South Orange’s residential areas largely feature mid to early 20th century styled homes and streets lined with mature trees. Many homes are within walking distance to town and NYC transportation but for those commuters who lived a bit further out, South Orange offers a Jitney service to both train stations.
South Orange has 10 parks throughout town, totally roughly 78 acres, and includes facilities for basketball, softball, baseball, bocce ball, tennis, soccer, ice skating, swimming, jogging and picnicking.
A sense of community, diversity, competitive schools, a bustling downtown and an easy commute to NYC via Midtown Direct Train Line or NJ Transit’s Train through Hoboken are just some of the special offerings that draw so many people to South Orange.
South Orange Neighborhoods
South Orange offers a wide variety of residential homes fitting many budgets. Single family homes typically start around $400,000 and range up to about $1,700,000. A luxury townhouse development situated above Wyoming Avenue offers extraordinary residences from $995,000-$1,100,000. There are also several condo complexes available with prices ranging from $200,000-$600,000.
There are four main sections within South Orange each with a distinct personality.
The historic Montrose neighborhood located north of South Orange Avenue and east of Vose Avenue, is characterized by elegant, large-scale homes, dating from the last quarter of the nineteenth century through the 1930s. These architecturally imposing houses are set on large, landscaped lots, outlined by bluestone sidewalks and curbs, framed by mature trees and shrubbery, and lit by Victorian gaslight.
The significance of the Montrose Park Historic District is both historical and architectural. Several of the streets were originally developed by John Gorham Vose and Henry A. Page between 1867 and 1874 as part of a residential development called Montrose, intended to attract wealthy New York businessmen to rural South Orange, only recently made accessible to the city by train.
The Montrose Park Historic District contains an excellent collection of Victorian and period revival architecture, dating from 1870 to 1930, with some earlier exceptions. When Montrose Park’s impressive architecture is combined with its winding, tree-lined streets, and landscaped boulevards, the feeling of a late nineteenth to early twentieth century suburban, residential enclave is readily conveyed.
The Newstead section sits on top of South Mountain between Glenview Road and Crest Drive, Newstead is a later development with most homes of the post war era. Many offer views of Manhattan. Homes here are mostly colonials and expanded ranches. Secluded from the hustle and bustle of downtown, Newstead offers privacy and tranquility.
Above Wyoming, located next to South Mountain and running along Wyoming Avenue, this area offers a variety of housing styles with homes dating to the early to mid 1900s. Comprised mostly of brick or wood shingle colonials, these stately homes sit on landscaped properties and streets lined with mature trees. This section sits close to town, schools and parks.
Tuxedo Park is characterized by 1920’s colonials in an all-American neighborhood setting, Tuxedo Park offers a convenient location to town and trains. The homes in Tuxedo Park tend to be on a smaller scale but still offer architectural details of the early 20th century. Located south of South Orange Avenue, close to downtown, NYC trains, parks and Seton Hall University, location is a draw for many Tuxedo Park residents.
South Orange is 35 minutes from Manhattan via NJ Transit train or bus. South Orange has two train stations, South Orange Train Station located at 19 Sloan Street at South Orange Avenue and Mountain Station located at Vose and Mountain Avenues. South Orange train station offers service into Manhattan via the Midtown Direct or into Hoboken with PATH train service to World Trade Center or through Greenwich Village via the 33rd Street train.
South Orange also offers a Jitney service which picks up commuters at stops located throughout town and drops them at either station. The South Orange Jitney has two lines, one covering the Montrose and Tuxedo Park sections and one that covers the Newstead and Above Wyoming sections. Jitney service runs during weekday rush hour, roughly 6am to 8am and again from 5pm-8pm.
Train and bus schedules can be found at New Jersey Transit. Jitney schedules can be found at http://southorange.org/Parking/jitneyFeesRules.asp.
