The Avenue Digital Exhibit

Welcome to the Hoboken Historical Museum’s first interactive digital exhibition, “The Avenue: A History of Washington Street.” Conceived during the Covid-19 pandemic, the website is a reimagining of the physical exhibition of the same name that opened August 1, 2021, in the Hoboken Museum’s gallery space at 1301 Hudson Street. Tracing almost two centuries of vibrant community and commercial life along Hoboken’s main artery, the exhibit packs in hundreds of artifacts and photographs from scores of beloved and largely family-owned establishments that have drawn people to The Avenue for generations.

Through this new online exhibit, people who can’t visit the Museum in person are able to take a virtual stroll along Washington Street, encountering stories that invite you to learn about Hoboken’s fascinating history. The street’s present-day (2021) persona is captured through detailed panoramic photography by McKevin Shaughnessy, who also designed the physical exhibition. The Avenue’s past is depicted through place-based stories, historic photos, videos and audio clips, plus images of the artifacts that the Museum has been collecting for over 35 years.

The new website was designed and developed by MediaCombo, working with a small team from the Hoboken Historical Museum, led by Executive Director Robert Foster, who curated the original exhibit, with research by Collections Manager Rand Hoppe and research/writing by Holly Metz, who is the author of two books on Hoboken history: The Untold Life of Peter Lee, and Killing the Poormaster. The project was supported by Communications Manager Melissa Abernathy.

The project is a natural extension of the Museum’s mission to advance the understanding and exploration of Hoboken history, culture and architecture through exhibitions, collections, oral histories and programming. The Museum is proud to join the growing number of arts and historical organizations making their collections and content available to wider audiences through new and engaging online storytelling. Much of the Museum’s collections were digitized by former Collections Manager David Webster, and are accessible for exploring here

The exhibit was made possible through a generous grant from the New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund, which was established in 2020 to support arts and cultural organizations through the hardships of the pandemic, which curtailed many of the fundraising and revenue generating programs on which these organizations depend. The grant review board prioritized organizations that were reimagining their operations for a post-Covid world in a way that responds to new demands. The Museum hopes to use this digital exhibition as a springboard for widening its reach to new audiences in the future. 

Visit in person when you get a chance! The Museum is located in the former Bethlehem Steel shipyard machine shop, one of the oldest buildings on Hoboken’s historic waterfront. Open 6 days a week, the Museum staff and volunteers maintain a rich schedule of activities and programs designed for all ages. 

Hoboken Historical Museum

Hoboken, NJ, USA

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