Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park

Paterson's Great Falls now the newest national park

November 18, 2011, 7:53 am

The federal government established the Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park on Monday, ending a decades-long crusade carried by proud residents and officials to raise the city’s profile as the American birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, who presides over the National Park Service, created the landmark with a stroke of a pen, signing an agreement with the city to assume control of the falls and the land around it to create the 397th addition to the park system.

It’ll take years before the park takes shape. The end of the fight to create the park marks the beginning of a two-year process that will shape what the park will look like. Salazar, with a roaring falls framed in autumnal colors as his backdrop, said the park’s success will depend on how strongly city residents become involved in its formation.