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  • New Jersey Historical SocietyNew Jersey Historical Society Newark, New Jersey
    The New Jersey Historical Society and museum is located in Newark, New Jersey and was started in 1845 at Trenton, when business and intellectual leaders of the state met; with the most prominent members being Joseph C. Hornblower, William Whitehead and Peter D. Vroom. In Newark, the first meeting place was on Market Street in downtown Newark, but left that area in 1931, for a much bigger colonial style house that was partly paid for by Louis Bamberger in Broadway, that was east of the Branch Brook Park. In 1997, it would again move downtown, into 52 Park Place, on Military Park and was a Georgian house that had been the site of the Essex Club that was designed by Betelle and Guilbert. By moving to the downtown location, the amount of visitors had increased by nearly 500%. Their library is located in the old squash courts of the club, with two floors of display space, a hall for lecturing and a gift shop. The society does offer Newark walking tours on occasion, and publishes the academic journal, New Jersey History. Admission to the society's building is free, but a donation would be greatly appreciated in this time of economic hardships. The society has a great website, where you can find out just about anything you want to know about the state's history, and the site is user friendly and interactive so you can learn how to do whatever it is that you want to do. One of the best features for many is the genealogist's guide that helps anyone who thinks that they have ancestors from the state, or other relations that they don't know about. There are thousands of photographs that showcase the history of the state, with one being shown on their site presently that is of a house that was lifted off its foundation by a tornado in 1895, by a full ten feet and then let it drop, which unfortunately wasn't lined up correctly with the foundation and crumbled it. All this, while the family hung to each other for dear life.  The society's collections include the physical records of the people of the state that were here in the past, the present and their dreams of the future. They are the stories, the trials and tribulations, the triumphs and the losses, from everyday to every year to the extraordinary. There is the scrawling of an 18 year soldier from Singac, New Jersey, who tells of the horrible frightening experiences of WWII, or the silver tankard that was hand crafted in 1767 that showcases the craftsmanship of those early settlers, with huge piles of photographs and memories of a lifetime of people that made a state better, as well as an enormous collection that contains ceramics, books, rare books, paintings, furniture, costumes, prints, maps, pamphlets, maps and manuscripts. It is the best collection of diversity of New Jersey in the world, with a marvelous changing exhibit system that allows the visitor to see something new from their archives every time they visit.

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  • Prudential CenterPrudential Center Newark, New Jersey
    The Prudential Center is a multi-purpose indoor arena that is located in downtown Newark, New Jersey that was designed by Populous, with the outside designed by Morris Adjimi Architects and opened in 2007, to become the home of the National Hockey League's New Jersey Devils and the NCAA's Seton Hall Pirates Men's basketball team. Sometime soon, the arena will become the temporary home of the National Basketball's New Jersey Nets until the Barclays Center opens up in Brooklyn. It seats 17,625 for hockey and 18,500 for basketball. The many sports writers and fans have chosen to nickname it the "Rock", that refers to the corporate logo of the Prudential Financial corporation that owns the naming rights to the arena, and is also headquartered just a few blocks away. It was constructed during financial concerns and years of wondering if the Devils would move away. It is also just two blocks from the Newark Penn Station, west of the city's Ironbound district, that makes it easily accessible to many transportation venues. When it opened, it was the first major league sports venue to be constructed in the New York metro area since the Brendan Byrne Arena, where the Devils used to play and practice, that opened in 1981. The city is hoping that the arena would cause some kind of excitement about revitalizing the area, and in 2010, this year, Marriot said that they would be opening a 150 Courtyard Marriot hotel in the area next to the arena, the first hotel that would be built and opened in the city in 38 years.  The center opened softly in October of 2007, with the Newark Boys Chorus performing there, the first usage of the arena, but officially opened five days later with 10 fantastic concerts being held there with the stars of the state in rock n roll; Bon Jovi, that included other opening acts like Big & Rich, The All-American Rejects, Gretchen Wilson, Daughtry and My Chemical Romance. Two days later, the Devils played their first home game on the ice, against the Ottawa Senators who had been the last team to play them in the old Continental Airlines Arena that has become the Izod Center. In November, the first college basketball game was played with Seton Hall beating Monmouth 89-81 in overtime. 

January 11, 2011