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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. The founding of Ocean Grove in 1869, a Methodist camp meeting to the south, encouraged the development of Asbury Park and led to its being a "dry town."
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. Along the waterfront Bradley installed the Asbury Park Boardwalk, an orchestra pavilion, public changing rooms and a pier at the south end of that 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. During these early decades in Asbury Park, a number of grand hotels were built, including the Plaza Hotel.
Postcard of Asbury Park and Ocean Grove Railroad Station, dated 1908
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
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 ocean liner SS Morro Castle, which caught 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.
In 1935, the newly founded Securities and Exchange Commission called Asbury Park's Mayor Clarence F. Hetrick to testify about $6 million 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. The interests of Asbury Park's bond investors led 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. 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. 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 Jersey's participation in the 1939 New York World's Fair. 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.
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. While the Asbury Park exit on the Parkway opened in 1956 and provided a means for drivers to reach Asbury Park more easily, additional exits further south allowed drivers access to new alternative vacation destinations, particularly on Long Beach Island.:71-72
1950s and beyond
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 to move into newer houses with spacious yards.:190
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 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.
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. Many of those city blocks have yet to be redeveloped into the 21st century.
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, including a burgeoning industry of local and national artists. 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.
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 in August 2013. The boardwalk repair projects were completed in May 2014.
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.
Since the 1950s at least, Asbury Park has had a growing gay community. After the property values plummeted, gays from New York City purchased and restored Victorian homes, leading to a rejuvenation of parts of the city. In 1999, dance music pioneer 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 draws thousands of LGBT people to the city.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 1.603 square miles (4.151 km2), including 1.424 square miles (3.687 km2) of land and 0.179 square miles (0.464 km2) of water (11.17%).
Deal Lake covers 158 acres (64 ha) and is overseen by the Deal Lake Commission, which was established in 1974. Seven municipalities border the lake, accounting for 27 miles (43 km) of shoreline, also including Allenhurst, Deal, Interlaken, Loch Arbour, Neptune Township and Ocean Township.
There were 6,725 households out 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.
In the city, the population was spread out with 23.8% 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 ages 18 and older there were 95.9 males.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Urban Enterprise Zone
Portions of the city are part of a joint Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) with Long Branch, one of 32 zones covering 37 municipalities statewide. The city was selected in 1994 as one of a group of 10 zones added to participate in the program. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment and investment within the UEZ, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3.3125% sales tax rate (half of the % rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants. Established in September 1994, the city's Urban Enterprise Zone status expires in September 2025.
Berkeley Hotel, south face 2007
At one time, there were 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--it is no longer operational and was sold as a single family home. Hotels like the Berkeley and Oceanic Inn have operated concurrently for decades, while the Empress Hotel and Hotel Tides were recently restored and reopened. The Asbury Hotel, located on 5th Avenue, was the first hotel to be "built" in Asbury Park in 50+ years. It stands where the old Salvation Army building once stood, which has sat vacant for over a decade. The building itself was not torn down, but the entire inside was gutted and redone. Glass paneling was added to the front and all the original outside brickwork was kept. While located a block and a half from the beach, a great view of the ocean is still offered by the upper floors and rooftop.
Currently open hotels include the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel (formerly the Berkeley-Carteret Oceanfront Hotel), The Empress Hotel, Hotel Tides, Asbury Park Inn, Oceanic Inn, Mikell's Big House Bed & Breakfast as well as The Asbury Hotel and The Asbury Ocean Club Hotel, both developed by iStar, the Master Developer for the Asbury Park Waterfront.
The award-winning weekly newspaper The Coaster has covered local news in Asbury Park since it was founded in 1983.
The Asbury Park Sun
The owner of TriCity News, a weekly news and art publication for Monmouth County, chose Asbury Park for its headquarters.
