Asbury Park, New Jersey

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Asbury Park, New Jersey
City of Asbury Park
From Left: Asbury Park Convention Hall (image courtesy of Dave Frey), Main Street, Tillie, Cookman Ave, Old Heating Plant, Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel
From Left: Asbury Park Convention Hall (image courtesy of Dave Frey), Main Street, Tillie, Cookman Ave, Old Heating Plant, Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel
Map of Asbury Park in Monmouth County, New Jersey, along the Atlantic Ocean (also see: full-state map).
Map of Asbury Park in Monmouth County, New Jersey, along the Atlantic Ocean (also see: full-state map).
Coordinates: 40°13′22″N 74°00′37″W / 40.222884°N 74.010232°W / 40.222884; -74.010232Coordinates: 40°13′22″N 74°00′37″W / 40.222884°N 74.010232°W / 40.222884; -74.010232[1][2]
Country  United States of America
State  New Jersey
County Monmouth
Incorporated March 26, 1874 as (borough)
Reincorporated February 28, 1893 (as city)
Named for Francis Asbury
 • Type 1923 Municipal Manager Law
 • Mayor Myra Campbell (term ends, June 30, 2017)[3][4]
 • Manager Terry Reidy[5]
 • Clerk Steve Kay[6]
 • Total 1.603 sq mi (4.151 km2)
 • Land 1.424 sq mi (3.687 km2)
 • Water 0.179 sq mi (0.464 km2)  11.17%
Area rank 441st of 566 in state
36th of 53 in county[2]
Elevation[8] 16 ft (5 m)
Population (2010 Census)[9][10][11]
 • Total 16,116
 • Estimate (2013[12]) 15,855
 • Rank 158th of 566 in state
14th of 53 in county[13]
 • Density 11,319.5/sq mi (4,370.5/km2)
 • Density rank 24th of 566 in state
1st of 53 in county[13]
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC−4)
ZIP code 07712-07713[14][15]
Area code(s) 732/848[16]
FIPS code 3402501960[17][2][18]
GNIS feature ID 0885141[19][2]

Asbury Park is a city in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States, located on the Jersey Shore and part of the New York City Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 16,116,[9][10][11] reflecting a decline of 814 (−4.8%) from the 16,930 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 131 (+0.8%) from the 16,799 counted in the 1990 Census.[20]

It was ranked the sixth-best beach in New Jersey in the 2008 Top 10 Beaches Contest sponsored by the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium.[21]

Asbury Park was originally incorporated as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 26, 1874, from portions of Ocean Township. The borough was reincorporated on February 28, 1893. Asbury Park was incorporated as a city, its current type of government, as of March 25, 1897.[22]


Early years[edit]

Asbury Park beach, early twentieth century

A seaside community, Asbury Park is located on New Jersey's central coast. Developed in 1871 as a residential resort by New York brush manufacturer James A. Bradley, the city was named for Francis Asbury, the first American bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States.[23]

Bradley was active in the development of much of the city's infrastructure, and despite his preference for gas light, he allowed the Atlantic Coast Electric Company (precursor to today's Jersey Central Power & Light Co.) to offer electric service.[24] Along the waterfront Bradley installed a boardwalk, an orchestra pavilion, public changing rooms and a pier at the south end of the boardwalk. Such success attracted other businessmen. In 1888, Ernest Schnitzler built the Palace Merry-Go-Round on the southwest corner of Lake Avenue and Kingsley Street, the cornerstone of what would become the Palace Amusements complex; other attractions followed.[25] During these early decades in Asbury Park, a number of grand hotels were built, including the Plaza Hotel.[26]

Postcard of Asbury Park and Ocean Grove Railroad Station, dated 1908

Uriah White, an Asbury Park pioneer, installed the first artesian well water system.[27] As many as 600,000 people a year vacationed in Asbury Park during the summer season in the early years, riding the New York and Long Branch Railroad from New York City and Philadelphia to enjoy the mile-and-a-quarter stretch of oceanfront Asbury Park.[27] By 1912, The New York Times estimated that the summer population could reach 200,000.[28]

The country by the sea destination experienced several key periods of popularity. The first notable era was the 1890s, marked by a housing growth, examples of which can still be found today in a full range of Victorian architecture. Coinciding with the nationwide trend in retail shopping, Asbury Park's downtown flourished during this period and well into the 20th century.

Asbury Park,New Jersey Depot Station In 1903

1920s and modern development[edit]

Asbury Park boardwalk, c. 1935


The 1920s saw a dramatic change in the boardwalk with the construction of the Paramount Theatre and Convention Hall complex, the Casino Arena and Carousel House, and two handsome red-brick pavilions. Beaux Arts architect Warren Whitney of New York was the designer. He had also been hired to design the imposing Berkeley-Carteret Hotel positioned diagonally across from the theater and hall. At the same time, Asbury Park launched a first-class education and athletic program with the construction of a state-of-the-art high school overlooking Deal Lake.


On September 8, 1934, the wreck of the cruise ship SS Morro Castle, which caught on fire and burned, beached itself near the city just yards away from the Asbury Park Convention Hall; the city capitalized on the event, turning the wreck into a tourist attraction.[29]

In 1935, the newly founded Securities and Exchange Commission called Asbury Park's Mayor Clarence F. Hetrick to testify about $6,000,000 in "beach improvement bonds" that had gone into default. At the same time, the SEC also inquired about rental rates on the beach front and why the mayor reduced the lease of a bathhouse from $85,000 to $40,000, among many other discrepancies that could have offset debt.[30] The interests of Asbury Park's bond investors lead Senator Frank Durand (Monmouth County) to add a last-minute "Beach Commission" amendment to a municipal debt bill in the New Jersey legislature. When the bill became law, it ceded control of the Asbury Park beach to Governor Harold Hoffman and a governor's commission.[31][32] The city of Asbury Park sued to restore control of the beach to the municipal council, but the New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals (until 1947, the state's highest court) upheld the validity of the law in 1937.[33] When Durand pressed New Jersey's legislature to extend the state's control of Asbury Park's beach in 1938, the lower house staged a walk out and the Senate soon adjourned, a disruption that also prevented a vote for funding New Jerey's participation in the 1939 New York World's Fair.[34][35] In December 1938, the court returned control of the beach to the municipal council under the proviso that a bond repayment agreement was created; Asbury Park was the only beach in New Jersey affected by the Beach Commission law.[36]


In 1943, the New York Yankees held their spring training in Asbury Park instead of Florida.[37] This was because rail transport had to be conserved during the war, and Major League Baseball's Spring Training was limited to an area east of the Mississippi River and north of the Ohio River.[38]

The Casino's boarded walkway that links Asbury Park to Ocean Grove. As of 2008, the casino is being renovated.

With the opening of the Garden State Parkway in 1947, Asbury Park saw the travel market change as fewer vacationers took trains to the seashore.[citation needed]

1950s and beyond[edit]

In the decades that followed the war, surrounding farm communities gave way to tracts of suburban houses, encouraging the city's middle-class blacks as well as whites[citation needed] to move into newer houses with spacious yards.

With the above-mentioned change in the travel market, prompted by the opening of the Garden State Parkway in 1947 and the opening of Monmouth Mall 10 miles (16 km) away in Eatontown in 1960, Asbury Park's downtown became less of an attraction to shoppers. Office parks built outside the city resulted in the relocation of accountants, dentists, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals. Moreover, the opening of Six Flags Great Adventure (on July 1, 1974), a combination theme park and drive-through safari located on a lake in Jackson Township – and close to a New Jersey Turnpike exit — proved to be stiff competition for a mile-long stretch of aging boardwalk amusements.[citation needed]

The vacant streets of Asbury Park were a common sight in the 1980s and 1990s.

Riots that broke out in the city on July 4, 1970, resulted in the destruction of aging buildings along Springwood Avenue, one of three main east-west corridors into Asbury Park and the central shopping and entertainment district for those living in the city's southwest quadrant.[39] Many of those city blocks have yet to be redeveloped into the 21st century.[citation needed]

Although it was placed on the National Registers of Historic Places,[40] Palace Amusements was closed in 1988 and was demolished in 2004 despite attempts to save it.[41] The complex had featured the famous face of Tillie, a symbol of the Jersey Shore.[41]

In 1990, the famous carousel at the Casino Pier was sold to Family Kingdom Amusement Park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where it continues to operate.[42]

21st century[edit]

Former Howard Johnson's renovated and reopened in summer 2007 as Salt Water Beach Cafe on the boardwalk in Asbury Park

From 2002 onward, the rest of Asbury Park has been in the midst of a cultural, political, and economic revival, led by a burgeoning industry of local and national artists.[citation needed] Its dilapidated downtown district is undergoing revitalization while most of the nearly empty blocks that overlook the beach and boardwalk are slated for massive reconstruction. In 2005, the Casino's walkway reopened, as did many of the boardwalk pavilions.[43]

In 2007, the eastern portion of the Casino building was demolished. There are plans to rebuild this portion to look much like the original; however, the interior will be dramatically different and may include a public market (as opposed to previously being an arena and skating rink). There has also been more of a resurgence of the downtown as well as the boardwalk, with the grand reopening of the historic Steinbach department store building, as well as the rehabilitation of Convention Hall and the Fifth Avenue Pavilion (previously home to one of the last remaining Howard Johnson's restaurants). The historic Berkeley-Carteret Hotel, which is to be restored to four-star resort status, was acquired in 2007; the first residents moving into the newly constructed condominiums known as North Beach, the rehabilitation of Ocean Avenue, and the opening of national businesses on Asbury Avenue.

