Red Bank, New Jersey

Red Bank is a borough in Monmouth County, New Jersey, incorporated in 1908 and located on the Navesink River, the area's original transportation route to the ocean and other ports. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough had a population of 12,206, reflecting an increase of 362 (+3.1%) from the 11,844 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,208 (+11.4%) from the 10,636 counted in the 1990 Census.

Red Bank was originally formed as a town on March 17, 1870, from portions of Shrewsbury Township. On February 14, 1879, Red Bank became Shrewsbury City, a portion of Shrewsbury Township, but this only lasted until May 15, 1879, when Red Bank regained its independence. On March 10, 1908, Red Bank was formed as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature and was set off from Shrewsbury Township.


Red Bank, New Jersey

Occupied by indigenous peoples for thousands of years, in historic times the area of modern-day Red Bank was the territory of the Algonquian-speaking Lenape Native Americans, also called the Delaware by the English. The Lenape lived in the area between the Navesink River and the Shrewsbury River in an area that they called Navarumsunk. The Native Americans traded freely with European settlers from England and the Dutch Republic in the mid-17th century, who purchased land in the area.

Originally part of "Shrewsbury Towne", Red Bank was named in 1736, when Thomas Morford sold Joseph French "a lot of over three acres on the west side of the highway that goes to the red bank." Red Bank was settled by English colonists beginning in the 17th century and became a center for shipbuilding. Its population grew rapidly after 1809, when regularly scheduled passenger ships were established to serve the route to Manhattan.

By 1844, Red Bank had become a commercial and manufacturing center, focused on textiles, tanning, furs, and other goods for sale in Manhattan. With the dredging of the Navesink River about 1845, Red Bank became a port from which steamboats transported commuters to work in Manhattan. Red Bank grew in size as a result of this, as well as the effects of construction of a railway in the town by the Raritan and Delaware Bay Railroad in 1860.

During the 20th century, Red Bank was a strong cultural, economic, and political center in Monmouth County, until it was hindered by the economic recession that began in 1987. During this time, Red Bank's economy, based largely on retail commerce, was in decline, due to a real estate scandal. Local pundits and urban planners referred to the town as "Dead Bank".

Beginning in approximately 1991, under the New Jersey Development and Redevelopment Law, the borough authorized the creation of the Red Bank RiverCenter to manage redevelopment in what was designated as a special improvement district. RiverCenter retains authority over the management and redevelopment of a defined central business district, which includes Broad Street from the post office to Marine Park and from Maple Avenue to one block east of Broad Street. A number of urban redevelopment projects have taken place, including improved signage, distinctive and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and lighting, a coherent design plan for Main Street and other major thoroughfares, improved condition of parking lots with landscaping, and similar projects.

The district as originally proposed was larger, to include the commercial areas west of Maple Avenue, including the antique buildings, The Galleria, and Shrewsbury Avenue. But, some property owners in this area were opposed to paying the special assessment. Plans for the larger district advanced but opposition became more rigorous. The proposed district was amended to exclude opponents, and the district that was adopted stops at Maple Avenue.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 2.162 square miles (5.600 km2), of which, 1.739 square miles (4.504 km2) of it was land and 0.423 square miles (1.096 km2) of it (19.58%) was water.

Red Bank is located on the southern bank of the Navesink River, in northern Monmouth County, New Jersey. It is about 24 miles (39 km) due south of the tip of Manhattan and about 25 nautical miles (46 km) to the tip of Manhattan if traveling by water along the Navesink River and through Raritan Bay. Red Bank is bordered by Middletown Township and the boroughs of Tinton Falls, Fair Haven, Shrewsbury, and Little Silver.


Red Bank's climate borders humid subtropical (Cfa) and humid continental (Dfa.)


Red Bank, New Jersey

2010 Census

At the 2010 United States Census, there were 12,206 people, 4,929 households, and 2,469 families residing in the borough. The population density was 7,019.1 per square mile (2,710.1/km2). There were 5,381 housing units at an average density of 3,094.4 per square mile (1,194.8/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 63.20% (7,714) White, 12.42% (1,516) Black or African American, 0.97% (118) Native American, 1.85% (226) Asian, 0.11% (13) Pacific Islander, 18.56% (2,265) from other races, and 2.90% (354) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 34.39% (4,198) of the population.

There were 4,929 households, of which 23.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.8% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 49.9% were non-families. 40.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.29.

