Exchange Place, Jersey City

Coordinates: 40°42′58″N 74°01′59″W / 40.71611°N 74.03306°W / 40.71611; -74.03306
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40°42′58″N 74°01′59″W / 40.71611°N 74.03306°W / 40.71611; -74.03306

Exchange Place
View of Exchange Place from One World Trade Center, 2023
View of Exchange Place from One World Trade Center, 2023
Country United States
State New Jersey
CityJersey City
 • Total83,828
 • Summer (DST)UTC−05:00

Exchange Place is a district of Downtown Jersey City, New Jersey that is sometimes referred to as Wall Street West due to the concentration of financial companies that have offices there. The namesake is a square, about 200 feet long, at the foot of Montgomery Street at the waterfront of the Hudson River. This square was created by landfilling the shore at Paulus Hook, and has been a major transportation hub since the colonial era.[1]


Aerial view of Exchange Place in 2010
Jersey City 9/11 Memorial
Lower Manhattan skyline as seen from Exchange Place

A high concentration of highrise office and residential buildings in the city are located in the district radiating from Exchange Place, which since the 1990s has overtaken Journal Square as Hudson County's major business district and become a major business center along the redeveloped waterfronts in the Port of New York and New Jersey. The Mack-Cali building is host to several nesting sites for peregrine falcons. The Hudson River Waterfront Walkway crosses Exchange, the other side of which is J. Owen Grundy Park, extending into the Hudson River.

The Katyń Memorial by Polish-American artist Andrzej Pitynski is the first memorial of its kind to be raised on American soil to honor the dead of the Katyń Forest massacre.[2] In early May 2018, Holocaust survivor Edward Mosberg co-signed a letter asking Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop not to remove the Katyń Memorial from Exchange Place in the city, writing: "The memory of the Katyn massacre is an important part of the memory and memories of the Holocaust and we encourage you to reconsider your decision to remove this monument."[3]

To the south are New York Waterway's Paulus Hook Ferry Terminal, and the two tallest buildings in New Jersey; the Goldman Sachs Tower and 99 Hudson. The Colgate Clock, promoted by Colgate-Palmolive as the largest in the world, faces Battery Park in lower Manhattan. The clock, which is 50 feet (15 m) in diameter with a minute hand weighing 2,200 pounds, was erected in 1924 to replace a smaller one that was relocated to a plant in Jeffersonville, Indiana.[4] The riverfront promenade, which provides vistas of Lower Manhattan, continues along the Morris Canal Little Basin, part of Liberty State Park. To the north is the former warehouse now housing Harborside Financial Center.


As early as July 1764[5] a ferry began operating from Paulus Hook to Mesier's dock which was located at the foot of Courtland Street (where Cortland Street Ferry Depot would be built)[6] and where Battery Park City Ferry Terminal is located today. The first steam ferry service in New York Harbor and the world was established in 1812 by Robert Livingston (1746-1813) and Robert Fulton and traveled between Paulus Hook and Cortlandt Street in Manhattan.[7] The ferry dock stood at the head of the important highway to Newark (and points west and south) established in 1795.[8] The ferry in turn influenced the location of the terminal of the New Jersey Railroad, which opened in 1838 running from the ferry dock via Newark to New Brunswick. The railroad purchased the ferry operation in 1853[9] and in 1858 built a much-needed larger intermodal terminal. After acquiring the railroad in 1871, the Pennsylvania Railroad replaced the terminal in 1876 and yet again in 1888–1892.[10] Passengers could move directly between the trains and ferries without going outside (a similar plan can still be seen today at Hoboken Terminal). The railroad referred to the location simply as Jersey City, and if necessary to distinguish it from other railroads' terminals, as the Pennsylvania station.

It was probably the street railways, the local transportation in Jersey City, that first needed to identify the location more precisely as Exchange Place.{American railroad Journal Vol 32, June 18, 1859} Beginning with horsecars in 1860, the local network connected the ferry with neighborhoods in the city and nearby towns. An off-street terminal called "Exchange Place" was established in 1891. It was almost at the water's edge, across the street from the Pennsylvania Railroad terminal and with easy access to the ferries.[11] Cars with signs reading EXCHANGE PLACE could be seen all over town. In 1901, the privately held land was given to the city by the PRR.[12]

The Hudson and Manhattan Railroad opened its tunnels from Exchange Place to New York in 1910.[13][14] Significantly, the station was at first called "Pennsylvania Railroad Station", not Exchange Place,[15] but by 1916 the name was expanded to include "Exchange Place".[16] By 1926 the H & M station was simply "Exchange Place".[17] The Pennsylvania Railroad did not officially give in until some years later, but all the stations, and the neighborhood, were firmly known as Exchange Place by the 1920s.