The Asbury Park Boardwalk after Hurricane Sandy (August 2013). The boardwalk repair projects were completed in May 2014.[44]

After Hurricane Sandy, Asbury Park was one of the few communities on the Jersey Shore to reopen successfully for the 2013 summer season. Most of the boardwalk had not been badly damaged by the massive hurricane. On Memorial Day Weekend 2013, Governor Chris Christie and President Barack Obama participated in an official ceremony before a crowd of 4,000, marking the reopening of Asbury Park and other parts of the Jersey Shore. The "Stronger Than The Storm" motto was emphasized at this ceremony.[45]


Local government[edit]

The City of Asbury Park is governed under the 1923 Municipal Manager Law form of New Jersey municipal government. The government consists of a five-member City Council, with all positions elected at large in nonpartisan elections, to serve four-year terms of office on a concurrent basis. After each election, the council selects a mayor and deputy mayor from among its members.[7]

As of 2014, the Asbury Park City Council consists of Mayor Myra Campbell, Deputy Mayor Susan Henderson, John Loffredo, John Moor and Amy Quinn, all serving terms of office that end June 30, 2017.[3][46][47]

Fire Department[edit]

The Asbury Park Fire Department is the only fully career department in Monmouth County.[48]

Asbury Park's fire station includes one staffed Engine Company, one staffed Truck Company, two staffed Basic Life Support Ambulances and a Duty Battalion Chief, operating four engines, two ladder trucks, a Technical Rescue Response Vehicle. The department has 50 employees, which includes 49 who are cross-trained as Emergency Medical Technicians.[49]

Federal, state, and county representation[edit]

Asbury Park is located in the 6th Congressional district[50] and is part of New Jersey's 11th state legislative district.[10][51][52]

New Jersey's Sixth Congressional District is represented by Frank Pallone (D, Long Branch).[53] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark; took office on October 31, 2013, after winning a special election to fill the seat of Frank Lautenberg)[54][55] and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus).[56][57]

For the 2014-2015 Session, the 11th District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Jennifer Beck (R, Red Bank) and in the General Assembly by Mary Pat Angelini (R, Ocean Township, Monmouth County) and Caroline Casagrande (R, Colts Neck Township).[58] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township).[59] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[60]

Monmouth County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders consisting of five members who are elected at-large to serve three year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects one of its members to serve as Director and another as Deputy Director.[61] As of 2014, Monmouth County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry (R, Colts Neck Township; term ends December 31, 2014),[62] Freeholder Deputy Director Gary J. Rich, Sr. (R, Spring Lake; 2014),[63] Thomas A. Arnone (R, Neptune City; 2016),[64] John P. Curley (R, Middletown Township; 2015)[65] and Serena DiMaso (R, Holmdel Township; 2016).[66][67] Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk M. Claire French (Wall Township),[68] Sheriff Shaun Golden (Farmingdale)[69] and Surrogate Rosemarie D. Peters (Middletown Township).[70]


As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 7,404 registered voters in Asbury Park, of which 2,723 (36.8%) were registered as Democrats, 464 (6.3%) were registered as Republicans and 4,209 (56.8%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 8 voters registered to other parties.[71]

In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 87.4% of the vote here (4,693 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 9.7% (522 votes) and other candidates with 0.5% (28 votes), among the 5,372 ballots cast by the city's 8,429 registered voters, for a turnout of 63.7%.[72] In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 81.9% of the vote here (3,659 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 17.0% (759 votes) and other candidates with 0.3% (28 votes), among the 4,466 ballots cast by the city's 8,255 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 54.1.[73]

In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 75.1% of the vote here (1,728 ballots cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 19.1% (440 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 4.3% (100 votes) and other candidates with 0.4% (9 votes), among the 2,301 ballots cast by the city's 7,692 registered voters, yielding a 29.9% turnout.[74]

Music and entertainment[edit]

Musicians and bands with strong ties to Asbury Park, many of whom frequently played clubs there on their way to fame, include Fury of Five, The Gaslight Anthem, Clarence Clemons, the E Street Band, Jon Bon Jovi and Bon Jovi, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Patti Smith, Arthur Pryor, Count Basie, The Clash, U.S. Chaos, Johnny Thunders, The Ramones, The Exploited, Charged GBH, Marty Munsch, Gary U.S. Bonds, along with many more.

