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Collingswood is a borough in Camden County, New Jersey, United States, located 6 miles (9.7 km) east of Center City, Philadelphia. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 13,926, reflecting a decline of 400 (-2.8%) from the 14,326 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 963 (-6.3%) from the 15,289 counted in the 1990 Census.
Owing in part to its Quaker history, Collingswood was founded as a dry town where alcohol cannot be sold, however restaurant patrons are permitted to bring their own wine and beer to consume. In July 2015, the town introduced an ordinance that will allow craft breweries to operate in the town but not serve food. The ordinance is expected to be passed in August 2015. Under the terms of a limited license, Devil's Creek Brewery opened a tasting room in May 2016 where beers made by the microbrewery are available for sale to the public. A state ordinance also allows select restaurants to serve wine produced by New Jersey vineyards.
Quakers settled along Newton Creek and Cooper River in the late 17th Century, establishing what was known as the Newton Colony and eventually Newton Township. Much of what is now Collingswood was a farm owned by members of the Collings family during the 18th and 19th Centuries. Later a section of Haddon Township, Collingswood was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on May 22, 1888, based on the results of a referendum held that same day. That same year, town resident Edward Collings Knight, a wealthy dentist, donated the land that became Knight Park. Knight was a descendant of the Collings family for whom the borough is named.
Collingswood has several historic homes including the 1820s-era house of the Collings family, known as the Collings-Knight homestead, which stands at the corner of Browning Road and Collings Avenue, shadowed by the Heights of Collingswood apartments. The Stokes-Lees mansion located in the 600 block of Lees Avenue dates back to 1707, making it one of the oldest houses in Camden County. Sections of Harleigh Cemetery, the location of poet Walt Whitman's tomb are in Collingswood, as is the mailing address for the Camden County Historical Society.
Collingswood is located in the Delaware Valley, 5 miles (8.0 km) east of Philadelphia and 35 miles (56 km) southwest of Trenton, New Jersey's capital.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Collingswood had a total area of 1.923 square miles (4.980 km2), including 1.823 square miles (4.721 km2) of land and 0.100 square miles (0.259 km2) of water (5.19%).
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the borough include Knight Park.
Collingswood shares land borders with Camden, Haddon Township, Oaklyn, Pennsauken Township and Woodlynne.
The Cooper River serves as the northern border of Collingswood.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 13,926 people, 6,299 households, and 3,345 families residing in the borough. The population density was 7,639.4 per square mile (2,949.6/km2). There were 6,822 housing units at an average density of 3,742.3 per square mile (1,444.9/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 81.78% (11,388) White, 9.11% (1,268) Black or African American, 0.32% (45) Native American, 2.20% (307) Asian, 0.01% (2) Pacific Islander, 4.01% (559) from other races, and 2.56% (357) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.67% (1,347) of the population.
There were 6,299 households out of which 22.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.8% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.9% were non-families. 37.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the borough, the population was spread out with 19.4% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 30.9% from 25 to 44, 28.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.0 years. For every 100 females there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 87.2 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $58,769 (with a margin of error of +/- $4,635) and the median family income was $74,236 (+/- $8,567). Males had a median income of $54,088 (+/- $5,121) versus $48,816 (+/- $4,244) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $34,126 (+/- $2,577). About 10.7% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.5% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 14,326 people, 6,263 households, and 3,463 families residing in the borough. The population density was 7,835.2 people per square mile (3,022.6/km2). There were 6,866 housing units at an average density of 3,755.2 per square mile (1,448.6/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 86.47% White, 6.67% African American, 0.34% Native American, 2.76% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 2.42% from other races, and 1.33% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.67% of the population.
There were 6,263 households out of which 25.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.2% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.7% were non-families. 36.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the borough the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 32.9% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.8 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $43,175, and the median income for a family was $57,987. Males had a median income of $40,423 versus $30,877 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $24,358. About 3.8% of families and 6.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.8% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.
Collingswood's retail district is anchored by Haddon Avenue, a section of County Route 561 which runs from Camden to Haddonfield. Collingswood's downtown is known primarily for its restaurants, which span a variety of cuisines including American, Italian, Indian, French, Chinese, Mexican, Brazilian, Japanese, Ecuadorian, and Thai. The American Planning Association designated Haddon Avenue as one of its 10 Great Streets for 2009. The group chose the street "for the way it melds the past with the present", making Collingswood the first New Jersey community to be cited under the association's Great Places in America program.
On Saturdays from May to November, the borough hosts a farmers' market under the PATCO line, featuring local produce, baked goods, and crafts.
Collingswood sponsors a bike share program, a community greenhouse, as well as a composting program. Beginning in 2009, Collingswood hosts a Green Festival to raise awareness of environmental responsibility.
Monthly "2nd Saturdays" have the borough's art galleries, stores and restaurants hosting new exhibitions by local, national, and international painters, sculptors, and photographers. In 2002, the Moorestown based Perkins Center for the Arts opened a second location in Collingswood.
The DePace Sports Museum and Library opened in Collingswood in 2015.
The borough is home to two theater companies, the Collingswood Community Theatre and the Collingswood Shakespeare Company which perform throughout the year. The Ballroom and Theater at Collingswood hosts local theatrical productions as well as national recording artists such as Ben Folds and The Beach Boys.
The Rutgers University-Camden based Symphony in C orchestra's administrative and box offices are located on Haddon Avenue.
The annual Collingswood Book Festival hosts various authors including Camille Paglia and Matthew Quick, whose novel The Silver Linings Playbook took place in the borough (with scenes in Oaklyn, Voorhees and the city of Philadelphia), though David O. Russell's film adaptation was set in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania.
Art Within Reach is a program that offers handmade items produced by local artists, with all profits going to the artists. With the 2014 season, the shows are held twice each year at The Factory.
Collingswood has a large LGBTQ community and Mayor Jim Maley was one of a handful of New Jersey mayors to perform midnight civil union ceremonies the day New Jersey's Civil Union law took effect in 2006; in 2013 Mayor Maley performed a number of same sex marriages at the Scottish Rite ballroom after same-sex marriage was recognized in New Jersey. In 2004, The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote about the borough's "fast growing gay and lesbian community," and the statewide LGBT advocacy and education organization Garden State Equality maintained a Southern New Jersey office in Collingswood until 2010.
Knight Park is the home to daytime recreation of the town. It is located across the street from Collingswood High School and it hosts the home games of the high school's sports teams, such as women's field hockey, lacrosse, baseball and softball. During the summer months, the borough offers outdoor movies and classical concerts in the park.
Collingswood operates under the Walsh Act commission form of New Jersey municipal government. Three non-partisan commissioners are elected at-large on a concurrent basis in elections held as part of the May municipal election to serve four-year terms of office. Each commissioner is assigned a specific department to head in addition to their legislative functions. The commissioners select one of their members to serve as mayor. The Borough of Collingswood has operated under the Walsh Act since 1917.
As of May 2017, members of Collingswood's Board of Commissioners are Mayor M. James "Jim" Maley Jr. (Commissioner of Public Affairs and Public Safety), Joan Leonard (Commissioner of Public Works, Parks and Public Property) and Robert Lewandowski (Commissioner of Revenue and Finance), all of whom are serving terms of office ending May 15, 2021.
In September 2011, the borough experienced a "super downgrade" of its credit rating by Moody's, from A1 to Ba1, as a result of an outstanding multi-million dollar loan guarantee to a property developer. Moody's Investors Service issued a report in late May 2012 that restored the Borough of Collingswood's credit rating to an investment grade rating of Baa3.
Collingswood is located in the 1st Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 6th state legislative district.
New Jersey's First Congressional District is represented by Donald Norcross (D, Camden). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, 2019).
For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 6th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by James Beach (D, Voorhees Township) and in the General Assembly by Louis Greenwald (D, Voorhees Township) and Pamela Rosen Lampitt (D, Cherry Hill). The Governor of New Jersey is Phil Murphy (D, Middletown Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Sheila Oliver (D, East Orange).