In the borough, 20.4% of the population were under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 34.6% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.2 years. For every 100 females there were 103.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.5 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $59,118 (with a margin of error of +/- $9,139) and the median family income was $79,922 (+/- $12,117). Males had a median income of $51,053 (+/- $6,351) versus $47,368 (+/- $9,445) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $36,424 (+/- $3,310). About 13.1% of families and 14.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.5% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.

2000 Census

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 11,844 people, 5,201 households, and 2,501 families residing in the borough. The population density was 6,639.1 people per square mile (2,569.1/km2). There were 5,450 housing units at an average density of 3,055.0 per square mile (1,182.2/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 68.19% White, 20.05% African American, 0.35% Native American, 2.19% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 6.73% from other races, and 2.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.11% of the population.

There were 5,201 households out of which 18.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.2% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.9% were non-families. 42.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the borough the population was spread out with 17.5% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 35.2% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 18.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.9 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $47,282, and the median income for a family was $63,333. Males had a median income of $45,922 versus $34,231 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $26,265. About 6.3% of families and 12.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.


Red Bank offers many high-end shops, offering luxury boutiques and department stores, including Garmany of Red Bank which has been expanded from a men's store into a luxury department store with 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2) of high-end retail space. Store openings have included Tiffany & Co. in November 2007. Mark Ecko Cut & Sew opened a Broad Street store in 2008 as part of an effort to reach out to more suburban customers.

Red Bank is home to Basil T's Brewery, one of New Jersey's 26 breweries.

Arts and culture

Red Bank is a noted social and commercial destination, filled with boutiques, designer clothing and home stores, parks, and restaurants. Special events are scheduled throughout the summer, such as the KaBoomFest fireworks on July 3, which attracted as many as 150,000 spectators at its 51st annual event in 2010.

Since the 1950s, Red Bank has held the Annual Red Bank Sidewalk Sale. The 58th Annual Sidewalk Sale was held from July 27, 2012 to July 29, 2012, and was seen in "The Sidewalk Stash", the November 11, 2012 episode of the reality TV series Comic Book Men.

The town is considered a center of artistic activity, and is home to the Monmouth County Arts Council, as well as several art and photography galleries.

The Count Basie Theatre has hosted performers such as Kevin Smith, David Sedaris, Tracy Morgan, Bill Cosby, Bob Newhart, Foreigner, Andy Williams, Brian Setzer, B.B. King, and others. The Count Basie Theatre is also home to Phoenix Productions, a non-profit community theatre founded in 1988 puts on large scale musicals four times a year. The Two River Theater Company opened a large performance space on April 30, 2005, called the Two River Theater. Bruce Springsteen filmed his 2005 VH-1 Storytellers special at the Two River Theatre. The Marion Huber Theater, also operated by the Two River Theater Company, is a small black box theater, with seating for about 100.

Boating, sculling, sailing, and fishing are popular outdoor activities in and near Red Bank; in the winter, ice boats sail on the Navesink when it freezes over, as it did in 2009. The Monmouth Boat Club, Marine Park, and the slips of the Molly Pitcher Inn provide access to the Navesink and, from there, Sandy Hook and the Gateway National Recreation Area, the Jersey Shore and the Atlantic Ocean.

Broad Street is one of the borough's central streets and is known for its lavish Christmas decorations, which appear on the street during the holiday season. The street is closed to traffic for a free concert sponsored by Holiday Express, after which the lights are all lit again. Up to 7,000 people attend the shows annually.

An annual fireworks display (called "KaBoom! Fireworks on the Navesink") is held on July 3, which is popular with metropolitan residents. Red Bank hosts the Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival in partnership with the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Society. "First Night", a New Year's Eve arts and entertainment festival, is a Red Bank event designed to provide an alternative to alcohol-related events.

In 1998, the Red Bank Armory was converted to an ice rink. It is home to the youth hockey team Red Bank Generals.

The George Sheehan Classic began in 1981 as the Asbury Park 10K Classic and quickly became one of the major road running events on the national calendar. The race moved to Red Bank in 1994 and was renamed in honor of Dr. George A. Sheehan, the prominent author, philosopher and area physician. The Classic was named one of the Top 100 Road Races by Runner's World magazine, and the Best Memorial Race in New Jersey by The New York Times. The 2012 running, shortened to a 5K race, attracted nearly 1,300 participants.


Local government

Red Bank is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. The Borough form of government used by Red Bank, the most common system used in the state, is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.

