Vailsburg is a neighborhood located in Newark’s West ward, near South Orange.
The Vailsburg section of Newark is at a higher elevation than much of the rest of Newark – with an elevation of 280 feet. Its unique feel also derives from an assortment of suburban, urban and park areas. Vailsburg is divided into Upper Vailsburg and Lower Vailsburg via Sanford Ave (Lower Vailsburg is to the east).
Vailsburg has a significant stock of Dutch Colonial and Victorian inspired homes, mostly built between 1945 and 1947. Upper Vailsburg consists largely of single-family homes, while Lower Vailsburg consists of both single-family and two-family housing units.
The area is home to the Ivy Hill Apartments, New Jersey’s largest rental complex.
Vailsburg has some abandoned property and other signs of urban decay, but many parts feel suburban. Its commercial streets, particularly South Orange Avenue, underwent street-scape improvements in the early 2000s and many businesses renovated their storefronts.
Vailsburg includes a thriving small business district, namely on South Orange Avenue, and its dozens of block associations testify to this neighborhood’s strong sense of community.
Vailsburg’s population is diverse, with a mix African-American, West Indian, Caribbean, Nigerian, and even those of Ukrainian origin.
For a “tour” of South Orange Avenue and more information on Vailsburg, visit the New Jersey Historical Society’s dedicated page here.