Early 20th century
postcard of the Hasbrouck Institute on Crescent Avenue where Lincoln High
School now stands
20th century postcard of the Hasbrouck Institute on Crescent Avenue where
Lincoln High School now stands
Courtesy, RF Smith
In September 1893 the Hasbrouck Institute opened at the corner of Crescent and Harrison Avenues, now the site of Lincoln High School, with 305 students. The stately looking building was Romanesque in design with modifications as required for its use as a classroom building in an urban environment. By all appearances it was suited for the classical studies that it provided its students. The construction of the walls was of red brick with brownstone trimmings. Iron was generously used to bind the walls and sustain the floors and roof; iron girders and concealed columns added to the stability of the building. The first floor included a library, kindergarten, and assembly hall with a seating capacity for approximately 800.
This was not the initial site for the Institute. It first opened at 53-55 Mercer Street when it was founded in 1856. It then relocated to the Lyceum Classical School (1839-59) founded by William L. Dickinson at 109 Grand Street.
Professor Washington Hasbrouck established the private school for the purpose of preparing young men in Jersey City to attend the nation's foremost colleges and universities and enter public service. Hasbrouck had founded a similar school in Saugerties, NY, before moving to Jersey City. He remained with the Institute until 1876, when he became the principal of the State Normal School at Trenton (now the College of New Jersey). A girls' department was added to the Institute in 1880 with a continuation of its program extending from kindergarten to high school. To accommodate the growing population in the area of Jersey City Heights, the property at the corner of Crescent and Harrison Avenues was acquired in 1892.
A number of prominent Jersey City leaders graduated Hasbrouck Institute. Among them were: John T. Rowland, the architect for the city of Jersey City for over forty year who designed the Medical Center, and Dickinson and Snyder High Schools and the A. Harry Moore School, among other city schools; Joseph Dear II, an editor and publisher of the Jersey Journal; Charles Henderson, son and succeeding president of the Peter Henderson Company; and George M. Culver, MD, a president of St. Francis Hospital and the Hudson County Medical Society.
The availability of similar educational programs in the Jersey City public schools soon affected the enrollment at the private school. As part of its school building expansion program, the Jersey City Board of Education purchased the Hasbrouck Institute for $117,000 for a new high school in 1912. The acquisition was viewed in a New York Times article as an indicator of "the growth and progressiveness of Jersey City" (11 August 1912). Since the Institute was on a large site on the crest of the Jersey City heights, $5000 was appropriated to renovate the building as a public school while Rowland prepared for the new Lincoln High School on the grounds.
The Hasbrouck Institute
building was razed by 1920.
| By: Carmela Karnoutsos
Project Administrator: Patrick Shalhoub