Arts and culture
Asbury Park, NJ skyline 2015
The Asbury Park music scene gained prominence in the 1960s with bands such as the Jaywalkers and many others, who combined rock and roll, rhythm and blues, soul and doo-wop to create what became known as the Sound of Asbury Park (S.O.A.P.). On December 9, 2006, founding members of S.O.A.P. reunited for the "Creators of S.O.A.P.: Live, Raw, and Unplugged" concert at The Stone Pony and to witness the dedication of a S.O.A.P. plaque on the boardwalk outside of Convention Hall. The original plaque included the names Johnny Shaw, Billy Ryan, Bruce Springsteen, Garry Tallent, Steve Van Zandt, Mickey Holiday, "Stormin'" Norman Seldin, Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez, Fast Eddie "Doc Holiday" Wohanka, Billy "Cherry Bomb" Lucia, Clarence Clemons, Nicky Addeo, Donnie Lowell, Jim "Jack Valentine" Cattanach, Ken "Popeye" Pentifallo, Jay Pilling, John "Cos" Consoli, Gary "A" Arntz, Larry "The Great" Gadsby, Steve "Mole" Wells, Ray Dahrouge, Johnny "A" Arntz, David Sancious, Margaret Potter, Tom Potter, Sonny Kenn, Tom Wuorio, Rick DeSarno, Southside Johnny Lyon, Leon Trent, Buzzy Lubinsky, Danny Federici, Bill Chinnock, Patsy Siciliano, and Sam Siciliano. An additional plaque was added on August 29, 2008 honoring John Luraschi, Carl "Tinker" West, George Theiss, Vinnie Roslin, Mike Totaro, Lenny Welch, Steve Lusardi, and Johnny Petillo.
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.
The Asbury Park Music Foundation, working with Lakehouse Music Academy and the Boys & Girls Club of Monmouth County, founded the Hip Hop Institute to teach music and life skills education relevant to young hip hop enthusiasts.
The Asbury Park Museum hosts an exhibit on the history of music on the West Side, spanning the decades from 1880 to 1980.
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 venues including:
The Stone Pony, founded in 1974, a starting point for many performers.
Across town, on Fourth Avenue, is Asbury Lanes, a recently reopened functioning bowling alley and bar with live performances ranging from musical acts (formerly with a heavy focus on punk music), neo-Burlesque, hot rod, and art shows. The reopened venue's latest focused has been mostly on indie rock and pop.
The Saint, on Main Street (formerly the Clover Club), which brings original, live music to the Jersey Shore.
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. The Asbury Hotel pays homage to this once great theater with its 5th floor rooftop movie theater called "The Baronet". The Asbury Hotel also has an 8th floor rooftop bar, paying homage to the former building inhabitants and calling it "Salvation."
In a town that was once nearly abandoned, there are now over 60 restaurants, bars, coffee houses, two breweries, a coffee roastery, and live music venues situated in Asbury Park's boardwalk and downtown districts.
Festivals and other recurring arts events
The Asbury Park Music + Film Festival (APMFF). This event is held annually in the spring.
Asbury Park Surf Music Festival. This event featuring surf music bands is held on the boardwalk in August.
The Sea.Hear.Now Festival. This surfing and music festival first appeared on the beach in Asbury Park in September 2018. It is billed as a celebration of live music, art, ocean sustainability, and surf culture. Digital pop culture magazine "The Pop Break" named Sea.Hear.Now the best new music festival of the year in 2018.
Music Mondays at Springwood Park. These are weekly live music events held at Springwood Park in the summer months. Hosted by the Asbury Park Music Foundation.
The Wave Gathering Music Festival. This 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.
First Saturdays. 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.
The Asbury Park Tattoo Convention, also known as the Visionary Tattoo Festival, is held every July.
The Garden State Film Festival. In 2003, actor Robert Pastorelli founded the Garden State Film Festival, which draws over 30,000 visitors to Asbury 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.
The Bamboozle Music Festival. This was first held in Asbury Park in 2003, 2004, and 2005. 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.
The Asbury Park Women's Convention is held each winter.
Murals and other public art
Noted muralists and other local artists have installed various murals along the Asbury Park boardwalk and the cityscape in recent years. The 2016 Wooden Walls Mural Project began in July of that year and reimagined the Sunset Pavilion building with around a dozen new murals.
Other arts and entertainment
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, an event held in Asbury Park every October.
Surfing and other sports
Every winter, when the surf grows colder and rougher than in the summer, the city is home to the Cold War, an annual cold water surfing battle.
Asbury Park is the nominal home to Asbury Park F.C., described as "Asbury Park's most storied sports franchise and New Jersey's second-best football club." The project is a parody of a modern pro soccer team born out of a joke between social media professional and soccer tastemaker Shawn Francis and his friend Ian Perkins, guitarist with The Gaslight Anthem. Despite never playing games the club has an extensive merchandise line available online, including new and retro replica jerseys.
Springwood Park. Springwood Park is a park established in 2016 near the Asbury Park train station, adjacent to the Second Baptist Church of Asbury Park, a historically African-American congregation founded in 1885. It is across from Kula Urban Farm and Kula Cafe, an urban farm and small restaurant that grows produce for local restaurants. Springwood Park is home to Music Mondays, weekly live-music outdoor events in the summer months that are hosted by the Asbury Park Music Foundation. The park is also home to political and/or civil rights rallies from time to time.
The City of Asbury Park is governed within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under the Council-Manager form of government. The city was previously governed under the 1923 Municipal Manager Law form of New Jersey municipal government until voters approved the Council-Manager form in 2013. The government consists of a five-member City Council with a directly elected mayor and four council positions all elected at-large in non-partisan elections, to serve four-year terms of office on a staggered basis in elections held in even years as part of the November general election.
The form of government was chosen based on the final report issued in August 2013 by a Charter Study Commission that had narrowed its options to the weak Mayor Council-Manager form or the strong Mayor Faulkner Act form, ultimately choosing to recommend the Council-Manager form as it would retain desired aspects of the 1923 Municipal Manager Law (non-partisan voting for an at-large council with a professional manager) while allowing a directly elected mayor, elections in November and grants voters the right to use initiative and referendum. The four winning council candidates in the November 2014 general election drew straws, with two being chosen to serve full four-year terms and two serving for two years. Thereafter, two council seats will be up for election every two years.
As of 2018[update], members of the Asbury Park City Council are Mayor John Moor (term of office ends December 31, 2018), Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn (2020), Eileen Chapman (2020), Barbara "Yvonne" Clayton (2020) and Jesse Kendle (2018).
In May 2016, the City Council appointed Eileen Chapman to fill the vacant council seat expiring in December 2016 that had been held by Joe Woerner until he resigned from office.
Myra Campbell, the last mayor under the old form of government, was the first African-American woman to be chosen as mayor when she took office in July 2013.
The Asbury Park Fire Department is a full service professional organization with highly trained personnel that provide a wide variety of services to meet the needs of the city's residents and visitors.
All Asbury Park's fire apparatus are staffed with skilled, cross-trained firefighter/emergency medical technicians who provide basic life support skills and fight fires. Specialty teams allow the Asbury Park Fire Department to deal with chemical spills, provide technical rescues to individuals trapped in water, trenches, confined spaces, or collapsed buildings. The extensive training and expertise of our members result in the fire department providing quality and cost-efficient services to our community.
Beyond providing emergency services, the Asbury Park Fire Department works to prevent future fires and accidents. Department responsibilities range from fire code enforcement, arson investigations, and fire prevention activities to fire and life safety education programs for children, families, and seniors.
Asbury Park currently has a centrally located fire station (with a new one planned for the future), with one Engine Company, one Truck Company, two Basic Life Support Ambulances, and a Duty Battalion Chief. The department's apparatus fleet includes 4 engines, 2 Ladder Trucks, 1 Technical Rescue Response Vehicle, in addition to other equipment The Asbury Park Fire Department employs 54 people, of which, 53 are certified Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technicians.
As of March 23, 2011[update], 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.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 89.1% of the vote (4,317 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 9.9% (480 votes), and other candidates with 1.0% (49 votes), among the 4,896 ballots cast by the city's 8,486 registered voters (50 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 57.7%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 87.4% of the vote (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%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 81.9% of the vote (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.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Democrat Barbara Buono received 67.5% of the vote (1,488 cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 30.9% (682 votes), and other candidates with 1.6% (36 votes), among the 2,287 ballots cast by the city's 8,819 registered voters (81 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 25.9%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 75.1% of the vote (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.
