Englewood Township, the city's predecessor, is believed to have been named in 1859 for the Engle family. The community had been called the "English Neighborhood", as the first primarily English-speaking settlement on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River after New Netherland was annexed by England in 1664, though other sources mention the Engle family and the heavily forested areas of the community as the derivation of the name. Other sources indicate that the name is derived from "wood ingle", meaning "woody nook", or that the name was coined anew.
Numerous other settlements in the United States were named for Englewood as settlement in North America expanded westward. J. Wyman Jones is credited with convincing residents to choose Englewood for the city's name when it was incorporated over such alternatives as "Brayton" and "Paliscena".
Pre-Colonial and Colonial era
Englewood, like the rest of New Jersey, was populated by LenapeNative Americans prior to European colonization. The Lenape who lived in the Englewood region were of the "turtle clan" which used a stylized turtle as its symbol. 2,000 Lenape originally lived in Englewood, but due to conflicts with the Europeans their population dwindled down to 50 by 1832.
When Henry Hudson sailed up what would become known as the Hudson River in 1607, he claimed the entirety of the watershed of the river, including Englewood, for the Netherlands, making the future region of Englewood a part of New Netherland. However, the region remained largely unsettled under Dutch rule as the Dutch did little to encourage settlement north of modern Hudson County, as the imposing New Jersey Palisades blocked expansion on the west bank of the Hudson.
In 1664, after the Dutch surrendered all of New Netherland to England, the rate of settlement picked up. The English were generous with land grants, and many families, not only English but also Dutch and Huguenot, settled the area, which during the colonial era was known as the English Neighborhood. Street names in Englewood still recall the relative diversity of its earliest settlers; Brinckerhoff, Van Brunt, Lydecker, Van Nostrand and Durie (Duryea), all Dutch; Demarest (de Marais), DeMott and Lozier (Le Sueur), French Huguenot; and Moore, Lawrence, Cole and Day, English.
Direct distance dialing, which allowed callers to reach other users outside their local calling area without operator assistance, was introduced to the public in Englewood. On November 10, 1951, Englewood Mayor M. Leslie Denning made the first customer-dialed long-distance call, to Mayor Frank Osborne of Alameda, California. As of that date, customers of the Englewood 3, Englewood 4 and Teaneck 7 exchanges, who could already dial some exchanges in the New York City area, were able to dial 11 cities across the United States by dialing the three-digit area code preceding the local number.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 4.95 square miles (12.82 km2), including 4.93 square miles (12.76 km2) of land and 0.02 square miles (0.06 km2) of water (0.46%).
Of the 10,057 households, 28.7% had children under the age of 18; 45.1% were married couples living together; 17.1% had a female householder with no husband present and 32.5% were non-families. Of all households, 27.3% were made up of individuals and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.24.
22.2% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 27.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.9 years. For every 100 females, the population had 90.0 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 86.3 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $69,915 (with a margin of error of +/− $7,291) and the median family income was $87,361 (+/− $9,616). Males had a median income of $58,776 (+/− $7,972) versus $48,571 (+/− $3,984) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $41,533 (+/− $2,981). About 6.9% of families and 10.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.7% of those under age 18 and 15.8% of those age 65 or over.
About 7.17% of Englewood residents identified themselves as being of Colombian American ancestry in the 2000 Census, the ninth-highest percentage of the population of any municipality in the United States.
There were 9,273 households, out of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.9% were married couples living together, 17.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.29.
In the city the population was spread out, with 23.9% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 30.5% from 25 to 44, 24.9% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $58,379, and the median income for a family was $67,194. Males had a median income of $41,909 versus $34,358 for females. The per capita income for the city was $35,275. 8.9% of the population and 6.6% of families were below the poverty line. 10.2% of those under the age of 18 and 8.6% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
Englewood Field Club is a sports club that features tennis courts, a pool, and an outdoor hockey rink.
Parks and recreation
MacKay Park, located on North Van Brunt Street, includes an ice hockey rink, a pool, a walking path, and athletic fields.
Flat Rock Brook Nature Center, located at 433 Van Nostrand Avenue, is made up of the remnants of the Palisades Forest. The center, established in 1973, is a 150-acre (61 ha) preserve and education center that includes 3.6 miles (5.8 km) of walking trails and several gardens including the newly renovated Butterfly Garden. Flat Rock allows visitors to learn about the natural ecosystem preserved in the park through exhibits and tours available year-round.
