Gas Lamps and Historic Homes
A tiny township, Glen Ridge encompasses only 1.5 square miles and sits between Montclair and Bloomfield. As you drive down Bloomfield Avenue, were it not for the iconic Toney's Brook Gazebo and gas street lamps, you might drive right through Glen Ridge and be none the wiser. Glen Ridge has only 7000 residents and is known for its storied Victorian and Edwardian mansions and gas lights. It has 667 gas lights dotted throughout the township, and there are only 3000 in operation in the entirety of the United States.
The town is steeped in history with roots back to 1666 when the original land was purchased from the Lenni-Lenape Indians and named "New Ark." It was very much a mill town in the 19th century with mills that produced brass fittings, lumber and pasteboard boxes in the industrial area along Toney's Brook. One of the most interesting traits of this tiny enclave today is the architecture. There is a contemporary home that was designed by Frank Llyod Wright. Two other famous homes were designed by Stanford White and John Russell Pope, and visitors often drive the tree-lined streets just to see the beautiful homes.
Glen Ridge was featured in the New York Times in 2014, Glen Ridge, N.J.: Neighborly and Close to Midtown.
With an overall A+ rating in Niche, Glen Ridge has highly-rated schools and is ranked as one of the best places to raise a family in New Jersey:
Glen Ridge has an excellent public school system. The high school is ranked nationally and within the state of New Jersey. In the most recent US News & World Report High School Rankings, Glen Ridge High School was rated #244 in the country and #12 in New Jersey. The high school was also awarded a Gold Medal for student performance on state-required tests and college preparedness. There is an impressive 86 percent participation in Advanced Placement (AP) exams. In the area of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), Glen Ridge High School also ranked #158 nationally as well.
The organization of the schools is such that in addition to the high school which encompasses grades 7-12, there is Ridgewood Avenue School for grades 3-6 and two other schools, Linden Avenue School and Forest Avenue School, for grades PreK-2. The district also has a Gifted Education program which incorporates different services provided throughout the school day.
Commuting To and From Chatham
Glen Ridge has numerous commuting options into New York City. There is a convenient Jitney Service which provides two different buses, a North End and a South End service, to the Ridgewood Avenue train station near the corner of Ridgewood and Bloomfield Avenues. There's a nominal fee, and riders get a Jitney Pass Card. Once at the Ridgewood Avenue train station, commuters can be in New York City in about 45 minutes on the Montclair-Boonton line. They can also get to Newark Broad Street and go on to Hoboken.
New Jersey Transit does not have direct bus service into New York City from Glen Ridge; however, residents can go to Montclair and pick up the bus from there. Another option is a bus service run by DeCamp Bus Lines. This service has a stop on Ridgewood Avenue in Glen Ridge.
Commuters that prefer to drive to New York City can anticipate a 45-minute drive with light traffic into the City. Drivers will incur toll fees for the Lincoln or Holland tunnels.
Parks & Recreation
Glen Ridge residents have access to beautiful parks. It's no surprise that in the latest niche.com survey, the town was rated #26, Best Suburbs to Raise a Family in New Jersey. Throughout the township, there are playgrounds, ball fields, soccer fields and tennis courts. There is a street hockey rink and fields for lacrosse. Glen Ridge also has a town pool and senior community center. The tree-lined streets are one focus of the Shade Tree Commission, which takes an active role in the preservation and maintenance of the town's approximately 3700 trees.
Glenfield Park is a 20-acre county park that is primarily in Montclair, but one acre of it is in Glen Ridge. The park was designed by the Olmstead Brothers. Near the area of the park called Glen, there are small arch bridges and walking paths. It is also the area of Toney Brook. A short drive away is the Eagle Rock Reservation, also designed by the Olmstead Brothers and bordering Montclair. The Reservation has an extensive trail system for walking, jogging, exploring or horseback riding.
In addition to the restaurants in nearby Montclair and West Orange, Fitzgerald's Tavern in Glen Ridge has trendy American-style fare and a nice weekend brunch menu. A favorite of the locals, Just Sandwiches, has been in business for 30 years and has a wide selection of hot and cold sandwiches for any occasion.
The beautiful Freeman Gardens are operated by volunteers and is often planted with hundreds of roses. In some of the town's other parks, there are paddle tennis courts and clay tennis courts. The Glen section of Glenside Park has a lovely bike trail, and an architectural gem not to be missed is the Glen Ridge Senior Community Center. The building is listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places and the center offers many programs for the town's elderly population. This beautiful Queen Anne-style building was built in 1887, and residents can rent the space for community events.