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. 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.
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 New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division affirmed a ruling in favor of eminent domain of the Board of Education building on Lake Avenue. 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.
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.
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." In both 2010 and 2011, the Asbury Park K-12 school district had the highest per-student expenditure in the state. 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.
The Hope Academy Charter School, founded in 2001, is an alternative public school choice that serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Admission is based on a lottery of submitted applications, with priority given to Asbury Park residents and siblings of existing students.
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.
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.
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.
On June 16, 2015, Asbury Park police officers arrested a Neptune Township off-duty police officer for the murder of his ex-wife on an Asbury Park street in broad daylight.
As of 2013[update], the Asbury Park Police Department has 88 police employees: 74 men, 10 women, and 4 civilian.
Nearby hospitals include Jersey Shore University Medical Center and Monmouth Medical Center.
From before 1990 to 2015, there were 904 reported cases of HIV/AIDS in Asbury Park. Additionally, there were 418 AIDS-related deaths and 73 deaths of people who had HIV (without AIDS diagnosis.) In 2014, there were nine new cases and 2015, eight. To help people living with AIDS and their caregivers, a not-for-profit foundation called The Center provides assistance with meals, housing, and transportation.
In 2012, Asbury Park reported 6 cases of syphilis, 59 cases of gonorrhea, and 139 cases of chlamydia.
Route 71, the main highway through Asbury Park
Roads and highways
As of May 2010[update], the city had a total of 36.20 miles (58.26 km) of roadways, of which 33.78 miles (54.36 km) were maintained by the municipality, 0.92 miles (1.48 km) by Monmouth County and 1.50 miles (2.41 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
In August 2017, a multi-station bike share program opened in cooperation with Zagster. With six stations in the city, the program is the first of its kind on the Jersey Shore.
According to the Köppen climate classification system, Asbury Park, New Jersey has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa). Cfa climates are characterized by all months having an average mean temperature > 32.0 °F (> 0.0 °C), at least four months with an average mean temperature >= 50.0 °F (>= 10.0 °C), at least one month with an average mean temperature >= 71.6 °F (>= 22.0 °C) and no significant precipitation difference between seasons. During the summer months at Asbury Park, a cooling afternoon sea breeze is present on most days, but episodes of extreme heat and humidity can occur with heat index values >= 95 °F (>= 35 °C). During the winter months, episodes of extreme cold and wind can occur with wind chill values < 0 °F (< -18 °C). The plant hardiness zone at Asbury Park Beach is 7a with an average annual extreme minimum air temperature of 3.6 °F (-15.8 °C). The average seasonal (Nov-Apr) snowfall total is between 18 and 24 inches (46 and 61 cm), and the average snowiest month is February which corresponds with the annual peak in nor'easter activity.
Climate data for Asbury Park Beach (1981-2010 Averages)
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.
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 places objected to the way their cities were depicted. Asbury Park appears at the start of the 1999 film Dogma.
The Season 2 finale of The Sopranos, "Funhouse", originally aired in April 2000, includes several discrete dream sequences dreamed by Tony that take place on the Asbury Park Boardwalk, including Madame Marie's as well as Tony and Pauly playing cards at a table in the empty hall of the Convention Center. The episode's title alludes to the Palace, which is also shown.
^Stine, Don. "Asbury Park's New City Clerk Begins Post", The Coaster, May 7, 2015. Accessed October 13, 2015. "Asbury Park's new city clerk took over her job this week and said she feels up to the challenge. Cindy A. Dye, who left her job as clerk for North Hanover, began her new job on May 1 and said she is 'glad and excited' to be in the city."
^Suehsdorf, A. D. (1978). The Great American Baseball Scrapbook, p. 103. Random House. ISBN0-394-50253-1.
