Skip to Content



Press Releases

Pascrell Announces $1.8M for Revitalization and Creation of Quarry Great Lawn

PATERSON, NJ –U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) announced the awarding of a federal grant from the National Park Service (NPS) to the Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park for rehabilitation and improvements to a 2.5 acre part of the Allied Textile Printing (ATP) site currently closed to the public. The project will create an area along the Passaic River for public access and recreation called the Quarry Great Lawn.

In total, the Quarry Lawn project will receive $4,350,000 of combined public funding. The federal government is providing $2,300,160, which includes the $1,850,160 grant announced today. The grant is part of the NPS's Centennial Challenge program, in recognition of the NPS’ 100th year in 2016.

"I am excited to announce that this grant will build on the investments, hard work, and progress that has already been made in the Great Falls," Rep. Pascrell said. "By providing a much needed federal investment to open up the historic Allied Textile Printing site we will be able to transform what is currently a dilapidated and dangerous stretch of land into a community space for festivals and concerts.”

The City of Paterson has dedicated matching funds ($2,130,000) from prior awards from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Green Acres program and from the Passaic County Open Space Fund. The remainder of the project funding, approximately $450,000, comes from a 2015 NPS Land and Water Conservation grant.

"This announcement is further evidence of the strong partnership that continues to develop between the NPS and the city. This project opens the doors, to the nation, to the place where the seeds of Paterson were planted, where the silk industry began and where Alexander Hamilton’s vision took off,” Mayor Jose ‘Joey’ Torres said.  “It’s a very exciting time for us, and we are very grateful to our funding partners, the NPS, State of NJ, and Passaic County.”

This project will turn a former industrial site on the Passaic River, closed for decades, into a 2.25 acre Great Lawn for public access, recreation and interpretation. The scope of work includes stabilization and/or selective demolition of above-ground historic foundations and walls, filling of foundations holes, grading, seeding, and landscaping.

"We worked hard for this award, which is why the Great Falls received the third largest Centennial Challenge grant this year," Pascrell said. "We wrote letters in support of the project and I personally spoke to the head of the National Park Service regarding this issue because Paterson deserves it.  This is another significant milestone in the progress we are making at the Great Falls and there is much more to look forward to, I promise you that.”

During the 19th Century the area of the Quarry Lawn was known as Mount Morris. The hill was quarried, leaving behind a 50 foot tall basalt wall that naturally enclosed a flat open-space along the river. Textile dying mills were constructed on this small plateau in the early 20th Century and eventually the site was completely covered with mill buildings.

Currently, the Quarry Lawn space is desolate, unsafe, unutilized and need of a great amount of rehabilitation. The scope of this project will allow the Quarry Lawn to become a space for community events, performances, picnics, festivals as well as simply an open lawn area for the public to enjoy. The revitalized space will provide a venue for many types of social events for the people of Paterson.  The space will have an open lawn area, designed flower beds, shade trees and purposed paved paths.

“This project is another exciting step forward we’re making with our partners toward building a great urban national park at the Great Falls, just in time for the National Park Service Centennial,” said Park Superintendent Darren Boch. “Mary Ellen Kramer Park re-opened in August, Overlook Park and the old Dairy Queen site will undergo major rehabilitation this summer, and now we’ll look to connect those projects with public access to the ATP site.”

The NPS's Centennial Challenge program is designed to help parks across the country improve visitor services and support outreach to new audiences. The projects, many of which tackle deferred maintenance, come as the NPS kicks off its second century of service. Congress provided $15 million for the projects which will be matched by almost $33 million from more than 90 park partners.

There are 69 projects located at 63 parks in 38 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  For a complete list of centennial challenge projects and partners please visit


    Back to top