Bloomfield was incorporated as a township in 1812. Several municipalities formed out of Bloomfield in the 19th century including Belleville (1839), Montclair (1868), Woodside Township (1869), and Glen Ridge (1895).
General Electric opened a facility in 1915, but relocated in 1959. The facility was then turned into 361 housing units in 2013.
In 1920 a Westinghouse Lamp Plant was on Arlington Avenue near Watsessing Station. The Lamp Plant played an important role in the war effort because they found a practical process for producing pure uranium metal. That building was decommissioned in 1988 and carefully demolished between 1993 – 2004. Despite the careful nature of the demolition, the area site is considered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection as a brownfield site with continuing remediation.
Following the war and the reduction of jobs in the industrial sector led to stagnant growth that has kept the population largely stable (between 45,000 and 52,000) since 1950.
In 2003 Bloomfield was designated a transit village by the state and has been aggressive in the redevelopment of its downtown area. The centerpiece of this redevelopment is Glenwood Village, which was conceived with 50,000 square feet of retail space, 10,000 square feet of restaurant space and 224 apartment units.
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