Asbury Park is considered a destination for musicians, particularly a subgenre of rock and roll known as the Jersey Shore sound, which is infused with R&B. It is home to The Stone Pony, founded in 1974, a starting point for many performers. Smaller venues are Asbury Lanes and The Saint, which bring original, live music to the Jersey Shore. Asbury Park Convention Hall holds larger events.

In 1973 Bruce Springsteen released his debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.. On his follow-up album, The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, one of the songs is entitled "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)". Several books chronicle the early years of Springsteen's career in Asbury Park. Daniel Wolff's 4 July Asbury Park examines the social, political and cultural history of the city with a special emphasis on the part that music played in the city's development, culminating in Springsteen. Beyond the Palace by Gary Wien is a comprehensive look at the local music scene that Springsteen emerged from, and includes many photographs of musicians and clubs. Against the backdrop of the fading resort, Alex Austin's novel The Red Album of Asbury Park tracks a young rock musician pursuing his dream in the late 60s/early 70s, with Springsteen as a potent but as yet unknown rival.[75]

The Golden T-Bird Awards were established in 1993 by Scott Stamper and Pete Mantas to recognize and support significant contributions and achievements of local and regional participants in the music industry. The name of the awards was changed to the Asbury Music Awards in 1995. The award ceremony is held in November of each year, most recently at the Stone Pony.[76]

The New Jersey Music Hall of Fame was founded in Asbury Park in 2005. There are plans to build a museum somewhere in the city as part of the redevelopment.[77] The Wave Gathering Music Festival was established in 2006. The festival is held during the summer. Businesses across Asbury Park offer food, drink, art, music, crafts, and their stages for performances. Stages are also set up in parks, on the boardwalk, and in other open spaces. The event takes place over several days.[78]

In 2003, actor Robert Pastorelli founded the Garden State Film Festival, which draws over 30,000 visitors to Absury Park each spring for a four-day event including screenings of 150 features, documentaries, shorts and videos, concerts, lectures and workshops for filmmakers. In 2012, a film industry exposition will be held for the first time in Convention Hall during the Festival.[79]

The Bamboozle Music Festival was held in Asbury Park in 2003, 2004, and 2005.[80] The festival returned to its original location for the ten-year anniversary in 2012, headlined by My Chemical Romance, Foo Fighters, and Bon Jovi, drawing over 90,000 people to the city over the three-day span in which it was held.[81]

On October 5, 2013, the largest gathering of zombies was achieved by the 9,592 participants in New Jersey Zombie Walk at the Asbury Park Boardwalk.[82]


Asbury Park's nightlife includes The Stone Pony. On Main Street is The Saint, (formerly the Clover Club), a club that showcases local and emerging acts, as well as established performers. Across town, on Fourth Avenue, is Asbury Lanes, a functioning vintage bowling alley and bar with live performances ranging from musical acts, Neo-Burlesque, hot rod, and art shows. The Baronet, a vintage movie theater which dates back to Buster Keaton's era, was near Asbury Lanes, but its roof recently caved in and the building was demolished. In a town that was once nearly abandoned, there are now over 60 restaurants, coffee houses, and live music venues situated in Asbury Park's boardwalk and downtown districts.

Popular with numerous Asbury Park residents and visitors is the monthly First Saturday event. On the first Saturday of every month, Asbury Park's downtown art galleries, home design studios, restaurants, antique shops, and clothing boutiques remain open throughout the evening, serving hors d'oeuvres and offering entertainment, to showcase the city's residential and commercial resurgence.[83]


Urban Enterprise Zone[edit]

Portions of Asbury Park are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone . In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the Zone, some stores are allowed to apply a reduced 3½% sales tax rate at eligible merchants (versus the 7% rate charged statewide).[84]


The award-winning weekly newspaper The Coaster has been covering local news in Asbury Park since it was founded in 1983. The owner of TriCity News, a weekly news and art publication for Monmouth County, chose Asbury Park for its headquarters.[85]


Berkeley Hotel, south face 2007

There were at one time many hotels along the beachfront. Many were demolished after years of sitting vacant, although the Sixth Avenue House Bed & Breakfast Hotel (formerly Berea Manor) was recently restored after being abandoned in the 1970s. Hotels like the Berkeley and Oceanic Inn have operated concurrently for decades, while the Empress Hotel and Hotel Tides were recently restored and reopened.

Currently open hotels include the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel (formerly the Berkeley-Carteret Oceanfront Hotel), The Empress Hotel, Hotel Tides, Oceanic Inn, Sixth Avenue House Bed & Breakfast Hotel and Mikell's Big House Bed & Breakfast.



