Thursday, December 19, 2019

City Council unanimously votes to honor the victims of the 1970s & 1980s Hoboken Fires

City of Hoboken will honor the victims of the Hoboken Fires with memorial at Tom Olivieri Park

Last night, the City Council unanimously approved installation of a plaque at Tom Olivieri Park to honor the victims of the Hoboken Fires in the late 70s and early 80s.

A plaque will bear witness at the park remembering the dozens who perished and thousands displaced during the tumultuous times in the Mile Square City. Many among the hundreds of reported fires occurred due to arson.

The effort for the memorial is led by Rose Orozco, founder of the Hoboken Fire Victims Memorial Project.

Rose Orozco, Founder of the Hoboken Fire Victims Memorial Project speaking to the City Council last night.


City Council President Jen Giattino sponsored the resolution.


RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING INSTALLATION OF A PLAQUE HONORING THE MEMORY OF VICTIMS OF THE HOBOKEN FIRES IN THE LATE 70s & EARLY 80s AT TOM OLIVIERI PARK AT 13TH& WILLOW

WHEREAS, the City of Hoboken suffered a series of devastating fires in the late 70s and early 80s and,

WHEREAS, Hoboken residents faced hundreds of fires, many suspected originating by arson with horrendous loss of life numbering in the dozens and,

WHEREAS, many thousands of Hoboken residents suffered displacement as highlighted by historian Dylan Gottlieb published in the September 1, 2019, Journal of American History article, “Hoboken is Burning: Yuppies, Arson, and Displacement in the Postindustrial City” and,

WHEREAS, the Washington Post featured a September 19th, 2019 article “How gentrification caused American cities to burn,” and highlighted the “Hoboken arson wave” from 1978 to 1983 and,

WHEREAS, the City of Hoboken wishes to further recognize the service of tenant activist Tom Oliveri, and honor the memory of Hoboken residents who perished in the Hoboken fires of the late 70s and 80s at the renamed Teofilio Olivieri Park at 13thSt. on Willow Avenue and,

WHEREAS, Rose Orozco, a member of the Hoboken Rent Leveling Board and resident who lived through the time of the Hoboken fires and is the founder of the Hoboken Fire Victims Memorial Project and,

WHEREAS, the City of Hoboken desires to honor all the victims of the Hoboken Fires in the late 70s and 80s.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the City Council and the City of Hoboken, that a plaque honoring the memory of the dozens of Hoboken residents who died and the thousands displaced by the Hoboken Fires be installed at the Teofilio Olivieri Park as provided by the Hoboken Fire Victims Memorial Project.

Meeting Date: December 18, 2019 


A spring date will be announced for the official ceremony with the plaque installation at Tom Oliveri Park, Willow Avenue at 13th Street.


The Hoboken Fire Victims Memorial Project committee: