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Quality of Life

Plainfield offers a terrific lifestyle for young professionals, families, seniors, and those visiting our great city. The City of Plainfield boasts dozens of diverse neighborhoods offering quiet, residential, tree-lined streets, a taste of city living and everything in between. There are ten historic districts, the only municipality along the Raritan Valley Line with two operating train stations, an award–winning public library, prestigious Plainfield Symphony concerts, many recreation activities, and a diverse and vibrant downtown. There is always something to do in Plainfield!

A Safe Community

Plainfield is ranked the second-largest municipality in Union County. Thanks to the hard work of our Police Department and other emergency service personnel, crime in Plainfield has dropped more than 50% in 2018. The Mapp administration is dedicated to the well-being of all residents and works diligently to communicate and collaborate with the community through public forums, National Night Out events, and youth summits.

Heritage and History

The City of Plainfield has ten historic districts with a housing stock second to none!  The majestic Victorian architectural inventory surpasses some of New Jersey’s historic seaside towns.  As you stroll down West 8th Street (formerly known as Millionaire's row) and Stelle Avenue, you can admire the architectural heritage of a bygone era. The winding roads of Berkeley Avenue and Sleepy Hollow Lane are laced with beautiful homes.  Through its exceptional historic preservation efforts, Plainfield’s notable architecture will be on display for many generations to come.

Notable, active historic districts include Van Wyck Brooks, Crescent, Hillside, and Netherwood Heights. Each district offers picturesque walking tours, amazing house tours, and, most importantly – a sense of community. Historic sites of interest, listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places, include the Drake House Museum, a Quaker Meeting House, Plainfield Post Office, and two historic train stations. Plainfield’s historic link to its colonial past can be traced back to the Drake House. Built-in 1746, it served as temporary headquarters for President George Washington, who used it to consult with his officers during the Battle of Short Hills.

Plainfield also celebrates the achievements of its many historic and contemporary figures. In sports history, Plainfield is the birthplace of legendary athletes Milt Campbell, the 1956 Olympic Decathlon gold medalist and first African American to earn this title; and Joe Black, the first African American pitcher to win a World Series game. 

In music history, Plainfield is the birthplace of P-Funk George Clinton, who founded The Parliaments while working in a barbershop in Plainfield. Parliament-Funkadelic was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

More recently, homegrown filmmaker Alrick Brown made history with his Sundance entry, Kinyarwanda, which chronicles the Rwanda genocide.

Arts and Culture

Arts and culture thrive in Plainfield.  The city is very diverse and its art and cultural offerings are many.  The Plainfield Symphony Orchestra offers outstanding concerts every year. Founded in 1919, it is the oldest community symphony in New Jersey and one of the oldest in the country.
Visual arts exhibits and classes are offered at the duCret School of Art, founded in 1926 by artist and teacher, Marjorie Van Emburgh.
If horticulture pursuits are your thing, you will want to visit the Shakespeare Garden, located in Cedarbrook Park. It is listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Established in 1915 by the Plainfield Garden Club, Shakespeare Garden celebrates over 100 years.

The Plainfield Chapter of Frontiers International sponsors educational and enriching lectures, including the Westry Horne Cultural Series, which focuses on intergenerational dialogues on African American history and culture.

The Swain Gallery, near downtown Plainfield, has an amazing collection of original artwork by accomplished local and other New Jersey artists.  The gallery frequently serves as the host site for art exhibits and special events.

The entrepreneurial spirit of the Hispanic community is thriving in the downtown business district.  There are many good eateries to choose from that feature Central and South American cuisine.  The Plainfield Advisory Commission on Hispanic Affairs Commission (PACHA) holds monthly meetings and events showcasing the different countries and cultures that make up our diverse city. 

Active Lifestyle

The City of Plainfield offers many recreational activities for youth and active seniors. Activities include tennis, swimming, camping, yoga, Zumba, fishing, and a state-of-the-art senior center. Programs emphasize a healthy lifestyle, physical well-being, personal development, inclusion of different cultural and economic communities, and most of all – FUN!