Asbury Park's public schools are operated by Asbury Park Public Schools. The district is one of 31 Abbott districts statewide,[88] which are now referred to as "SDA Districts" based on the requirement for the state to cover all costs for school building and renovation projects in these districts under the supervision of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority.[89][90]

In 2006, Asbury Park's Board of Education was affected by the city's decision to redevelop waterfront property with eminent domain. In the case Asbury Park Board of Education v. City of Asbury Park and Asbury Partners, LLC, the court ruled in favor of eminent domain of the Board of Education building on Lake Ave.[91] The Board of Education moved to the third and fourth floors of 603 Mattison Avenue, the former Asbury Park Press building, where it paid $189,327 in rent per year.[92]

In February 2007, the offices of the Asbury Park Board of Education were raided by investigators from the State Attorney General's office, prompted by allegations of corruption and misuse of funds.[93]

Schools in the district (with 2010-11 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[94]) are Bradley Elementary School[95] (288 students; grades PreK-5), Thurgood Marshall Elementary School[96] (426; K-5), Asbury Park Middle School[97] (359; 6-8) and Asbury Park High School[98] (439; 9–12).[99]

In March 2011, the state monitor overseeing the district's finances ordered that Barack Obama Elementary School be closed after the end of the 2010–11 school year, citing a 35% decline in enrollment in the district during the prior 10 years. Students currently attending the school would be reallocated to the district's two other elementary schools, with those going into fifth grade assigned to attend middle school.[100] During the summer of 2012, the school board approved funding for development plans to house the Board of Education in the vacant Barack Obama Elementary School. The school board awarded $894,000 to an architect firm to handle the renovation design and subsequent project bids. The estimated cost of the renovation was $1.6 million.[92]

Per-student expenditures in Asbury Park have generated statewide controversy for several years. In 2006, The New York Times reported that Asbury Park "spends more than $18,000 per student each year, the highest amount in the state."[101] In both 2010 and 2011, the Asbury Park K-12 school district had the highest per-student expenditure in the state.[102] As of the 2010 school reports, the high school has not met goals mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act and has been classified as "In Need of Improvement" for six years.[103]

Students from Asbury Park in ninth through twelfth grades may also attend Academy Charter High School, located in Lake Como, which also serves residents of Allenhurst, Avon-by-the-Sea, Belmar, Bradley Beach, Deal, Interlaken and Lake Como, and accepts students on a lottery basis.[104]


In 1943, the New York Yankees held spring training in Asbury Park to comply with restrictions on rail travel during World War II.[105]


Asbury Park is located at 40°13′22″N 74°00′37″W / 40.222884°N 74.010232°W / 40.222884; -74.010232 (40.222884,-74.010232). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 1.603 square miles (4.151 km2), of which, 1.424 square miles (3.687 km2) of it was land and 0.179 square miles (0.464 km2) of it (11.17%) was water.[2][1]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 4,148
1910 11,150 168.8%
1920 13,400 20.2%
1930 14,981 11.8%
1940 14,617 −2.4%
1950 17,094 16.9%
1960 17,366 1.6%
1970 16,533 −4.8%
1980 17,015 2.9%
1990 16,799 −1.3%
2000 16,930 0.8%
2010 16,116 −4.8%
Est. 2013 15,855 [12] −1.6%
Population sources: 1900-1920[106]
1900–1910[107] 1900–1930[108]
1900-2010[109] 2000[110][111] 2010[9][10][11]

2010 Census[edit]

At the 2010 United States Census, there were 16,116 people, 6,725 households, and 3,174 families residing in the city. The population density was 11,319.5 per square mile (4,370.5 /km2). There were 8,076 housing units at an average density of 5,672.4 per square mile (2,190.1 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 36.45% (5,875) White, 51.35% (8,275) Black or African American, 0.49% (79) Native American, 0.48% (77) Asian, 0.12% (20) Pacific Islander, 7.64% (1,232) from other races, and 3.46% (558) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 25.53% (4,115) of the population.[9]

There were 6,725 households, of which 24.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 18.2% were married couples living together, 23.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 52.8% were non-families. 42.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 3.33.[9]

In the city, 23.8% of the population were under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34.0 years. For every 100 females there were 95.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.9 males.[9]

The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $33,527 (with a margin of error of +/− $2,802) and the median family income was $27,907 (+/− $5,012). Males had a median income of $34,735 (+/− $3,323) versus $33,988 (+/− $4,355) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $20,368 (+/− $1,878). About 31.1% of families and 29.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 44.9% of those under age 18 and 26.0% of those age 65 or over.[112]

2000 Census[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census[17] there were 16,930 people, 6,754 households, and 3,586 families residing in the city. The population density was 14,290.0 per square mile (5,629.4/km2) making it Monmouth County's most densely populated municipality. There were 7,744 housing units at an average density of 5,416.7 per square mile (2,090.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 15.77% White, 67.11% Black, 0.32% Native American, 0.70% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 6.49% from other races, and 5.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.58% of the population.[110][111]

