Atop embankment at eastern end
Retaining wall
Stone support pier of viaduct which carried the line westward to what is now Journal Square

The Harsimus Stem Embankment, also called Sixth Street Embankment, is a half-mile-long historic railroad embankment, now abandoned and largely overgrown with foliage, in the heart of the historic downtown of Jersey City, New Jersey in the United States. The 27-foot-high (8.2 m)[1] embankment runs along the south side of Sixth Street west from Marin Boulevard to Brunswick Street. It is the border between the Harsimus and Hamilton Park neighborhoods. The overhead tracks of the beam bridge west of Brunswick Street were dismantled but the stone abutments remain.[2]

This elevated stone structure once carried seven tracks of the Pennsylvania Railroad's Passaic and Harsimus Line to its freight yards and carfloat operations on the Hudson River at Harsimus Cove, and to its warehouse and distribution facility (now Harborside Financial Center). The line was part of the railroad's holdings on the waterfront, which included the Exchange Place passenger terminal and the Greenville Yard. The Embankment is listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places, is eligible for the National Register, and is a Jersey City municipal landmark.[3]

In 2010, a local citizens' movement lobbied local governments, chiefly Hudson County and the city of Jersey City, to acquire the land and convert the embankment to a public park. The developer who owns the land where the embankment is located is opposed. In September 2010 a federal court ruled that sale to the developer was legal and that the city has previously not exercised its first option to buy the right-of-way from Conrail. The decision meant the city could claim the structure through eminent domain.[4][5] A $1 million grant request was not honored.[6] The developer's proposals to sell portions of the land to the city were rejected in 2011.[7][8] The case was brought to a higher appeals court.[1][9] That court found that the case against the developer could proceed.[10] In January 2012 it was announced that a deal had been arranged whereby the city would purchase the property for $7 million.[11][12] In September 2012 it was ruled that Conrail had not gone through the required process of "abandonment" and was not legally able to sell the property.[13][14]

See also


  1. ^ a b Lynch, Jake (September 12, 2011). "High Hopes for the Harsimus Embankment: The Fight to Create an Elevated Rail-Trail in New Jersey". Rails-to-Trail Consevervancy. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
  2. ^ Martin, Antoinette (November 5, 2010). "Conflict in Jersey City Over a 'High Line' Park – In the Region". The New York Times.
  3. ^ "New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places – Hudson County" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Historic Preservation Office. January 8, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 19, 2012. Retrieved September 26, 2011.
  4. ^ Smith, Shane (June 25, 2010). "Council Report: DPW/JCIA Bonding Approved, Embankment Deal Moves Forward and More". Jersey City Independent.
  5. ^ Hayes, Melissa (September 30, 2010). "Federal judge rules for developer, against Jersey City in Sixth Street Embankment suit". Jersey Journal.
  6. ^ Hayes, Melissa (September 10, 2010). "Hudson County plans to fund $6.273 million in open space projects". Jersey Journal.
  7. ^ McDonald, Terrence T. (May 11, 2011). "Jersey City City Council rejects settlement on Sixth Street Embankment imbroglio". Jersey Journal.
  8. ^ Whiten, Jon (May 13, 2011). "Jersey City Rejects Settlement Offer Regarding 6th Street Embankment". Jersey City Independent.
  9. ^ Whiten, Jon (October 25, 2010). "6th Street Embankment Case Heading to Federal Appeals Court". Jersey City Independent.
  10. ^ McDonald, Terrence T. (February 3, 2012). "Federal appeals court rules Jersey City's lawsuit seeking ownership of the Sixth Street Embankment can proceed". Jersey Journal.
  11. ^ McDonald, Terrence T. (February 4, 2012). "Court allows Jersey City's lawsuit to claim Sixth Street Embankment to go forward, as settlement looks possible". Jersey Journal.
  12. ^ Hunger, Matt (February 6, 2012). "Jersey City Settles Lawsuit With the 6th Street Embankment Purchaser, Intends To Make Land Part Of Larger Downtown Park Pending Council Approval". Jersey City Independent.
  13. ^ McDonald, Terrence T. (October 3, 2012). "Jersey City officials hailing embankment ruling as 'clear win'". Jersey Journal.
  14. ^ "Would-be Maryland trainman seeks to stop construction of Jersey City high-rise". Retrieved November 6, 2017.

External links

  • Harsimus Stem Embankment Preservation Coalition
  • 6th Street Embankment
  • Conservation Resources Inc
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Appellate court brief regardin Conrail transfer
  • Preservation chronology
  • Surface Transportation Board filings
  • Consolidated Rail Corporation-Abandonment Exemption-in Hudson County, NJ [STB Docket No. AB-167 (Sub-No. 1189X) 2009
  • Hudson Newsmakers: Hyman opens up about fight over Jersey City embankment
  • case law

Coordinates: 40°43′31″N 74°02′39″W / 40.7252°N 74.0441°W / 40.7252; -74.0441