The Weehawken Public Library is the free public library of Weehawken, New Jersey. The library has a collection of approximately 43,000 volumes and circulates 40,604 items annually. It is a member of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System, a consortium of municipal libraries in the northeastern New Jersey counties of Bergen, Hudson, Passaic, and Essex.
One of the atypical buildings to be used as a library, it is located at 49 Hauxhurst Avenue on a precipice overlooking the Lincoln Tunnel Approach and Helix. Originally built as a private home, it became a library in 1942, and was extensively renovated in 1997. The landmark is home to the town's historical commission. An annual fundraiser for the library at Lincoln Harbor, a culinary event called A Taste of Weehawken, has taken place since 2000.
Wilhelm Joseph Peter (aka William Peter) (March 16, 1832 – June 10, 1918) immigrated from Achern in the Grand Duchy of Baden after the German revolution of 1848 to avoid persecution due his father's affiliation with it. After some years in the brewery business at several locales in North Hudson, he established the William Peter Brewing Company in 1862 at Hudson Avenue and Weehawken Street in what was then Union Hill. Parts of the imposing structure still stand today and are used as a storage facility.While he and his family lived for a time across the street at the since demolished Fausel Mansion, Peter eventually built a mansion across the valley on the cliff where the library now stands.
Completed in 1904 at the cost of $75,000, the home was designed like a German-style castle with 17 rooms and elaborately decorated with ornate woodwork, marble, stained glass, and several fireplaces. A successful businessman, Peter was also a painter encouraged by Hudson River School artist Max Eaglau and maintained a studio as his home for himself and others use, The gallery in the house included many works inspired by his native Black Forest and the Catskill Mountains, where he summered. After Peter's death, the house changed hands and was owned for a time by the Arnoldi family. In the 1930s, to make way for the construction of the Midtown-Hudson Tunnel (today's Lincoln Tunnel), the building and others in the neighborhood and along Boulevard East were acquired by the Port Authority. Many were demolished, but the Peter Mansion was spared and later given to the township. The library opened in 1942 with books and memorabilia donated by local residents. In 1997–1998, it closed for enlargement and renovation and re-opened in 1999.
Weehawken Historical Commission
The Weehawken Historical Commission, whose office and archives are located on the upper floor of the library in the Historical Room, maintains materials originally contributed upon the creation of the library as well as other acquisitions made over the years. The Weehawken Time Machine is a website that has digitized many of the photographs and documents in the collection. In 2009, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the town's incorporation, the commission published Weehawken as part of Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series. The original town hall of Weehawken, located on Park Avenue a few blocks south of the Beaux-Arts municipal building, is undergoing renovations and will become the town's museum upon completion.
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- "Peters/Arnoldi House in the 1930s - Pre Library". Weehawken Time Machine. Retrieved 2011-11-25.
- "The Weehawken Time Machine - Weehawken Historical Commission". Weehawkenhistory.org. Retrieved 2011-11-29.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Weehawken Public Library.|
- Official website
- Bergen County Cooperatived Library System
- Weehawken Time Machine
- Weehawken Township Official Website