^ abcPike, Helen-Chantal. "Asbury Park's Glory Days - The Story Of An American Resort", Gameroom magazine reviewed by Tim Ferrante. Accessed June 18, 2007. "I didn't know Bud Abbott was born there. It was also the home town of then hair stylist Danny DeVito (yes, there is a photo of the famed actor in his family's shop!) and the childhood stomping ground of Jack Nicholson."
^Staff. "Casino Pier", UltimateRollerCoaster.com, July 26, 2008. Accessed July 18, 2012. "Built in 1923, the Family Kingdom Carousel continues to delight thousands each year. Built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, the ride was brought to Myrtle Beach in 1992 from the famed 'Casino' in Asbury Park, New Jersey."
^Schlegel, Jeff. "The Boardwalks of Jersey", The Washington Post, August 10, 2005. Accessed July 18, 2012. "In 2004, the mile-long boardwalk was rebuilt. This year the Casino walkway connecting Asbury Park's boardwalk with neighboring Ocean Grove was reopened."
^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."
^Home Page, Deal Lake Commission. Accessed July 8, 2015. "The Deal Lake Commission was created by the seven Monmouth County, NJ towns that surround Deal Lake. The Commission was chartered in 1974 by the Borough of Allenhurst, City of Asbury Park, Borough of Deal, Borough of Interlaken, Village of Loch Arbour, Neptune Township, and Ocean Township."
^Urban Enterprise Zone Tax Questions and Answers, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, May 2009. Accessed October 28, 2019. "In 1994 the legislation was amended and ten more zones were added to this successful economic development program. Of the ten new zones, six were predetermined: Paterson, Passaic, Perth Amboy, Phillipsburg, Lakewood, Asbury Park/Long Branch (joint zone). The four remaining zones were selected on a competitive basis. They are Carteret, Pleasantville, Union City and Mount Holly."
^"Asbury Park Historical Society Dedicates Rainbow Room Sign", Asbury Park Historical Society. Accessed June 15, 2014. "The 16-foot metal and neon sign, removed when the Albion was demolished in 2001 for beachfront redevelopment, has since been stored briefly at the Stone Pony and then for ten years at the city's public works garage."
^DiIonno, Mark. "Grim end for a grand hotel", The Star-Ledger, November 2, 2007. Accessed June 15, 2014. "The Metropolitan is part of Asbury Park history, too.... A few weeks from now, it will be a vacant lot. How the Metropolitan went from a first-class seaside resort to a broken down wreck slated demolition is a story of Asbury Park, and a reminder that time never stops claiming victims."
^Wise, Brian. "From Croon to Doom Metal", The New York Times, June 5, 2005. Accessed January 29, 2012. "Even so, plans for a New Jersey Music Hall of Fame center on Asbury Park, where Mr. Springsteen got his start by playing in the scrubby clubs there."
^La Gorce, Tammy. "Still Rocking Hard in Asbury Park as the Bands Play On", The New York Times, May 13, 2007. Accessed July 19, 2012. "'The Wave Gathering has as much to do with music as with this town making its comeback,' said Gordon Brown, one of several organizers, a music promoter and a lifetime resident of Asbury Park who started sneaking into clubs to see up-and-coming acts 20 years ago, when he was 15."
^McCall, Tris. "Bamboozle Festival adds 60 more acts to its lineup", The Star-Ledger, January 18, 2012. Accessed January 29, 2012. "The Bamboozle began in Asbury Park a decade ago and moved to the Giants Stadium parking lot after growing too large for the shore town to accommodate. This will be the first Bamboozle on the Jersey Shore since 2006, and festival organizers intend to supplement Asbury Park's venues with stages on the boardwalk and the beach."
^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."
^Robinson, Joshua. "Six Weeks of Spring Training in...New Jersey?", The Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2011. Accessed June 15, 2014. "For players wearing Yankee pinstripes from 1943 to 1945, 'heading south for spring training,' meant spending six frigid weeks in New Jersey.... The Yankees, frustrated and unprepared, left Asbury Park for good on April 8, 1943--and they were not sorry to get away."