In 1980, Englewood switched from a Mayor-Council form of government to a modified Council-Manager plan of government in accordance with a special charter granted by the New Jersey Legislature. The city is one of 11 municipalities (of the 564) statewide that use a special charter granted by the Legislature. The governing body is comprised of the Mayor and the City Council. Under this charter, the mayor has powers to appoint and veto, while the council functions as a legislative body, with some power to appoint and confirm appointments. The city is divided into four wards which are approximately equal in population. The City Council is comprised of five members, each elected for a three-year term. Four are elected from the individual wards in which they live and the other is elected by a citywide vote as an at-large member. Administrative functions are responsibilities of the City Manager. The six seats in the governing body are elected in a three-year cycle as part of the November general election, with wards two and four both up together, followed a year later by wards one and three, and then the at-large council and mayoral seats. Each ward votes in two of the three years in the cycle, once for its ward seat, in the other year for the two positions voted at-large and one year with no election.
The mayor appoints members to the Planning Board, the Library Board of Trustees, and, with council confirmation, the Board of Adjustment. The mayor serves on the Planning Board. The mayor attends and may speak at council meetings, but only votes to break a tie for passage of an ordinance or resolution. The mayor has veto power over ordinances, but can be overridden with votes from four council members. The City Council is the legislative branch of government, deciding public policy, creating city ordinances and resolutions, passing the city budget, appropriating funds for city services, and hiring the City Manager. The City Council meets generally four times per month (except during summer months).
The Englewood Fire Association, a volunteer company established in 1887 as the city's first organized fire protection service, built a firehouse on North Van Brunt Street, near the site of Englewood's current city hall. A professional paid fire department was created in 1912 with the establishment of a Board of Fire Examiners. The fire headquarters constructed on William Street in 1926 was used for 90 years until its replacement by the Jack Drakeford Englewood Firehouse on South Van Brunt Street, which was dedicated on May 14, 2016. The department has a uniformed force of 57 members, including a Chief, Deputy Chief, 4 Captains, 9 Lieutenants and 42 firefighters.
The city's police department includes 85 employees, of whom 79 are sworn officers and an additional six dispatchers. After a no-confidence vote against the department's leadership in December 2020, the police union suspended a group of eight officers, seven of them Black, who had supported the chief and deputy chief.
Federal, state, and county representation
Englewood is located in the 5th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 37th state legislative district.
As of March 2011, there were a total of 15,033 registered voters in Englewood, of which 8,571 (57.0% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 1,215 (8.1% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 5,240 (34.9% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 7 voters registered as Libertarians or Greens. Among the city's 2010 Census population, 55.4% (vs. 57.1% in Bergen County) were registered to vote, including 71.2% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 8,855 votes (76.8% vs. 54.8% countywide), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 2,502 votes (21.7% vs. 43.5%) and other candidates with 71 votes (0.6% vs. 0.9%), among the 11,533 ballots cast by the city's 16,586 registered voters, for a turnout of 69.5% (vs. 70.4% in Bergen County). In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 9,412 votes (77.0% vs. 53.9% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 2,625 votes (21.5% vs. 44.5%) and other candidates with 58 votes (0.5% vs. 0.8%), among the 12,221 ballots cast by the city's 16,065 registered voters, for a turnout of 76.1% (vs. 76.8% in Bergen County). In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 8,087 votes (73.6% vs. 51.7% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 2,798 votes (25.5% vs. 47.2%) and other candidates with 65 votes (0.6% vs. 0.7%), among the 10,990 ballots cast by the city's 14,702 registered voters, for a turnout of 74.8% (vs. 76.9% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Democrat Barbara Buono received 62.5% of the vote (3,367 cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 36.6% (1,972 votes), and other candidates with 0.9% (49 votes), among the 5,557 ballots cast by the city's 15,615 registered voters (169 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 35.6%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 5,304 ballots cast (73.8% vs. 48.0% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 1,613 votes (22.5% vs. 45.8%), Independent Chris Daggett with 170 votes (2.4% vs. 4.7%) and other candidates with 20 votes (0.3% vs. 0.5%), among the 7,184 ballots cast by the city's 15,534 registered voters, yielding a 46.2% turnout (vs. 50.0% in the county).
As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of five schools, had an enrollment of 3,078 students and 247.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.5:1. Schools in the district (with 2018–19 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are
D. A. Quarles Early Childhood Center with 417 students in grades Pre-K–K,
Dr. John Grieco Elementary School with 394 students in grades 1–2,
McCloud School with 580 students in grades 3–5,
Janis E. Dismus Middle School with 563 students in grades 6–8 and
Dwight Morrow High School / Academies @ Englewood with 1,063 students in grades 9–12. In 2009, Cleveland School was renamed in memory of the district's first African-American principal, Dr. Leroy McCloud, who had a 50-year career in the district.
