About Maplewood

About Maplewood


This is what Money Magazine Says About Maplewood! "A 30-minute train ride from Midtown Manhattan; Maplewood, N.J. is a favorite compromise for city people who also want good public schools and their own yards. The town has a palpable sense of community (there are close to 30 block associations in Maplewood and neighboring South Orange), and residents prize its diversity. "We're not a cookie-cutter suburb in terms of outlook, interests or people," says Barbara Heisler Williams, 43, resident for 13 years." Maplewood prides itself on being a diverse and family-friendly community. In a number of surveys it is ranked among the most desirable places to live in the United States. The township has a downtown area alternatively known as "the village" or "Maplewood Center" with its own movie theater, several upscale and midscale restaurants, a small supermarket, independent café, two liquor stores, and a small bookstore. The structure of the village is largely unchanged since the 1950s. Many of the most recognizable buildings and spaces were the work of famous architects and landscape designers. Most of the schools and the Municipal Building were the work of Guilbert & Betelle. The center of town is dominated by Memorial Park, a design of the Olmsted Brothers. The Olmsted firm was also responsible for the landscaping at Ward Homestead, designed by John Russell Pope, and now known as Winchester Gardens, located on Elmwood Avenue. On the opposite side of town is another Olmsted work, South Mountain Reservation. The Maplewood Theater, where Cheryl Crawford first revived Porgy and Bess, was designed by William E. Lehman. There are approximately 226 streets covering 60 miles within Maplewood. One thoroughfare, Springfield Avenue, is a state highway (Route 124, from Irvington to Morristown), and four thoroughfares (Valley Street, Millburn Avenue, Irvington Avenue and Wyoming Avenue), are Essex County roads.


Racing Toward Diversity

Two New Jersey towns keep their eyes on the prize. By Steve Chambers On a Saturday morning in Maplewood, New Jersey, day-trippers bound for Manhattan sip blended teas and nibble popovers in the Civil War–era train station, as classical music plays softly. This is "the community of the 21st century that really goes back to the model of the 19th century," says Ellen Greenfield, a resident for 35 years, who has happily watched yet another major evolution of this commuter town unfold in recent years. As gays, African Americans, Asians, and Latinos have discovered this suburban enclave, located hard beside grinding urban poverty, amenities typical of the most upscale American suburbs have become commonplace in Maplewood. Greenfield ticks off some of the modern conveniences unavailable to earlier rail commuters. When the relaxed day-trippers lounging on this Saturday morning return to their frenetic work week, they will drop off dry cleaning with a concierge, leave their cars to be serviced, or catch a jitney back home. That pay-as-you-go service may ferry them up the hill to a palatial estate with views of the New York City skyline or down to manicured streets on the border of Newark, New Jersey's largest city. But on this lovely fall morning, the jitney idling in the station lot awaits eager house hunters considering a move to Maplewood (pop. 23,868) or its neighboring community of South Orange (pop. 16,964). Their tour guides will be volunteers from the South Orange- Maplewood Community Coalition on Race. And while those volunteers always short-en the name of the coalition by eliminating the words "on Race" for such outreach efforts, there will still be much talk about the diversity of this pleasant community.

Local Map


Maplewood Transportation
-Maplewood train station to New York City Penn Station - 30 minutes -Maplewood to Newark Airport - 17 minutes -Maplewood to Short Hills Mall - 12 minutes -Maplewood to Giant Stadium - 27 minutes
Maplewood is twenty miles from midtown New York City. The train takes 25 to 35 minutes to Penn Station. Parking at the station is limited, but for minimal amount a year, residents can sign up for the popular jitney service to and from the local train station. Newark Liberty Internation Airport also within close proximity and it is about 8 miles away. Maplewood is also in within short driving distance to major highways such as 280, 78 and the New Jersey Parkway.
NJ Transit website


Maplewood schools are part of the unified South Orange-Maplewood School District, together with the neighboring community of South Orange. Schools in the district (with 2005-06 school enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[20]) are six K-5 elementary schools — Clinton Elementary School (K-5, 467 students), Jefferson Elementary School (3-5, 351 students), Marshall Elementary School (K-2, 422 students), Seth Boyden Elementary School (K-5, 500 students), South Mountain Elementary (2-5) / South Mountain Elementary Annex (K-1; 513 students combined) and Tuscan Elementary School (K-5, 594 students) — and both Maplewood Middle School (703 students) and South Orange Middle School (700 students) for grades 6-8. The combined district features one public high school, Columbia High School, with 1,999 students. Students in Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade are educated by the Summit Public Schools. Schools in the district (with 2005-06 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are:
  • Wilson Primary School (PK-K)
  • Jefferson Primary School (PK-K)
  • Brayton School with 489 students (1-5)
  • Franklin School with 400 students (1-5)
  • Jefferson School with 233 students (1-5)
  • Lincoln-Hubbard School with 382 students (1-5)
  • Washington School with 350 students (1-5)
  • Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School with 843 students (6-8)
  • Summit High School with 1045 students for the 2008 - 2009 School Year (9-12)
  • Summit High School was ranked as Number 149 nationwide in Newsweek magazine's 2005 listing of "America's Best High Schools" in the August 5, 2005 issue.
Private Schools:
  • Kent Place School (NS-12)
  • Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child (K-12)
  • Oratory Preparatory School (7-12)
NJ Department of Education Narrative on the Summit Senior High School NJ Department of Education Statistics on the Summit Senior High School