Jewels of Newark: NJIT’s Eberhardt Hall
Have you ever felt a chill down you back at Eberhardt Hall? Heard the patter of tiny feet, a faint laughing in the background, then turned around to be greeted by nothing, the noises ceased?
Most students have never been in NJIT’s Eberhardt hall. With the exception of a few small events throughout the year, the alumni building is usually isolated from everyday campus on goings. Despite its inactivity in student life, Eberhardt hall has a beautiful appearance, and an even more interesting history.
Known to most students as the large red building in front of campus, and on almost every NJIT flyer, Eberhart hall is over 150 years old. Built in 1857, this building used to be known as the “Newark Orphan Asylum.” Born from a group of concerned women, whose names have disappeared with time, the Newark Orphan Asylum was run by a small and presumably overworked team of nuns. The gothic building would commonly be occupied by up to 100 kids at a time, stuffed into their rooms and taught, fed, and generally kept inside all day. At 12 years of age, the child would be released from the asylum to independently make their way in the world.
The Newark Orphan Asylum closed its doors in 1947, and was promptly bought out by NJIT. Over the course of NJIT’s ownership, the building was renovated extensively, the walls that had seen over 100 years of history were covered by the lime green wallpaper of modern day Eberhardt Hall, the gas lamps that were once a breakthrough in technology were replaced by new electric fixtures, and everything but the stairway was switched out for its modern counterpart.
Eberhardt Hall is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.