It's eighteen years and counting since the Embankment
Preservation Coalition formed to work for preservation
and compatible reuse of this massive rail structure. Our
timeline notes significant milestones along the way. 


The following timeline notes milestones significant to efforts to preserve the Harsimus Branch Embankment.  These efforts include those of the Embankment Preservation Coalition as well as of state, national, and municipal agencies, organizations, and individuals.

July 2018
Harsimus Embankment Contributor to Harsimus Cove Historic District
July 2018
Harsimus Branch in Pennsylvania Railroad (New York to Philadelphia) Historic District
July 2018
Harsimus Branch Right-of-Way Eligible for National Register
July 2018
Harsimus Embankment Contributor to Hamilton Park Historic District
May 24 2016
Surface Transportation Board Launches Historical Review Mandated by National Historic Preservation Act
February 19 2014
U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit affirms the District Court's ruling
September 30 2013
U.S. District Court, D.C. Decision: Harsimus Branch is a rail line subject to federal abandonment
February 8 2012
Jersey City Municipal Council unanimously approves a settlement of all Embankment litigation; developer, Rails to Trails Conservancy, and Embankment Preservation Coalition also approve; Conrail is last holdout.
February 3 2012
U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C Circuit, rules City of Jersey City, Rails to Trails Conservancy, and Embankment Preservation Coalition have standing to pursue abandonment case against Conrail.
October 20 2011
Jersey City Zoning Board of Adjustment denies applications by six Limited Liability Companies and their partner Conrail to demolish the Harsimus Branch Embankment.
July 24 2011
National Trust for Historic Preservation "This Place Matters" national challenge, 7th place
January 2011
Embankment Preservation Coalition sponsors its first winter walk on the High Line, "Under, On, At, From, and Through!: A Walk on the High Line," with transportation historian Allen Kratz and cofounder of Friends of the High Line Robert Hammond.
October 10 2010
"Come Home to History" fair, marking founding of Bergen (later Jersey City) in 1660 by Peter Stuyvesant, welcomes hundreds of visitors. The Embankment Preservation Coalition is an organizer and exhibitor.
August 18 2009
Jersey City Zoning Board of Adjustment affirms Historic Preservation Commission decisions that denied demolition permits for the Harsimus Embankment.
May 14 2009
Jersey City Historic Preservation Commission denies hardship exemptions that, if granted, would have permitted demolition of the Embankment.
Needed right of way for multiple uses, Jersey City Master Plan Circulation Element
August 6 2008
Priority Acquisition, Jersey City Open Space & Recreation Master Plan
More than 170 people from throughout Jersey City and the region attend Embankment Preservation Coalition benefit at The Embankment restaurant.
City of Jersey City, Rails to Trails Conservancy, and Embankment Preservation Coalition notify Surface Transportation Board of intention to participate in any abandonment proceeding, and object to Conrail's request for an exemption.
August 9 2007
Surface Transportation Board rules in favor of City of Jersey City, Rails to Trails Conservancy, and Embankment Preservation Coalition that the Harsimus Branch is part of the national rail system and must be abandoned.
July 2007
Subdivision of Embankment Blocks Denial of Subdivision rescinded by Hudson County Planning Board, after finding county road was affected by plans.
June 2007
Hudson County Planning Board denies subdivisions of four Embankment blocks.
February 2007
Federal Surface Transportation Board institutes a declaratory order proceeding, responding to a petition by City of Jersey City, Rails to Trails Conservancy, and Embankment Preservation Coalition.
July 2006
Jersey City Municipal Landmark (re-designated)
May 2006
Embankment is named to Preservation New Jersey's "New Jersey's 10 Most Endangered Historic Sites" list.
January 2006
Developer that bought Embankment from Conrail demolishes free-standing Embankment stanchion on Brunswick & 6th Streets.
January 2006
City Council re-designates Embankment as a Municipal Landmark following challenge by developer that bought Embankment.
January 2006
City of Jersey City, Rails to Trails Conservancy, and Embankment Preservation Coalition petition Surface Transportation Board to assert authority over Harsimus Branch, which was sold before going through federal rail abandonment.
July 12 2005
Eight separate Limited Liability Corporations under control of same party purchase Harsimus Branch Embankment property from Conrail.
July 2005
Congress passes SAFETEA-LU bill that includes $1.6 million earmark sponsored by Congressman Robert Menendez for Harsimus Embankment pedestrian and bicyling path.
June 8 2005
Jersey City Council passes ordinance enabling acquisition of entire Embankment property.
June 2005
Embankment Preservation Coalition’s application for placement on NY/NJ Harbor Estuary Program (HEP) Priority Acquisition List is approved, making the Embankment eligible for special funding.
January 2 2005
Highest Priority Acquisition Site, NY/NJ Harbor Estuary Habitat Program
Preservation New Jersey's "New Jersey's 10 Most Endangered Historic Sites" list.
Priority Acquisition, Hudson County Open Space & Recreation Plan
December 2004
NJ Legislature approves Green Acres funding for acquisition of the Harsimus Stem Embankment.
September 12 2004
Embankment Preservation Coalition receives award for environmental advocacy from NY/NJ Baykeeper.
September 8 2004
Council passes ordinance to acquire Harsimus Branch Embankment.
July 2004
NJ Department of Environmental Protection announces an $800,000 Green Acres grant for Jersey City to acquire the Embankment.
March 24 2004
Municipal Council unanimously passes a resolution in support of a Green Acres application to be submitted by the City.
March 16 2004
Coalition meets with Mayor Cunningham and Conrail to discuss acquisition of the Embankment.
March 12 2004
Mayor Glenn D. Cunningham states he will condemn Embankment if necessary to ensure greenspace for Jersey City.
March 10 2004
City Council tells developer it will stand by the Embankment's Landmark Designation, declines offer from developer to trade option for abatement on Flintkote property.
February 2004
Embankment Preservation Coalition wins grant from New Jersey Conservation Foundation, with match from NY/NJ Baykeeper, to hire consultant on rail abandonment.
Recommended segment of East Coast Greenway
November 2003
Private developer reportedly takes option to purchase Embankment from Conrail.
January 2003
Jersey City Municipal Landmark
Designated Municipal Landmark
January 2000
National Register of Historic Places (determined eligible)
January 2000
Harsimus Branch Embankment determined eligible for National Register of Historic Places (owner objection).
December 1999
State Register of Historic Places
December 1999
Harsimus Branch Embankment is listed on the State Register of Historic Places, following unanimous approval by New Jersey State Review Board for Historic Sites and signoff by DEP commissioner.
July 1999
Embankment Preservation Coalition forms to work for preservation of the Harsimus Branch Embankment, develop its top for habitat-oriented open space, and connect it to the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway and a network of trails.
Jersey City finds Harsimus Branch Embankment is an area in need of redevelopment, sparking community interest in exploring best solutions.

Become a Member

Members are the bedrock of the Coalition.  With your support, we can make the Embankment park a reality!