South Orange shares a common public school system with neighboring Maplewood. There are six elementary schools in the district, four of which are in Maplewood and two middle schools, one of which is in Maplewood while Columbia High School serves both communities. Acclaimed Columbia High School has been named a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education and active parent and teacher organizations support all the schools in the district.
Elementary schools have up to date facilities that include computer and Internet access in all schools and modern media and technology centers. Special education services begin with pre-K programs and strong support program is available for students needing additional assistance while gifted enrichment programs are available to 4th and 5th graders. Students can attend their local school, but they also have the option of applying to attend the Seth Boyden Demonstration School, the district’s staff development and best practices center, which offers innovative teaching techniques. After-school programs are also available throughout the district to meet the needs of families that require extended child supervision.
Students in Maplewood attend elementary school for grades K-5. Students in the Jefferson district attend Marshall School in the Montrose section of South Orange for K-2 and Jefferson School on Ridgewood Road for grades 3-5. Students are bused accordingly. The South Mountain School district is likewise divided between two school buildings, both within South Orange. The South Mountain Elementary Annex, located in the Newstead section, serves K-1 and the Upper School, located on South Orange Avenue, serves grades 2-5. Students at Tuscan, Clinton and Seth-Boyden schools attend all grades, K-5, in the same building.
Maplewood Middle School and South Orange Middle School serve grades 6 through 8. There is an emphasis not only on the academic, but also on guiding students socially to prepare them for high school. Along with well-structured academics, middle school students also take part in character-building programs and community activities.
Columbia High School was founded in 1885, is rich in history and has been recognized nationally for academic excellence and for offering a wide range of elective courses and extracurricular activities. Columbia offers a strong college preparatory curriculum, with 24 AP offerings and five or more Columbia High School seniors are usually selected as National Merit Semi-Finalists each year. Over 90% of graduates pursue further education and many are accepted to attend some of the best universities in the country including Harvard, Stanford, and Yale.
Extracurricular activities range from a championship athletic program to an award winning literary magazine and student newspaper to a chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America. There’s a mock trial team, a state-champion chess team, a cable TV station and many music and drama groups.
Founded in 1933, the South Orange – Maplewood Adult School is the oldest adult school in New Jersey and offers over 300 classes for adults plus an extensive summer enrichment and sports program for children. Recognized as a Local Legacy by the Library of Congress, its goal is to provide a quality educational experience, which, “enhances understanding and creates a learning environment for the betterment of the individual and society.”
Seton Hall University is located in South Orange at the foot of SouthMountain. From its original enrollment of a handful of students, Seton Hall is now a major Catholic university, with more than 10,000 students from 40 U.S. states and territories, and dozens of countries. Among many pioneering areas of study, it has founded a School of Diplomacy and International Relations in a unique alliance with the United Nations.
The South Orange Performing Arts Center, features established and emerging artists whose talents are best suited to their intimate size. Their programming reflects and celebrates the incredible cultural diversity of the community and provides educational opportunities helping to ensure arts-loving generations of audiences.
The 34,000 sq. ft. facility is unique in that it includes:
- A 415-seat elegantly appointed performing arts theater bringing all genres of live music, spoken word, performance art, dance, theater, comedy, and children’s programming to our community.
- 5-screen Cineplex featuring art, family-friendly and independent films
- Community space seating up to 150 people for regional and local events, classes, corporate events and meetings, smaller theatrical productions, rehearsals and lifecycle celebrations.
SOPAC has impacted the revitalization of downtown South Orange, enhancing the cultural resources of the entire Metrowest region, bringing all the best the artistic landscape has to offer close to home.
In addition to the Performing Arts Center, South Orange’s Baird Community Center, galleries, churches and synagogues provide metropolitan area performers from jazz to blues to chamber music ensembles, family entertainment, national touring film festivals and art exhibits. NJPAC, the state’s newest performing arts center, the New Jersey Historical Society, the Newark Museum and several notable museums are within a 20-minute drive.