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Discover Teaneck: A Short History
By Lorraine Moller
What is Discover Teaneck?
A free bus tour of historic homes...free champagne on Cedar Lane...a square dance at Votee Park?
According to Housing Center Executive Director Rori Kanter, "Discover Teaneck is a celebration of community, an opportunity for residents and visitors alike to experience the extraordinary vitality and richness of Teaneck Life," Ms. Kanter also explained that Discover Teaneck "provides the opportunity for many component parts of the community to work together, hand in hand."
What is Discover Teaneck? Technically speaking, it is a marriage of many elements - corporate, retail, institutional, educational, and municipal, all working together to make this town a more livable community,
The history Discover Teaneck began in May 1980, as a quiet, but successful one-day event featuring a home and community bus tour sponsored by The Teaneck Housing Center. In an attempt to represent :the total community, the tour highlighted the Teaneck Library, the historic Bahai Center, the Thurnauer historic house, the Teaneck Greenhouse and Garden Club, and Congregation Beth Am. Purpose of the tour was to display the vitality and diversity of a" model community, and to offer information on the history of some of the town's best known landmarks. The tour was geared not only to town residents, but to potential home owners, to realtors and to local business in an effort to strengthen community pride and promote the town to outsiders.
The goal for the following year was a more ambitious one for the non-profit federally funded agency - to invite businesses, the public school system and local service organizations to participate in a town-wide project.
Discover Teaneck '81, whose theme was "People and Places," included three major events: the free bus tour sponsored by Teaneck Housing Center, an International Fair sponsored by Teaneck Public Schools, and a Folk Festival, co-sponsored by "the Committee for Delightful Occasions and the Township Advisory Board on the Arts. That year, the housing center tour took in the ultra modern emergency facility at Holy Name, the future site of Glenpointe, and a number of community homes, as well as Teaneck High School, site of the International Fair and Folk' Festival - featuring music, dancing, art and international foods. The day-long display of creative energy, student energy and volunteer energy received rave reviews from participants, the press and from visitors to the town.
Last year, Discover Teaneck '82 was p1anned around the theme of "Decorator Homes."
The day had three major components - a bus tour, art showcase, and Elizabeth Street Fair, attracting 50 merchants, craftspeople and service organizations, 800 bus tour guests and 2,000 additional participants. The tour featured three homes in different price ranges and two dazzling Glenpointe condominiums, all professionally decorated. As a direct result of the event, the Teaneck Housing Center expanded its staff to include volunteers and established a closer relationship with the Town Council, the business community and with Teaneck Public Schools.
According to the housing center, several retail businesses reported an increase of up to 50 percent in new business in the two days that followed the event. More out-of-town tourists were attracted than ever before, and real estate offices reported that they had inquiries as an immediate reaction to the day.
Funding for Discover Teaneck in the past was received from the Teaneck Chamber of Commerce, the Township of Teaneck, Glenpointe Associates, Holy Tame Hospital, and many other local businesses and organizations.
Teaneck Public Library
840 Teaneck Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666
Tel.: (201) 837-4171, Fax: (201) 837-0410