The tree on the Eagle Rock Cliff by the Highlawn Pavilion

Jane Neill-Hancock

Wayne, United States

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Artist's Description

This Pavilion is at the Eagle Rock Lookout in Eagle Rock Reservation. When I was a child the pavilion was all open and just a lookout spot. it is now a very fancy restaurant.

Eagle Rock Reservation is 408 acres of hills, streams, and valleys located on the borders of West Orange, Verona, and Montclair, New Jersey. Though located in the middle of the most densely populated county in the most densely populated state in the country, the Reservation is mostly undeveloped and boasts an extensive trail system within its borders.

Eagle Rock Reservation was designed in the late 1800’s by, among others, the Olmsted Brothers, the same firm that designed Central Park in Manhattan and Branch Brook Park in Newark. Besides rustic beauty, the Reservation enjoys an unrivaled view of the New York City skyline from the Essex County 911 Memorial. From here you can view the George Washington Bridge to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.

Eagle Rock Reservation is a 408.33-acre tract of wooded land located in the central section of Essex County on the crest of Watchung’s First Mountain. The mountain got its name in the early 19th century, when bald eagles were said to nest in the rocky cliffs on the eastern edge. The reservation is primarily undeveloped, and is laced with bridle paths and hiking trails. Lookout Point provides visitors with a spectacular view of the New York skyline.

The first purchase of land took place in 1895, and the entire tract was finally assembled in 1907. Frederick Law Olmsted created a preliminary design for the reservation which was further developed by the Olmsted Firm in the early 1900’s.

A historic structure that sat on the crest is the old casino built in 1911. This was an open masonry shelter with a series of arches. It has since been transformed into the Highlawn Pavilion restaurant. This saved the structure, which had been subject to vandalism and slated for demolition. (The term “casino” refers to an Italian style county dwelling or summer house.)

Dedicated to Eagle Rock and those who love it.

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