As an alternative to regular public education, the city is home of the Englewood on the Palisades Charter School, which had an enrollment of 317 students in Kindergarten through fifth grade, as of the 2018–2019 school year. Shalom Academy, a charter school with a focus on Hebrew language immersion, had planned to open for grades K–5 in September 2011, serving students from both Englewood and Teaneck, but failed to receive final approval from the New Jersey Department of Education.
In the face of a declining enrollment, St. Cecilia Interparochial School was closed by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark at the end of the 2010–2011 school year, with an expected student body of 85 students for K–8 in the following year constituting less than half of the number of students needed to keep the school financially viable. St. Cecilia High School, where Vince Lombardi coached football 1939–1947, had been closed in 1986.
The Northern Branch Corridor Project is a proposed NJ Transit (NJT) project to extend the Hudson–Bergen Light Rail along the line providing service to newly built stations along the route. The line would stop at Englewood Route 4 and Englewood Town Center and terminate at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. A station stop at Depot Square is the city's much-preferred alternative to NJT's proposed new Englewood Town Center Station to the south. Englewood Mayor Frank Huttle III worked with Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop to advocate on behalf of the project and obtain the needed state and federal funding needed to proceed with the plan, with Huttle emphasizing the economic benefits from the project and that the city wanted to host the terminus, which would include a parking garage near Englewood Hospital and additional parking near Palisade Avenue in the commercial center of the city.
^Horner, Shirley. "About Books", The New York Times, May 26, 1991. Accessed August 25, 2011. "One landowner, J. Wyman Jones, known as the "father" of Englewood because he swung the vote to the name Englewood (presumably from "English neighborhood") over such names as Liberty Pole or Palisades, built a stone Victorian mansion on his 20-acre estate."
^1951: First Direct-Dial Transcontinental Telephone Call, AT&T Corporation, backed up by the Internet Archive as of January 7, 2007. Accessed September 16, 2017. "Nov. 10, 1951: Mayor M. Leslie Downing of Englewood, N.J., picked up a telephone and dialed 10 digits. Eighteen seconds later, he reached Mayor Frank Osborne in Alameda, Calif. The mayors made history as they chatted in the first customer-dialed long-distance call, one that introduced area codes."
^Staff. "Who's on First? Why, New Jersey, of Course", The New York Times, July 22, 1979. Accessed May 28, 2017. "More recently, on Nov. 10, 1951, Mayor Leslie Denning of Englewood telephoned Mayor Frank Osborne of Alameda, Calif., without the help of an operator and Englewood became the first city in the nation whose residents had direct‐dial coast‐to‐coast service."
^Fabiano, Giovanna. "Englewood's St. Cecilia school to close", The Record, March 1, 2011, backed up by the Internet Archive as of January 21, 2016. Accessed September 10, 2017. "St. Cecilia's students went on to St. Cecilia High School - where legendary Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi got his coaching start - before it closed its doors in 1986."
^Staff. "Writing cred for 'Rapper's Delight' sparks grudge", New York Post, January 26, 2014. Accessed December 9, 2016. "Thirty-five years ago, the Sugar Hill Gang from Englewood, NJ, burst onto the scene with 'Rapper's Delight' and introduced the world to the Bronx-born music known as hip-hop. It was the first of its kind to break the Billboard Top 40 and sold more than 5 million copies."
^"Gone But Not Forgotten: A Look At NJSGA's Lost Founding Clubs" New Jersey State Golf Association. Accessed December 4, 2014. 'The Englewood Golf Club, located in Englewood and Leonia in Bergen County, had the distinct honor of hosting both a U.S. Amateur and a U.S. Open.... Just three years after the success of the Amateur, Englewood became the only New Jersey club other than Baltusrol to host the U.S. Open when it did so in 1909."
^Englewood City Council, City of Englewood. Accessed May 20, 2022. "The City Council consists of five members, each elected for a three-year term. Four are elected by the individual wards in which they live and the other is elected by a city-wide vote as an at-large member. The city is divided into four wards which are approximately equal in population."
^Police Department, City of Englewood. Accessed August 19, 2022. "Englewood is served by a full-time professionally trained police department consisting of 79 sworn Police Officers, 6 civilian dispatchers."
^Tully, Tracey. "This Police Union Suspended 8 Members. Seven Are Black.", The New York Times, December 31, 2020. Accessed August 19, 2022. "In November, the union suspended eight officers who had expressed support for the chiefs. The suspensions, which last a year, meant the union would not provide the officers with legal representation if they had trouble on the job during that time. Like the chief and deputy chief, seven of the eight officers who were suspended are Black.... Mayor Wildes, a former federal prosecutor who has participated in more than a dozen Black Lives Matter marches in Englewood, said he believed that each of the city’s 72 police officers, individually, was committed to serving the public."