As of 2015, the Mayor of Red Bank is Democratic Pasquale Menna, whose term of office ends on December 31, 2018. Members of the Borough Council are Council President Arthur V. Murphy (D, 2015), Cindy Burnham (R, 2016), Michael R. DuPont (D, 2015), Kathleen Horgan (D, 2016), Linda D. Schwabenbauer (R, 2017) and Edward Zipprich (D, 2017).

Federal, state and county representation

Red Bank is located in the 4th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 11th state legislative district. Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Red Bank had been in the 12th state legislative district. Prior to the 2010 Census, Red Bank had been part of the 6th Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections.

New Jersey's Fourth Congressional District is represented by Christopher Smith (R). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus, 2019).

For the 2014-2015 Session, the 11th District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Jennifer Beck (R, Red Bank) and in the General Assembly by Mary Pat Angelini (R, Ocean Township, Monmouth County) and Caroline Casagrande (R, Colts Neck Township). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).

Monmouth County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders consisting of five members who are elected at-large to serve three year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects one of its members to serve as Director and another as Deputy Director. As of 2014, Monmouth County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry (R, Colts Neck Township; term ends December 31, 2014), Freeholder Deputy Director Gary J. Rich, Sr. (R, Spring Lake; 2014), Thomas A. Arnone (R, Neptune City; 2016), John P. Curley (R, Middletown Township; 2015) and Serena DiMaso (R, Holmdel Township; 2016). Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk M. Claire French (Wall Township), Sheriff Shaun Golden (Farmingdale) and Surrogate Rosemarie D. Peters (Middletown Township).


As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 6,217 registered voters in Red Bank, of which 2,118 (34.1%) were registered as Democrats, 1,185 (19.1%) were registered as Republicans and 2,906 (46.7%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 8 voters registered to other parties.

In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 63.2% of the vote (2,730 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 35.2% (1,523 votes), and other candidates with 1.6% (70 votes), among the 4,359 ballots cast by the borough's 6,440 registered voters (36 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 67.7%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 63.2% of the vote (3,129 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 34.0% (1,682 votes) and other candidates with 0.9% (47 votes), among the 4,948 ballots cast by the borough's 6,669 registered voters, for a turnout of 74.2%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 58.1% of the vote (2,849 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 40.4% (1,984 votes) and other candidates with 0.6% (42 votes), among the 4,905 ballots cast by the borough's 6,856 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 71.5.

In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 56.4% of the vote (1,527 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 41.2% (1,116 votes), and other candidates with 2.4% (65 votes), among the 2,772 ballots cast by the borough's 6,510 registered voters (64 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 42.6%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 46.0% of the vote (1,460 ballots cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 45.9% (1,457 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 6.3% (200 votes) and other candidates with 0.8% (24 votes), among the 3,176 ballots cast by the borough's 6,332 registered voters, yielding a 50.2% turnout.


The Red Bank Borough Public Schools serve students in pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's two schools had an enrollment of 1,018 students and 84.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a studentâ€"teacher ratio of 12.12:1. Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Red Bank Primary School (with 589 students in pre-Kindergarten through fourth grade) and Red Bank Middle School (with 429 students in fourth through eighth grades).

For grades nine through twelve, public school students attend Red Bank Regional High School, which also serves students from Little Silver and Shrewsbury Borough, with students from other Monmouth County municipalities eligible to attend the high school for its performing arts program, with admission on a competitive basis and tuition paid by the sending district or by the parent. The school had 1,161 students as of the 2011-12 school year.

Red Bank Charter School is a public school for students in Kindergarten through eighth grade that operates under a charter granted by the New Jersey Department of Education and accepts students and receives its funding from a portion of property taxes, like a typical public school. It does not charge tuition and operates independently of the public school system, with a separate school board. Students are selected to enroll in the charter school based on an annual lottery, which is open to all Red Bank residents of school age.

Other schools in Red Bank include Red Bank Catholic High School and St. James Elementary School which are Catholic schools affiliated with Saint James parish and operate under the supervision of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton.



Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 29.86 miles (48.06 km) of roadways, of which 23.09 miles (37.16 km) were maintained by the municipality, 5.25 miles (8.45 km) by Monmouth County and 1.52 miles (2.45 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Route 35 runs north-south through the borough while CR 520 passes through briefly in the southeastern area. Red Bank is also 2 miles (3.2 km) east of Interchange 109 of the Garden State Parkway.

Public transportation

New Jersey Transit train service at Red Bank train station is served by the North Jersey Coast Line, offering express and local service. Diesel service operates from Hoboken Terminal to Bay Head, New Jersey. Electric service operates from Penn Station to Long Branch, New Jersey, where the electrified portion of the line ends. Mid-line stations include Newark Penn Station, Newark Liberty International Airport (NJT station), and Secaucus Junction.

Bus service through Red Bank is provided by Academy Bus (express to New York City) and Veolia Transport, running routes under contract to NJ Transit. Local bus service is provided on the 831, 832, 833, 834 and 835 routes.

Health care

Riverview Medical Center is a 476-bed acute care community hospital that was founded in 1928 as Red Bank Hospital.

In media

Several tunes composed and/or made famous by Count Basie name-check the town in their title, including "Red Bank Boogie" and "The Kid from Red Bank". Basie was born and grew up in Red Bank, starting his musician's career there. A bronze bust of Basie was commissioned to mark what would have been his 100th birthday in 2004, and was placed in the plaza outside the Red Bank train station.

In his 1942 essay "Memoirs of a Drudge", humorist James Thurber recalls being sent to Red Bank by his newspaper's city editor on a tip that "Violets (are) growing in the snow over in Red Bank." Putting in a telephone call to that town's Chief of Police in advance, Thurber is told by a desk sergeant, "Ain't no violence over here."

Some of the films by Kevin Smith, who lived in Red Bank while working as an up-and-coming director, are partially set there, including Chasing Amy, Dogma, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Smith's comic book store, Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash, which is the setting of the AMC reality television series, Comic Book Men, is also located in Red Bank, at 35 Broad Street. Smith and View Askew Productions also host the annual Vulgarthon film marathon in various theaters around Red Bank.

Notable people

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Red Bank include: ((B) denotes that the person was born there.)

  • Daniel V. Asay (1847â€"1930), iceboat racer.
  • Sebastian Bach (born 1968), former lead singer of hard rock band Skid Row.
  • Count Basie (1904â€"1984), jazz pianist and bandleader. The Neal Hefti tune, "The Kid from Red Bank," refers to him.
  • Jennifer Beck (born 1967), after serving in local politics, she represents the 12th legislative district in the New Jersey Senate, and served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 2006â€"2008.
  • Brian Fallon (born 1980), guitarist, songwriter, singer and bandleader of The Gaslight Anthem.
  • Timothy Thomas Fortune (1856â€"1928), orator, civil rights leader, journalist and founder of The New York Age, editor and publisher; his Red Bank home, Maple Hill, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Blair Kamin, Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic. (B)
  • Chris Lieto (born 1972), international triathlete who finished second at the Ironman Hawaii 2009.
  • Eric McCoo (born 1980), former NFL running back.(B)
  • Daniel J. O'Hern (1930â€"2009), former Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court who served as councilman and mayor of Red Bank.
  • Michael J. Panter (born 1969), former Assemblyman who represented the 12th Legislative District in the New Jersey General Assembly.
  • Frederik Pohl (1919â€"2013), science fiction author.
  • Elise Primavera (born 1955), children's author and illustrator.
  • Lori Rom (born 1975), actress.
  • David Sancious (born 1953), early member of the E Street Band.
  • Natalie Schafer (1900â€"1991), actress known as Mrs. Thurston Howell III on the classic 1960s TV series Gilligan's Island.
  • Eddie August Schneider (1911â€"1940), pilot who set airspeed records.
  • Kevin Smith (born 1970), film director who has shot films in Red Bank.
  • Snuffy Stirnweiss (1918â€"1958), Major League Baseball second baseman who played for the New York Yankees.
  • Edmund Wilson (1895â€"1972), literary critic.(B)
  • Alexander Woollcott (1887â€"1943), writer and critic born at the nearby North American Phalanx utopian community.
  • David Wojnarowicz (1954â€"1992), painter, photographer, writer, filmmaker, performance artist and AIDS activist.
  • Dave Wyndorf (born 1956), songwriter, guitarist, singer and Monster Magnet bandleader.
  • Jeff Wulkan (born 1983), entrepreneur, CEO of Bikini Barbers and reality TV star of Bikini Barbershop.(B)


External links

  • Borough of Red Bank official website
  • Red Bank Borough Public Schools
  • Red Bank Green, Hyperlocal news and features
  • Red Bank, New Jersey history
  • Red Bank RiverCenter
  • Community website for Red Bank, New Jersey

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