For many years the location functioned similarly to Hudson Place, farther up the Hudson waterfront, as a terminus for the many trolley lines which crisscrossed Hudson County, as well as for those which traveled farther, from destinations such as the Newark Public Service Terminal, or the Broadway Terminal in Paterson. At one time more than ten lines operated by the Public Service Railway originated/terminated here. The substitution of rail lines with busses, colloquially known as bustitution, was completed in 1949.[18]

Ferry services were also discontinued in 1949,[19] and while the Pennsylvania Railroad service dwindled after the opening of Penn Station in New York in 1910, it did not end until 1962.[20] Following the end of service on the Jersey City Branch, the remains of the large terminal were demolished, leaving a large open space on the waterfront. This and the elimination of other railroad passenger and freight yards along the river during the 1960s and 1970s opened up the land that would be used for redevelopment. The continued use of the name "Exchange Place" was based on the Hudson and Manhattan station (PATH since 1962) and signs on the bus routes that had replaced the trolleys.

Since 2000, both a trolley service, in the form of the Hudson–Bergen Light Rail, and a ferry service, provided by NY Waterway at the Paulus Hook Hook Ferry Terminal, have been restored. It is also the terminus for several New Jersey Transit and privately operated bus routes.


Hudson–Bergen Light Rail trains traveling between stations

Pennsylvania Railroad Station[edit]


PATH service from Exchange Place runs east to the World Trade Center, north to Hoboken Terminal, and west to Journal Square and Newark Penn Station.


Three stations of the Hudson–Bergen Light Rail in the district are Harborside Financial Center, Essex Street and Exchange Place, where transfer to PATH and ferry are possible.

Paulus Hook Ferry Terminal[edit]

Colgate Clock and Paulus Hook Ferry Terminal
Ferry service departing Battery Park City (background) towards Paulus Hook (foreground)

The ferry that started in 1764 became known as the Jersey City Ferry, but after nearly 200 years of service, the last regular ferry service across the Hudson ended in the 1960s. Service was revived in 1986, and today the Hudson's ferries are operated by New York Waterway and Seastreak.[21]

company route destination notes
NY Waterway West Midtown Ferry Terminal[22]
Midtown Manhattan
Pier 79
West Side Highway-West 39th St
Javits Convention Center
free transfer to Manhattan "loop" buses
Battery Park City Ferry Terminal
at World Financial Center[23]
Hudson River Park at Vesey Street
Battery Park City
paid transfer to NYC Ferry, NY Waterway, Liberty Landing Ferry, and Seastreak routes
Wall Street[24] Pier 11
South Street
south of South Street Seaport
paid transfer to NYC Ferry, NY Waterway, and Seastreak routes
Seastreak Belford[25] Raritan Bayshore
Monmouth County
via The Narrows & Upper Bay


Bus traveling along Montgomery Street in 2006
Route destination major points
limited service

Newark-Ivy Hill
via Newark-Ironbound
and Downtown Newark
West Side
Lincoln HighwayKearny Point
Ferry Street/Raymond Boulevard
Market Street

Greenville Grove Street Station
Communipaw Junction
Danforth Avenue
Curries Woods

Lakewood Newport Centre Mall


Lincoln Harbor

Journal Square


Old Bridge

Georgian Court University


Old Bridge South River

Newport Centre Mall


Lincoln Harbor


Old Bergen Road
Newark Avenue
Five Corners
India Square
West Side Avenue
Danforth Avenue

via Greenville
Grove Street Station
Communipaw Junction
Danforth Avenue
Curries Woods
Ocean Ave

Ave C


regular service
Hudson County Correction Facility
limited service
Newark Avenue
West Side Avenue
Lincoln Highway
limited service

AM and PM peak service

Bergenline Station Grove Street Station
Newport Centre Mall
Newark Avenue
9th/Congress Station
Weehawken Water Tower

Country Village Grove Street Station
Van Vorst Park
McGinley Square
West Side Avenue
Danforth Avenue

Journal Square

limited service

Academy Bus[32]
Garden State Arts Center limited peak service

In popular culture[edit]

The views provided along the waterfront are often featured as background images of New York City and One World Trade Center that have been used for Gmail, WordPress, and Emporis. The EarthCam webcam for One World Trade Center, which is placed on top of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, is viewed by millions every week and is occasionally used by local TV news stations.

