 Memorial
Bachellor Avenue Park – at Urbanowitz Avenue
Milkosky Park – Bedle Place & Park Avenue
St. Marks Park - Between Hussa Street & Essex Avenue
McGillvray Place Park – between Klem & Bedle
Newton Street Park - At Pallant Avenue
Sunnyside Park - Summit Terrace at Melrose
Thomas J. Weiser Park - At Wood Avenue & Raritan Road
Woodrow Wilson Memorial Park - Academy between Orchard & Summit
Al Kalla Park - Between Wickersham & Highland Avenue
Windsor Road at Stiles Street
Linden, New Jersey (1974)
Linden is governed under the City form of government with a mayor and an 11-member City Council, of which 10 are elected from wards. 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 seats up for election each year in a three-year cycle.
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.
Union County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose nine members are elected at-large to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis with three seats coming up for election each year, with an appointed County Manager overseeing the day-to-day operations of the county. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects a Chair and Vice Chair from among its members. As of 2019[update], Union County's Freeholders are Chair Bette Jane Kowalski (D, Cranford, term ends December 31, 2019), Vice Chair Alexander Mirabella (D, Fanwood, 2021)
Angel G. Estrada (D, Elizabeth, 2020),
Angela R. Garretson (D, Hillside Township, 2020),
Sergio Granados (D, Elizabeth, 2019),
Christopher Hudak (D, Linden, term ends December 31, 2020),
Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded (D, Westfield, 2021),
Andrea Staten (D, Roselle, 2021),
Rebecca Williams (D, Plainfield, 2019). Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are
County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi (D, Union, 2020),
Sheriff Peter Corvelli (D, Kenilworth, 2020) and
Surrogate James S. LaCorte (D, Springfield Township, 2019). The County Manager is Edward Oatman.
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).
^Friedman, Alexi. "Former GM plant is razed for Linden 'renaissance'", The Star-Ledger, August 31, 2008. Accessed July 23, 2012. "Demolition crews have finished clearing the massive site on the former General Motors assembly plant in Linden, making way for a planned industrial and retail park that Linden officials hope will play a key role in the city's renaissance.... After Indianapolis-based Duke Realty Corp. purchased the property from GM for $76.5 million, crews from the demolition firm Testa Corp. began dismantling the site in February. Razing the 2.7 million-square-foot automotive plant that encompassed 100 acres along Routes 1&9 -- and across from Linden Airport -- was supposed to take a year, but was completed earlier this month, far ahead of schedule."
^To Merck & Co., Inc. for 100 years of community investment and redevelopment., New Jersey Future, 2003. Accessed July 23, 2012. "Merck & Co., Inc. is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its research and manufacturing facility in the cities of Rahway and Linden, where it has grown considerably with the support of its civic partners.In the summer of 1903, a small manufacturing operation began on 150 acres of land 20 miles southwest of New York City in Rahway, New Jersey."
^Medleys Jazz Restaurant; Robins Nest Rhythm & Blues in Tremley Point
^BOMB Magazine: Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt by Jessica Baran [bombmagazine.org]; Newspaper clipping, "Pupil Constructs Church Model," c. 1955; [res.cloudinary.com] (he is misattributed in the photo; he is the boy on the lower right).
^Lowerison, Jean. "Hal Linden coming to Welk San Diego", SDGLN.com, February 12, 2014. Accessed September 21, 2016. "Born Harold Lipschitz in New York City, he wanted to be a bandleader and studied classical clarinet, playing with symphony orchestras from the age of 15.... He chose his stage name on the way from Philadelphia to an acting job in New York, when he saw the water tower in Linden, New Jersey."
^Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the 2015 Council of the City of Linden, held Tuesday, November 10, 2015, City of Linden. Accessed August 4, 2016. "WHEREAS, Mike Minarchenko, a duly elected member of the City Council of the City of Linden, has resigned from his office effective October 21, 2015; and WHEREAS, pursuant to the provisions of the Municipal Vacancy Law, specifically N.J.S.A. 40A:16-11, the municipal committee of the Democratic Party, of which Mr. Minarchenko is a member, has put forward three nominations to fill the vacancy, including the name Ralph Strano. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the City Council of the City of Linden, County of Union, State of New Jersey, that Ralph Strano is hereby appointed to fill the unexpired term of Mike Minarchenko in accordance with the law and that Ralph Strano shall replace Mr. Minarchenko in all committees he is a part of."
