Winthrop Road Historic District, 1924-36

Winthrop Road

Teaneck's final period of sustained growth began in 1931 with the opening of the George Washington Bridge and N.J. Route 4, linking the township and points west to New York City and New England. The population had by then reached 16,000, and would increase markedly in the years leading up to World War 11. The Winthrop Road district is the most distinguished of many land subdivisions which took advantage of these propitious conditions for development.

Teaneck's rapid growth was no accident. Not only was the bridge bill promoted by both New York and New Jersey, but a group of leading banking and real estate interests formed the Bergen County Association in 1926 to advertise and stimulate land sales, financing and building in the area. The collapse of the Florida land boom attracted many aggressive developers to the New York metropolitan area, smelling high demand for new homes. Small investors could become millionaires overnight in the speculative rush of the late 1920s - and many of course lost their fortunes by decade's end. Teaneck was one of the hottest areas of real estate development - thousands flocked to view model homes in the township and put money down on a piece of the American dream.

The 100 x 250 lots provided by the West Englewood Home Company in their Winthrop Road subdivision were planned with deep setbacks, verdant landscaping and a sense of being away from it all. The quality of the houses in the district was also a cut above the typical 1920s home - fine materials, stylistic coherence and distinctive plans set these Tudor and Colonial houses apart from anything in Bergen County at that time. Luxurious and commodious, the Winthrop Road area quickly developed the cachet of an elite subdivision and land values increased despite the Depression. The district has maintained its value throughout the intervening years, and remains one of Teaneck's unique places.