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Newark, New Jersey

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Newark in New Jersey.

 

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Newark is the largest city in New Jersey, United States, and the county seat of Essex County. Newark has a population of 277,140, making it the largest municipality in New Jersey. It is the 68th largest city in the U.S. and one of the nation's major air, shipping, and rail hubs.

Culture

Architecture and sculptures

There are several notable Beaux-Arts buildings, such as the Veterans' Administration building, the Newark Museum, the Newark Public Library, and the Cass Gilbert-designed Essex County Courthouse. Notable Art Deco buildings include several 1920s era skyscrapers, such as the National Newark Building (Newark's tallest building), the restored Newark Penn Station, and Arts High School. Gothic architecture can be found at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart by Branch Brook Park, which is one of the largest gothic cathedrals in the United States. It is rumored to have as much stained glass as the Cathedral of Chartres. Newark also has two public sculpture works by Gutzon Borglum — Wars of America in Military Park and Seated Lincoln in front of the Essex County Courthouse. Moorish Revival buildings include Newark Symphony Hall and the Prince Street Synagogue, one of the oldest synagogue buildings in New Jersey.

Performing arts

Newark is home to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, located near Military Park, which since its opening in 1997 has become one the most visited in the United States. NJPAC is involved in the construction of One Theater Square, a mixed-use skyscraper in the heart of the cultural district. The center's programs world renowned national and international music, dance, and theater.

Prior to the opening of the performing arts center, Newark Symphony Hall was home to the New Jersey Symphony, the New Jersey State Opera, and the Garden State Ballet, which stills maintains an academy there. The 1925 neo-classic building, originally built by the Shriners, has three performance spaces, including the main concert named in honor of famous Newarker Sarah Vaughn. The venue programs rhythm and blues, rap, hip-hop, and gospel music concerts, and is part of the modern day Chitlin circuit.

The Newark Boys Chorus founded in 1966, has gained a world-wide reputation, performs regularly in the city. The Arican Globe Theater Works presents a new works seasonally. The 13th biennal Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival will take place in Newark for the first time in 2010. Venues at the universities in the city are also used to present professional and semi-professional theater, dance, and music.

Since its opening the Prudential Center in 2007 has presented Bon Jovi, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, The Eagles, Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus, Spice Girls, Jonas Brothers, Metro Station, Metallica, Alicia Keys, Demi Lovato, David Archuleta, Taylor Swift & American Idol Live!, among others.

Museums, libraries, and galleries

The Newark Museum is the largest in New Jersey. It has a first-class American art collection and its Tibetan collection is considered one of the best in the world. The museum also contains science galleries, a planetarium, a mini zoo, a gallery for children's exhibits, a fire museum, a sculpture garden and an 18th century schoolhouse. Also part of the museum is the historic John Ballantine House, a restored Victorian mansion which is a National Historic Landmark. The museum co-sponsors the Newark Black Film Festival, which has premiered numerous films since its founding in 1974.

The city is also home to the New Jersey Historical Society, which has rotating exhibits on New Jersey and Newark. The Newark Public Library, the state's largest system with 11 locations, also produces a series of historical exhibits. The library houses more than a million volumes and has frequent exhibits on a variety of topics, many featuring items from its Fine Print and Special Collections.

In February 2004, plans were announced for a new Smithsonian-affiliated Museum of African American Music to be built in the city's Coast/Lincoln Park neighborhood. The museum will be dedicated to black musical styles, from gospel to rap. The new museum will incorporate the facade of the old South Park Presbyterian Church, where Abraham Lincoln once spoke.

On December 9, 2007 the Jewish Museum of New Jersey, located at 145 Broadway in the Broadway neighborhood held its grand opening. The museum is dedicated to the rich cultural heritage of New Jersey’s Jewish people. The museum is housed at Ahavas Sholom, the last continually operating synagogue in Newark. At one time there were fifty synagogues in Newark serving a Jewish population of 70,000, once the sixth largest Jewish community in the United States.

Newark is also home to numerous art galleries including Aljira, City Without Walls, Gallery Aferro, Rupert Ravens Contemporary, Sumei Arts Center, and the Paul Robeson Galleries at Rutgers-Newark.

In April 2010 it was announced that a new Children's Museum of New Jersey may be created across from Newark Penn Station.

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