There were 6,754 households out of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 20.2% were married couples living together, 26.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.9% were non-families. 39.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.36.[110][111]

In the city the population was spread out with 30.1% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 18.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 88.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.2 males.[110][111]

The median income for a household in the city was $23,081, and the median income for a family was $26,370. Males had a median income of $27,081 versus $24,666 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,516. About 29.3% of families and 40.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 46.5% of those under age 18 and 37.1% of those age 65 or over.[110][111]


Gay community[edit]

Since the 1950s at least, Asbury Park has had a growing gay community. After the property values plummeted, gay people from New York City purchased and restored Victorian homes, leading to a rejuvenation of parts of the city.[113] In 1999, Shep Pettibone opened Paradise Nightclub, a gay discotheque near the ocean. He has since also opened the Empress Hotel, the state's only gay-oriented hotel. Another notable establishment is Georgie's (formerly the Fifth Avenue Tavern). Every summer the Jersey Gay Pride parade as Sand Blast Weekend draw thousands of gay people to the city. Sand Blast Weekend (formerly called Road Trip Weekend) was started by the local gay homeowners who wanted to encourage friends from the tri-state area to come check out the up & coming beach town and hopefully make it a regular destination year-round. In 2010 Road Trip Weekend became Sand Blast Weekend, renamed after the popular gay dance on the beach, which had become the main event of the Road Trip Weekend.


While 8 of the 17 murders in Monmouth County in 2006 took place in Asbury Park, and 7 of the county's 14 murders in 2007, by 2008 there was only one murder in Asbury Park and five in the whole county. The city's police had added 19 officers since 2003 and expanded its street crime unit. After a spike in gang violence, violent crime had decreased by almost 20% from 2006 to 2008.[114]

In the calendar year through August 26, 2013, Asbury Park has had 6 homicides; there have also been 17 people non-fatally injured in shooting incidents.[115]

In February 2014, "Operation Dead End" arrested gang members of the Crips and Bloods; one Asbury Park patrol officer was arrested for aiding gang members.[116]

Asbury Park's crime statistics
Year Crime Index Total Violent crime Non-violent
Crime rate
Per 1000
Violent crime
Rate per 1000
Non-violent crime
Rate per 1000
Murder Rape Robbery Aggravated
1994 1740 386 1354 103.6 23.0 80.6 2 20 175 189 [117]
1995 1461 290 1171 93.6 18.6 75.0 2 11 147 130 [117]
1996 1590 305 1285 101.9 19.5 82.3 2 23 139 141 [118]
1997 1525 357 1168 89.1 20.8 68.2 1 11 190 155 [118]
1998 1240 251 989 72.4 14.7 57.8 0 16 116 119 [119]
1999 1183 302 881 69.4 17.7 51.7 3 16 139 144 [119]
2000 1224 337 887 72.3 19.9 52.4 1 13 161 162 [120]
2001 1431 398 1033 84.5 23.5 61.0 5 14 184 195 [120]
2002 1260 347 913 74.4 20.5 53.9 3 9 172 163 [121]
2003 1293 378 915 77.0 22.5 54.5 2 7 183 186 [121]
2004 1429 360 1069 85.6 21.6 64.0 3 5 196 156 [121]
2005 1313 346 967 78.1 20.6 57.5 3 10 148 185 [122]
2006 1305 387 918 78.5 23.3 55.2 8 7 194 178 [122]
2007 1070 351 719 64.7 21.2 43.5 6 11 184 150 [123]
2008 1265 319 946 76.3 19.2 57.1 1 6 153 159 [123]
2009 1370 353 1017 82.8 21.3 61.5 2 6 178 167 [124]
2010 1491 344 1147 92.5 21.3 71.2 3 13 188 140 [124]
2011 1540 260 1280 95.6 16.1 79.4 4 11 114 131 [125]
2012 1252 247 1005 78.9 15.6 63.3 3 10 84 150 [126]


New Jersey Transit offers rail service from the Asbury Park station on the North Jersey Coast Line. Bus routes include the 317 to and from Philadelphia, and local service on the 830, 832, 836 and 837 routes.[127]

Notable people[edit]

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Asbury Park include:

In popular culture[edit]

Palace Amusements and the mural Tillie have featured in numerous works of popular culture. Additional works reference Asbury Park, specifically.

For example, in the song "At Long Last Love" (1938), originally written by Cole Porter for the musical You Never Know (1938), Frank Sinatra sings "Is it Granada I see, or only Asbury Park?"[152]

The group mewithoutYou references Asbury Park several times on their album Ten Stories (2012). The song "Bear's Vision of St. Agnes" mentions "that tattered rag shop back in Asbury Park", and the song "Fox's Dream of the Log Flume" mentions the pier and sand dunes.[citation needed]

Asbury Park was used for the location filming of the crime drama City by the Sea (2002), starring Robert De Niro, James Franco and Frances McDormand, which was nominally set in Long Beach, New York, where no filming actually took place, according to a disclaimer that was included as part of the closing credits. The film features scenes set on a shabby, dilapidated boardwalk and in a ruined/abandoned casino/arcade building. Residents of both cities reportedly objected to the way their towns were depicted.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


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  3. ^ a b Mayor & Council, City of Asbury Park. Accessed June 15, 2014.
  4. ^ 2013 New Jersey Mayors Directory, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. Accessed September 17, 2013. As of date accessed, Edward Johnson is listed a mayor with a term-end date of June 30, 2013.
  5. ^ A message from the City Manager, City of Asbury Park. Accessed July 18, 2012.
  6. ^ City Departments, City of Asbury Park. Accessed July 18, 2012.
  7. ^ a b 2012 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, March 2013, p. 58.
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  10. ^ a b c d Municipalities Grouped by 2011-2020 Legislative Districts, New Jersey Department of State, p. 6. Accessed January 6, 2013.
  11. ^ a b c Table DP-1. Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2010 for Asbury Park city, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Accessed February 9, 2012.
  12. ^ a b PEPANNRES - Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013 - 2013 Population Estimates for New Jersey municipalities, United States Census Bureau. Accessed June 16, 2014.
  13. ^ a b GCT-PH1 Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - State -- County Subdivision from the 2010 Census Summary File 1 for New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed December 11, 2012.
  14. ^ Look Up a ZIP Code for Asbury Park, NJ, United States Postal Service. Accessed August 31, 2011.
  15. ^ Zip Codes, State of New Jersey. Accessed August 23, 2013.
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  30. ^ Staff. "ASBURY PARK DEBT LINKED TO POLITICS; Costly Temporary Financing Tied to Boardwalk and Rental 'Iniquities.' MAYOR HETRICK ON STAND He Tells SEC of $6,000,000, Mostly in Default -- High Interest Rate Defended.", The New York Times, October 26, 1935. Accessed September 17, 2013.
  31. ^ Staff. "ASBURY PARK TO SUE FOR BEACH CONTROL; Writ to Be Applied For Today to Prevent Commission Taking Jurisdiction.", The New York Times, June 22, 1936. Accessed September 17, 2013.
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  45. ^ Flumenbaum, Martha. "Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.: Seven Months of Hurricane Sandy Heroes", Huffington Post, May 28, 2013. Accessed June 15, 2014. "Standing on the beach in Asbury Park with 'Born To Run' and 'Who Says You Can't Go Home?' playing in the background, the smell of the ocean and cheesesteaks in the air, surrounded by miniature golf, salt water taffy, and a few feet away from The Stone Pony (where Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi got their starts) I watched Governor Chris Christie introduce President Barack Obama to a crowd of about 4,000 today."
  46. ^ Staff. "Bulletin: Campbell is new Asbury MayorFormer running mates oppose her, support comes from incumbents", Asbury Park Sun, July 1, 2013. Accessed September 17, 2013
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  48. ^ Kaplan, Dan. "Wall's Glendola company hires fireman, a first", copy of article from Asbury Park Press, September 1, 2005, at Accessed June 4, 2012. "Asbury Park's fire department is Monmouth County's only fully paid one. With 42 members, the department carries an annual budget of about $3.7 million and responds to about 6,100 annual calls, Assistant City Manager James Famularo said. While the tax burden in Asbury Park is greater than that in towns with volunteer squads, the city needs a full-time presence, Battalion Chief Kevin Keddy said. The Fire Department also includes the city's emergency medical technicians."
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  81. ^ McCall, Tris. "Bamboozle 2012: Bon Jovi brings the hits to the beach", The Star-Ledger, May 21, 2012. Accessed July 18, 2012. "The 10th annual Bamboozle festival — and the first to be presented in its original hometown of Asbury Park since 2005 — had come to its grand, restless finale, and the most famous band ever booked by its organizers was about to play the massive main stage on the north end of the boardwalk. And unlike the other artists who drew enormous crowds to the boardwalk and beach this weekend, Bon Jovi does not compete for attention."
