A common feature of the streetscape in the 19th century, cobblestone streets are now a rarity in Jersey City, having given way to a sea of asphalt. There are curently six remaining cobblestone streets in Jersey City. Holland Street, Manning Avenue, the 17th Street Viaduct, High Street, Audrey Zapp Drive, and Provost Street.
One of the Conservancy’s first victories was the preservation of Holland Street, considered by some to be the jewel of the remaining cobblestone streets in Jersey City. With the help of local neighborhood groups in Jersey City Heights, the Conservancy beat back a proposal by then city council president Tom DeGise to pave over Holland Street and open it up to automobile traffic.
In 2001, the Conservancy received a commitment from then Mayor Glenn Cunningham that the city would not pave over any of the city’s remaining cobblestone streets. Unfortunately, this promise was already broken once in November of 2003, when the city paved over a portion of Provost Street. Although city officials pledged to unpave the street and restore the cobblestones, that promise has gone unfulfilled.
The Conservancy, along with neighborhood and student groups, has sponsored annual clean ups of Holland Street. The Conservancy also has called upon the city to extend Riverview-Fisk Park to Holland Street, allowing the community to reclaim the street as public space.