^Salant, Jonathan D. "Big change, N.J.! 1.4M shifting to another congressional district. Use our tracker before voting.", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, October 31, 2022. Accessed December 8, 2022. "But now more than 1.4 million residents are moving due to new district lines drawn by New Jersey’s independent redistricting commission to reflect population shifts under the 2020 census.... Redistricting will shift 106 municipalities — nearly one in five — into new congressional districts.... Moving from the 9th Congressional District, currently represented by Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., to the 5th Congressional District, represented by Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer."
^Biography, Congressman Josh Gottheimer. Accessed January 3, 2019. "Josh now lives in Wyckoff, New Jersey with Marla, his wife who was a federal prosecutor, and their two young children, Ellie and Ben."
^Biography of Bob Menendez, United States Senate, January 26, 2015. "Menendez, who started his political career in Union City, moved in September from Paramus to one of Harrison's new apartment buildings near the town's PATH station.."
^Cattafi, Kristie. "Democrats pick Bergenfield councilman to fill vacancy on Bergen County commissioners board", The Record, March 13, 2023. Accessed March 16, 2023. "A Democratic councilman from Bergenfield will be sworn in as a Bergen County commissioner Wednesday night, filling a vacancy on the governing body for almost 1 million residents. Rafael Marte will serve until Dec. 31, taking on the unexpired term left by former Commissioner Ramon Hache, a Democrat who resigned last week to lead the Ridgewood YMCA as its chief executive officer."
^Englewood Board of Education District Policy 0110 - Identification, Englewood Public School District. Accessed May 27, 2020. "Purpose: The Englewood Board of Education exists for the purpose of providing a thorough and efficient system of free public education in grades Pre-K through 12 for students of the City of Englewood Public Schools. Classification: The City of Englewood Public School District shall be classified as a Type II district. Composition: The City of Englewood Public School District is comprised of all of the area within the municipal boundaries of the City of Englewood."
^Wiener, Julie. "Increased Competition Shakes Up N.J. Schools", The Jewish Week, April 10, 2013. Accessed September 16, 2017. "While sources close to the school told The Jewish Week that enrollment there has dropped from approximately 1,000 a few years ago to 780 this year to about 700 projected for next year, Sohn, in an e-mail to The Jewish Week, said that enrollment is currently over 800, and that the early childhood program is increasing 15 percent for next year."
^Fabiano, Giovanna. "Englewood's St. Cecilia school to close", The Record, March 1, 2011, backed up by the Internet Archive as of January 21, 2016. Accessed September 16, 2017. "St. Cecilia Interparochial School is closing its doors for good at the end of the school year. The landmark K-8 school on West Demarest Avenue has suffered from low enrollment over the last decade, Jim Goodness, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark, said Tuesday. He added that the decision to close was no surprise to parents and staff."
^Historic Background: History of the Northern Branch, Northern Branch DEIS, December 2011. Accessed September 29, 2019. "The rail line now known as the Northern Branch was originally the Northern Railroad of New Jersey and was built in the period from 1854-1859 as the six-foot gauge Northern Railroad of New Jersey (Refer to Figure H-1).... Passenger service on the Northern Branch was terminated on September 30, 1966."
^Home Page, Northern Branch Corridor Project. Accessed December 24, 2016.
^ Municipal Master Plan 2014, p. 97, City of Englewood. Accessed December 24, 2016. "Locate Station at Depot Square, convenient to BergenPAC. NJ Transit should improve passenger convenience and station visibility by relocating the proposed new Englewood Town Center Station to the northern side of Palisade Avenue along Depot Square, between Bergen Performing Arts (PAC) and the former rail station. This is the commercial and cultural heart of Englewood as well as the historic location of the passenger rail service. This station stop is the commercial and cultural heart of Englewood as well as the historic location of the passenger rail service. This station stop is the City's much-preferred alternative to the W. Englewood Avenue station assumed in the DEIS."
^Friedman, Jeanette. "Ahavath Torah expands" ,The Jewish Standard, July 6, 2006. Accessed March 13, 2023. "In 1895, Ahavath Torah consisted of eight families with a single Torah scroll. Services rotated among members’ homes.... By 1958, the Ahavath Torah membership had grown to 300 families and they desperately needed space, so for $55,000, the congregation bought a huge estate on Broad Avenue from Baroness Cassel Van Dorn."
Municipal Incorporations of the State of New Jersey (according to Counties) prepared by the Division of Local Government, Department of the Treasury (New Jersey); December 1, 1958.