West Orange is a township in central Essex County, New Jersey, United States. The township is set off by two large parks: the South Mountain Reservation along its southwestern borders with Maplewood and Millburn, and the Eagle Rock Reservation along its northeastern borders with Montclair and Verona. The township straddles the transition between the low-lying Newark Bay basin and the high terrain of the Watchung Mountains.
West Orange is marked by an eclectic mix of neighborhoods and housing types, which roughly correspond to the township’s geographic features. Generally, the township has four distinct neighborhoods:
- Downtown West Orange and The Valley: The oldest and most densely populated part of the township is Downtown West Orange. It has the most urban character of the township’s neighborhoods, while the Valley is home to a growing arts district and a significant African American community.
- The First Mountain: The housing stock in the neighborhoods of Hutton Park and Gregory is a mixture of Victorian, Jazz Age, and Tudor-style houses; large estates; garden apartments; and post-World War II modern houses. Many blocks on the First Mountain have sweeping views of the Newark and New York City skylines.
- Pleasant Valley and Pleasantdale: Pleasantdale, a walkable business district in this part of the township, includes a number of restaurants, office buildings, and houses of worship.
- The Second Mountain: The housing stock in this neighborhood resembles that of Pleasantdale, as well as those of the adjacent suburban townships of Millburn and Livingston.
Llewellyn Park, the first planned community in America, is located within West Orange, and was designed by entrepreneur Llewellyn Haskell and architect Alexander Jackson Davis in 1857. Llewellyn Park is considered among the best examples of the “Romantic Landscape” movement of that period. Thomas Edison was one of the many residents.
The West Orange Public Schools serves students in Kindergarten through 12th grade, including a total of eleven school facilities.
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