Park Management

Learn about the Establishment Legislation

From the establishment Legislation of Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park:

The Great Falls Historic District in Paterson, New Jersey is the site Alexander Hamilton selected to implement his vision of American economic independence and transform a rural agrarian society based on slavery into a global economy based on freedom. President Ford announced the designation of the Historic District as a National Historic Landmark in 1976 and declared it "a symbol of the industrial might which helps to make American the most powerful nation in the world".

The historic District was established as a National Historic District in 1996. Exceptional natural and cultural resources make the Historic District America's only National Historic District that contains both a National Historic Landmark and a National Natural Resource.

The Historic District embodies Hamilton's vision of an American Economy based on
(A) diverse industries to avoid excessive reliance on any single manufactured product;
(B) innovative engineering and technology, including the successful use of water, a renewable energy source, to power industry and manufacturing;
(C) industrial production of goods not only for domestic consumption but also for international trade;
(D) meritocracy and opportunities for all.

Pierre L'Enfant's water power system at the Great Falls and the buildings erected around it over two centuries constitute the finest and most extensive remaining example of engineering, planning, and architectural works that span the entire period of America's growth into industrial power.

A National Park Service unit in Paterson in necessary to give the American people an opportunity to appreciate the physical beauty and historical importance of the Historic District. Congress and the National Park Service recognized the national significance of the Historic District through listing on the National register of Historic Places and designation as a National Historic Landmark and National Historic District.

The Historic District is suitable for addition to the National Park System because
(A) the national park will promote themes not adequately represented in National Park System, including aspects of African-American history and the inspiration Great Falls has been for renowned American writers and artists;
(B) the national park will promote civic engagement by attracting and engaging people who currently feel little or no connection to National Parks or the founding fathers;
(C) the national park will interpret America's developing history in the historical and global context; and
(D) the national park will foster partnerships among federal, state and local government and private donors and non-profit organizations.

The Historic District is a physically and fiscally feasible site for a national park because
(A) all of the required natural and cultural resources are on property largely owned by local government entities;
(B) it is of a manageable size; and
(C) much of the funding will come from private donors and the State of New Jersey, which has committed substantial sums of money to fund a state park that will assist in the funding of the national park.

The national park provides enormous potential for public use because its location and urban setting make it easily accessible for millions of Americans. The historic Hinchliffe Stadium, adjacent to the Historic District, was home to the New York Black Yankees for many years, including 1933 when it hosted the Colored Championship of the Nation, and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service in 2004. Larry Doby played in Hinchliffe Stadium as both a star high school athlete and again as Negro League player, shortly before becoming the first African-American to play in the American League.

A National Park Service unit, in partnership with private donors and state and local governments, represents the most effective and efficient method of preserving the Historic District for the public.

A National Park Service unit in Paterson is necessary to give the Historic District the continuity and professionalism required to attract private donors from across the country. Thought the State of New Jersey will be a strong partner with a significant financial commitment, the State alone cannot preserve the Historic District and present it to the public without the National Park System unit in Paterson.

The purposes of this Act are -
(1) to establish a unit of the National Park System in Paterson, New Jersey, consisting of the Historic District and historic Hinchliffe Stadium; and
(2) to create partnerships among Federal, State, and local governments, non-profit organizations, and private donors to preserve, enhance, interpret, and promote the cultural sites, historic structures, and natural beauty of the Historic District and the historic Hinchliffe Stadium for the benefit of present and future generations.


Read the Superintendent's Compendium

The Superintendent’s Compendium is a summary of park-specific rules implemented under discretionary authority granted to the park’s Superintendent under 36 Code of Federal Regulations for Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. It identifies areas closed for public use, provides a list of activities requiring either a special use permit or reservation, and elaborates on public use and resource protection regulations pertaining specifically to the administration of the Park.

Last updated: December 16, 2019

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Mailing Address:

72 McBride Avenue Extension
Paterson, NJ 07501


(973) 523-0370

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