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  133. ^ SmackDown Countdown 2006: Bam Bam Bigelow – The Beast from the East comes out of retirement, November 6, 2006.
  134. ^ Staff. "Boardwalk fortune teller Madam Marie dies", Asbury Park Press, July 1, 2008. Accessed December 2, 2012. "Marie Castello, who had told fortunes since the 1930s and became famous for her presence and predictions on the Asbury Park boardwalk, died Friday, her great-granddaughter, Sally Castello said today."
  135. ^ Blackwell, Jon. "She kept America in Vogue", Asbury Park Press, May 14, 2001. Accessed July 31, 2007. "Born in Asbury Park on March 14, 1877, Edna barely knew her father, who split up with her mom while she was still an infant."
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  138. ^ Williams, Candy. "Manhattan Transfer keeps it swinging with Greensburg show", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 4, 2009. Accessed July 28, 2011. "Even before he founded the quartet, Hauser was singing professionally since age 15, when as a teenager living with his family in Asbury Park, N.J., he started up a rock 'n' roll quintet called the Criterions."
  139. ^ Anderson, Dave. "Sports of The Times; Hess Mulled The Return Of the Jets", The New York Times, May 9, 1999. Accessed February 9, 2012. "'I was born and brought up in Asbury Park, N.J.,' Hess said that day in a rare appearance at a news conference."
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  141. ^ Genocchio, Benjamin. "ART; Making Art Amid The Ruins", The New York Times, May 22, 2005. Accessed December 30, 2007. "Mr. Melee took his money and bought a house in Asbury Park, after falling in love with the decaying grandeur of the Jersey Shore."
  142. ^ "Greetings From Asbury Park", NJN. Accessed June 18, 2007. "Rick Benjamin, founder of the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra, and a specialist in the music of Arthur Pryor – an Asbury Park musical superstar long before Bruce Springsteen – who transformed the forbidden music of Ragtime into wholesome popular entertainment."
  143. ^ Wilkowe, Ellen S. "Man with a horn", Asbury Park Press, February 8, 2009. Accessed February 4, 2011. "After joining the Jukes Rosenberg moved to the Shore area and lived in Belmar, Long Branch and even across from the Stone Pony he said."
  144. ^ Staff. "Charles J. Ross Dead. Prominent Travesty Actor Succumbs at 59 at Ross-Fenton Farm", The New York Times, June 16, 1918. Accessed February 9, 2012. "Charles J. Ross, many years ago a member of the Weber and Fields Company and later a headliner in vaudeville in the team of Ross and Fenton, died at his home in North Asbury Park today."
  145. ^ Lustig, Jay. "Revisiting E Street: Ex-Springsteen sideman looks forward to Shore gig", "The Star-Ledger", July 15, 2005. Accessed July 30, 2007. "Sancious grew up in Asbury Park and Belmar. The E Street Band was named after the address of his mother's Belmar home, where they sometimes practiced. Sancious lived in Red Bank in the late '70s, before relocating to his current hometown, Woodstock, N.Y."
  146. ^ Staff. "Arthur Siegel, Song Composer And Pianist, 70", The New York Times, September 17, 1994. Accessed May 20, 2012. "Mr. Siegel, whose career in show business spanned nearly five decades, was born in Lakewood, N.J., on Dec. 31, 1923, and grew up in Asbury Park, N.J."
  147. ^ Tom Smith's legislative web page at the Wayback Machine (archived November 8, 2002), New Jersey Legislature. Accessed April 23, 2008.
  148. ^ McAlpine, Ken. Off-Season: Discovering America on Winter's Shore, p. 227. Random House, 2010. ISBN 9780307539038. Accessed June 15, 2014. "Bruce Springsteen lived in Asbury Park. He used what he inhaled there — the boardwalk, Madam Marie's, every beach town's drifters and dreamers — to touch his first tentaive fingers to the pulse of life at the Jersey Shore and, Given man's common desires, beyond."
  149. ^ Lucia, Peter "Asbury Park Life Stimulus For Author" at the Wayback Machine (archived June 14, 2008), Asbury Park Press, October 2, 1995. Accessed April 9, 2008.
  150. ^ Cotter, Kelly-Jane. "The Year in Entertainment", Asbury Park Press, December 27, 2009. Accessed February 2, 2011. "Radio personality Wendy Williams who grew up in Asbury Park and Ocean Township became a TV star this year with her syndicated talk show."
  151. ^ Nye, Peter Joffre. "Newark, N.J., Started a National Cycling Tradition", United States Bicycling Hall of Fame. Accessed July 21, 2008.
  152. ^ Pike, Helen-Chantal. Asbury Park's Glory Days: The Story of an American Resort, p. 88. Rutgers University Press, 2007. ISBN 9780813540870. Accessed January 30, 2014. "Four years later, Porter wrote another musical, You Never Know, with a signature song, "At Long Last Love", later made famous by crooner Frank Sinatra. The song included the line 'Is it Granada I see, or only Asbury Park?'"

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Loch Arbour
Beaches of New Jersey Succeeded by
Ocean Grove