^Russell, Suzanne. "Linda Carter sworn into General Assembly, replacing Jerry Green", Courier News, May 24, 2018. Accessed July 3, 2018. "Former Union County Freeholder Linda Carter was sworn into the New Jersey General Assembly on Thursday, representing the 22nd Legislative District communities in Middlesex, Somerset and Union counties.... Carter replaces Assemblyman Jerry Green, 79, of Plainfield, who died April 18. Green served 26 years in the assembly."
^Home page, Sinai Christian Academy. Accessed October 18, 2013.
^Haggerty, Neil. "NJ Catholic schools fight to keep doors open as future dims", The Star-Ledger, July 7, 2014. Accessed December 10, 2016. "Goodness said the four schools closed this year — St. Agnes School in Clark, Saints Mary and Elizabeth Academy in Linden, Blessed Pope John XXIII Academy in West Orange and Most Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Wallington — were not financially sound and could not keep their enrollment up for the archdiocese's new 'Lighting the Way' program, implemented this month."
^Opinion. "One great moment in Linden's history", Home News Tribune, June 16, 2008. Accessed July 23, 2012. "Linden's newly created History Hall of Fame also will be housed at the museum; its first inductee, Tiffany Andrade of Linden, was this year's second runner-up for the title of Miss America USA."
^Pezzano, Chuck. "BOHN, DORIN-BALLARD REAP MORE ACCOLADES", The Record (Bergen County), February 24, 2002. Accessed May 13, 2007. "Parker Bohn III of Jackson and Carolyn Dorin-Ballard of Linden were named honorary captains of the recently announced All-America teams in polls conducted by the American Bowling Congress and Women's International Bowling Congress."
^Eagle, Bob L.; and LeBlanc, Eric S. Blues: A Regional Experience, p. 265. ABC-CLIO, 2013. ISBN9780313344244. Accessed November 24, 2014. "Linda Hayes (Bertha Lulu Williams) (v) (Linden, Union County, December 10, 1923—[Bertha L. Roberson] Atlanta, Georgia, May 26, 1998)."
^Staff. U.S. ambassador returns to Linden (Obsitnik '59), United States Naval Academy, May 6, 2009. Accessed July 23, 2011. "Obsitnik shared his story of being born in Slovakia and moving to Linden as a child. He listed his addresses in Linden: his first house, at 308 East Elm St.; the house at 714 Roselle St. that his parents rented; and 308 East Curtis St., which his father built. From there, Obsitnik attended the Naval Academy and worked as an executive for IBM, Unisys and Litton Corp. Obsitnik graduated from Linden High School in 1955, and he recalled a few differences between the 1950s and today. Uniforms were one."
^Iati, Marisa. "'Hamilton' star talks Broadway and his N.J. roots", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, July 13, 2016. Accessed August 29, 2017. "Rua chatted with a full house in Elizabeth last week about how his childhood in Union County inspires and shapes his push to create theater, music and dance that strike audience members at their core. Rua, now 32, was born in Elizabeth and grew up in Linden."
^Model, Eric. "Danny Stiles: The 'Vicar of Vintage' endures even after his passing"Archived 2013-01-06 at the Wayback Machine, NewJerseyNewsroom.com, June 20, 2011. Accessed July 23, 2012. "Danny Stiles was born in 1923 and grew up in Newark and Linden during the Great Depression. After graduating from high school in 1941, he enlisted for the Navy after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After being honorably discharged due to an injured hip, Stiles went to college and held several jobs before starting his radio career."
^Becker, Arielle, Levin. "Ex-senator mourned in Linden", Home News Tribune, February 20, 2005. Accessed July 23, 2011. "Union County Democratic Chairwoman Charlotte DeFilippo recalled the day 27 years ago when the 19-year-old Suliga walked into her office, wearing a suit and looking younger than his 19 years, and announced that he was running for the Linden school board."
^Russell, Suzanne C. "Unsolved killings probed", Asbury Park Press, August 19, 1999. Accessed April 22, 2011. "Law enforcement officials today will resume their search of a Linden home owned by Robert Zarinsky, the man serving a life sentence for the 1969 killing of a 17-year-old Atlantic Highlands girl whose body was never found."