Camden County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose seven members chosen at-large in partisan elections to three-year terms office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats coming up for election each year. As of 2015, Camden County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. (Collingswood, term as freeholder ends December 31, 2017; term as director ends 2015), Freeholder Deputy Director Edward T. McDonnell (Pennsauken Township, term as freeholder ends 2016; term as deputy director ends 2015), Michelle Gentek (Gloucester Township, 2015), Ian K. Leonard (Camden, 2015), Jeffrey L. Nash (Cherry Hill, 2015), Carmen Rodriguez (Merchantville, 2016) and Jonathan L. Young, Sr. (Berlin Township, November 2015; serving the unexpired term of Scot McCray ending in 2017)
Camden County's constitutional officers, all elected directly by voters, are County clerk Joseph Ripa,Sheriff Charles H. Billingham, and Surrogate Patricia Egan Jones. The Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo was appointed by the Governor of New Jersey with the advice and consent of the New Jersey Senate (the upper house of the New Jersey Legislature).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 9,825 registered voters in Collingswood, of which 4,269 (43.5%) were registered as Democrats, 1,345 (13.7%) were registered as Republicans and 4,193 (42.7%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 18 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2016 presidential election Democrat Hillary Clinton received 74.9% of the vote (5,255 votes), ahead of Republican Donald Trump, who received 24.9% of the vote (1,752 votes), with other candidates receiving 6.5% of the vote (457 votes). 7,519 total votes were cast among the district's 10,535 registered voters in the 2016 election, yielding a 71.4% turnout.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 70.8% of the vote (4,927 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 27.2% (1,892 votes), and other candidates with 2.0% (139 votes), among the 7,006 ballots cast by the borough's 10,585 registered voters (48 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 66.2%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 69.4% of the vote (5,192 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain, who received around 27.3% (2,038 votes), with 7,478 ballots cast among the borough's 10,305 registered voters, for a turnout of 72.6%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 63.6% of the vote (4,629 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush, who received around 33.9% (2,467 votes), with 7,277 ballots cast among the borough's 9,527 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 76.4.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Democrat Barbara Buono received 48.8% of the vote (1,822 cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 48.7% (1,819 votes), and other candidates with 2.5% (95 votes), among the 3,809 ballots cast by the borough's 10,702 registered voters (73 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 35.6%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 56.6% of the vote (2,482 ballots cast), ahead of both Republican Chris Christie with 33.8% (1,483 votes) and Independent Chris Daggett with 6.5% (285 votes), with 4,382 ballots cast among the borough's 9,831 registered voters, yielding a 44.6% turnout.
The Collingswood Public Schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2014-15 school year, the district and its seven schools had an enrollment of 1,674 students and 175.7 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 9.5:1. Schools in the district (with 2014-15 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are James A. Garfield Elementary School (grades K-5; 130 students), Mark Newbie Elementary School (K-5; 126), Thomas Sharp Elementary School (PreK-5; 165), William P. Tatem Elementary School (K-5; 225), Zane North Elementary School (PreK-5; 172), Collingswood Middle School for grades 6-8 (340) and Collingswood High School for grades 9-12 (718).
Students in ninth through twelfth grades from Woodlynne attend Collingswood High School as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Woodlynne School District. Students in grades 10-12 from Oaklyn attend the high school as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Oaklyn Public School District.
Good Shepherd Regional Catholic School is an elementary school that operates under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden.
As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 41.33 miles (66.51 km) of roadways, of which 31.06 miles (49.99 km) were maintained by the municipality, 8.29 miles (13.34 km) by Camden County and 1.98 miles (3.19 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
The Collingswood PATCO Speedline Park and Ride station links the town to Camden and Philadelphia by elevated rail.
Collingswood is also served by NJ Transit local routes 403, 450, and 451 to Camden.
The Retrospect, a weekly newspaper with an online component covering local news in Collingswood and surrounding communities, is headquartered on Haddon Avenue. In addition, Patch Media has a Collingswood hyperlocal website. Collingswood is in the Philadelphia media market.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Collingswood include:
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