^Schaerlaeckens, Leander. "This Soccer Club Has Everything You'd Want Except ...", The New York Times, June 14, 2017. Accessed June 15, 2017. "In most every way, Asbury Park F.C. is like any professional soccer club in the world. It has slick jerseys manufactured by a major sporting goods brand, with a shirt sponsor and a recognizable logo in the club's black-and-white color scheme.... But in one significant way, Asbury Park Football Club is different from every other soccer team: It doesn't actually play soccer."
^ abTerry, Nicquel. "Asbury Park elects to change form of government", Asbury Park Press, November 5, 2013. Accessed April 20, 2015. "The city has adopted a new form of government that calls for an elected mayor and staggered terms for four council members after an overwhelming majority of voters passed the ballot question in Tuesday's election. The new government structure means there will be another City Council election in November 2014, shortening the terms of the five council members elected in May."
^Terry, Nicquel. "Asbury Park mayor and council candidates file for election", Asbury Park Press, September 2, 2014. Accessed January 1, 2015. "Starting with the upcoming Nov. 4 election, voters will now be able to directly elect their mayor after the city elected last year to switch to a council-manager government structure.... The staggered terms begin with the election of four council members -- two for two-year terms and two for four-year-terms. Council members will draw straws to determine who serves which term. In future elections, every council member would have a four-year term but there would be a new election every two years."
^Robbins, Christopher. "Asbury Park makes history, controversy with Campbell appointment to mayor", NJ.com, July 2, 2013. Accessed September 17, 2013. "During an occasionally tumultuous swearing-in ceremony, Asbury Park's new Council appointed Myra Campbell the city's first African-American female mayor.... However, yesterday re-elected incumbents John Loffredo and Susan Henderson joined Campbell in a 3-2 vote that found her former running mates in the minority."
^Reorganization Agenda January 7, 2016, Shore Regional High School. Accessed October 21, 2018. "Whereas, the content of the announcement was to advise the public that the Deal Board of Education filed a Petition of Appeal with the Commissioner of Education to sever its Sending-Receiving Relationship with the Asbury Park Board of Education, and to establish a new Sending-Receiving Relationship with the Shore Regional High School Board of Education"
^ abMulshine, Molly. " School admins finalize move to Obama building Relocation should be complete by next summer", Asbury Park Sun, September 13, 2012. Accessed June 15, 2014. "The board of education [BOE] is finalizing plans for administrative offices to move from downtown Asbury Park to the Barack H. Obama building on Bangs Avenue [pictured above]. The district's administrative staff has occupied a floor of The Press Building at 603 Mattison Ave. [right] for several years, paying $189,327 annually, or about $15,000 per month, for the space."
^Auciello, Justin. "First multi-station bike share program launches at the Jersey Shore"Archived 2017-09-01 at the Wayback Machine, Newsworks, August 24, 2017. Accessed September 1, 2017. "The Jersey Shore's first multi-station bike sharing program is now live.Asbury Park in Monmouth County, in partnership with bike sharing firm Zagster, is now offering bikes for rent from six locations in the small coastal city, connecting the train station, central business district, and waterfront area."
^Bogues, Austin. "Don't tear down Asbury Park founder statue, history group pleads", Asbury Park Press, September 27, 2017. Accessed January 23, 2018. "The Asbury Park Historical Society says people should never forget the city's late founder James Bradley's 'advocacy of segregation,' but it draws the line on removing the statue erected in his honor near Convention Hall.... Werner Baumgartner, city historian for Asbury Park, said in addition to being the city's founder Bradley served as the city's mayor for several terms."
^Waggoner, Walter H. "Charles H. Brower Dies At 82; Ex-Chief Of B.B.D.O. Agency", The New York Times, July 26, 1984. Accessed January 23, 2018. "Charles H. Brower, former president and chairman of Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn, the advertising agency, died Monday at his home in Brielle, N.J. He was 82 years old.... He was born in Asbury Park, N.J., grew up near Pasadena, Calif., returned to New Jersey while a high school student and graduated from Rutgers University."
^Jordan, Chris via Asbury Park Press. "'Boom' Carter: 'Born to Run' but out of the Rock Hall", USA Today, April 8, 2014. Accessed January 23, 2018. "Ernest 'Boom' Carter was there -- on drums -- during the protracted recording sessions, over six months in 1974 at 914 Sound Studios in Blauvelt, N.Y. Carter, along with bassist Garry Tallent, provided the hemi-powered underpinning to Born to Run, and Carter's deftly played skip beats and drum shuffles are the accents of a masterpiece.... Carter, an Asbury Park native, joined the E Streeters after the departure of Vini 'Mad Dog' Lopez in early '74."
^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."
^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."
^"James M. Coleman - Class of 1942", Asbury Park High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame. Accessed January 23, 2018. "James M. Coleman - Class of 1942; Inducted: 2003. After graduating Asbury Park High School in 1942, the Honorable James M. Coleman Jr. joined the Army Air Force from 1943 until 1945 and served in Italy. He then furthered his education graduating from Dartmouth College in 1948, and Cornell Law School in 1951."
^"Greetings From Asbury Park"Archived 2008-01-10 at the Wayback Machine, 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."
^Mikle, Jean. "Arthur Pryor, Asbury Park's first musical superstar", Asbury Park Press, August 3, 2014. Accessed October 25, 2015. "The next year, Pryor moved to Asbury Park. That summer marked the beginning of the nearly two decades that Pryor's band made the city its summer home. Pryor eventually bought a farm in West Long Branch, then a sparsely populated, rural community.... Pryor was working on a conducting comeback in 1942, when he suffered a stroke and died at his West Long Branch home."
^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."
^McAlpine, Ken. Off-Season: Discovering America on Winter's Shore, p. 227. Random House, 2010. ISBN9780307539038. 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."
^Mullen, Shannon. "All About Lenny Welch; Future is still bright for '60s hitmaker from Asbury Park", Asbury Park Press, November 13, 2015. Accessed June 24, 2019. "A decade before Bruce Springsteen released his debut album, "Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.," Lenny Welch was that city's pop-music hero, particularly within Asbury Park's black community.'He was the one who put the map,' says Carl Williams, 64, of Lakewood, who attended Asbury Park High School a year behind Welch in the late '50s and remembers how the city stood still during the singer's first appearance on Dick Clark's American Bandstand."
^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."
^Saslow, Linda. "Gritty City by the Sea", The New York Times, September 15, 2002. Accessed August 27, 2015. "'IF Robert De Niro doesn't mind that everyone calls him Al Pacino,' Louis Navarro figures, 'Asbury Park shouldn't care that it's portrayed as Long Beach.' That pretty much sums up what Asbury Park residents are feeling these days, at least those who have seen the movie City by the Sea, the latest slap to be endured by a city that is slap-happy over more than a decade of decay and disrespect."
^Adams, Erik; Dyess-Nugent, Phil; Eichel, Molly; and McGee, Ryan. "A favorite Sopranos episode visits the 'Funhouse' in Tony's head", The A.V. Club, January 15, 2014. Accessed August 8, 2016. "There are boardwalks all over the Jersey coast, so why pick Asbury Park? For those familiar with the shore town its landmarks are featured prominently. The most obvious aspects are the shots of Tony in front of the stately Convention Hall and the surrealistic pan featuring two of the city's most iconic murals: amusement park fun face 'Tillie' and Madam Marie's sign. Asbury Park was a city in steady decline when Tony Soprano landed there."
^Barron, James. "'Honeymooners' Isn't Over For Its Fans", The New York Times, August 26, 1983. Accessed August 27, 2015. "Most of the action took place in the Kramden kitchen, and the story line often centered on Kramden's spectacular get-rich-quick schemes, which always turned out to be spectacular flops--wallpaper that glowed in the dark, uranium-mine speculation in Asbury Park, N.J., a 'handy housewife helper' gadget and no-cal pizza."
Ammon, Francesca Russello, "Postindustrialization and the City of Consumption: Attempted Revitalization in Asbury Park, New Jersey", Journal of Urban History, 41 (March 2015), 158-174.