Winthrop Road Historic
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.