The 1998 film Godzilla used the area that the Goldman Sachs Tower currently occupies as the location for a military base. The Exchange Place PATH station was used to film an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and the ending of the film Sid and Nancy was shot in the vicinity of Exchange Place near Harborside.

A segment of MTV's "The Week in Rock" was filmed along the Exchange Place waterfront during an interview with Queen Latifah.

The pier and its New York backdrop is commonly used in the 2021 series The Equalizer as the location where Robyn and William privately meet.

The view of Lower Manhattan from Exchange Place has been used for shots in the music video for Demi Lovato's I Love Me and in the lyric video for Afrojack and David Guetta's song Hero.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Karnoutsos, Carmela; Shalhoub, Patrick (2007). "Exchange Place". Jersey City Past and Present. New Jersey City University. Archived from the original on August 14, 2004. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
  2. ^ Stoltzfus, Duane (June 6, 1991). "Statue Erected as Memorial to Victims of Katyn Massacre". The Record.
  3. ^ "Polonia zbulwersowana planami usunięcia pomnika katyńskiego z placu w Jersey City". May 5, 2018.
  4. ^ Lyons, Richard (July 9, 1989). "Jersey City Landmark; Now It's Time to Move the Colgate Clock". The New York Times. Retrieved January 30, 2010.
  5. ^ History of the County of Hudson, New Jersey: From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Charles Hardenburg Winfield, pg. 243-246, Kennard & Hay Stationery M'fg and Print. Company, 1874
  6. ^ Railroad Ferries of the Hudson: And Stories of a Deckhand, by, Raymond J. Baxter, Arthur G. Adams, pg. 64 ,1999, Fordham University Press, 978-0823219544
  7. ^ Cudahy, Brian J. Over and Back New York: Fordham University Press, 1990. pp.20-24,360,362
  8. ^ John T. Cunningham, Newark. Newark: New Jersey Historical Society, 1966. p84-85.
  9. ^ Brian J. Cudahy, Over and Back. New York: Fordham University Press, 1990. p59.
  10. ^ Carl Condit, The Port of New York. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980. v1 p46-52,152-168.
  11. ^ John Harrington Riley, The Newark City Subway Lines. 1987. p194.
  12. ^ "Settlement in the Seaboard Litigation; Decision of Daniel S. Lamont as the Arbitrator". The New York Times. February 20, 1901. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  13. ^ Carl Condit, The Port of New York. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980. v1 p247-254.
  14. ^ "40,000 celebrate new tubes opening" (PDF). New York Times. July 20, 1909. Retrieved December 31, 2010.
  15. ^ Official Guide of the Railways. January 1910, p.68.
  16. ^ Official Guide of the Railways. June 1916, p.397.
  17. ^ Official Guide of the Railways. February 1926, p.308.
  18. ^ French, Kenneth, Images of Rail: Railroads of Hoboken and Jersey City, Arcadia Publishing, 2002, p125, ISBN 978-0-7385-0966-2
  19. ^ Brian J. Cudahy, Over and Back. New York: Fordham University Press, 1990. p362.
  20. ^ Carl Condit, The Port of New York. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981. v2 p228.
  21. ^ "Paulus Hook". Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  22. ^ "Midtown / W. 39th St". Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  23. ^ "World Financial Center". Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  24. ^ "Pier 11 / Wall St". Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  25. ^ "Fares, Routes & Schedules". Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  26. ^ "NJT bus 1 schedule" (PDF).
  27. ^ "Route 4 schedule" (PDF).
  28. ^ "NJT 80 schedule" (PDF).
  29. ^ "NJT 81 schedule" (PDF).
  30. ^ "NJT 83 schedule" (PDF).
  31. ^ "NJT 86 schedule" (PDF).
  32. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 13, 2010. Retrieved April 20, 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)