Red Bank was originally formed as a Town on March 17, 1870, from portions of Shrewsbury Township. On February 14, 1879, Red Bank became Shrewsbury City, a portion of Shrewsbury Township, but this only lasted until May 15, 1879, when Red Bank regained its independence. On March 10, 1908, Red Bank was formed as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature and was set off from Shrewsbury Township.
Red Bank is located at (40.347492, -74.067081).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.6 km²), of which, 1.8 square miles (4.6 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km²) of it (17.13%) is water.
Red Bank is located on the southern bank of the Navesink River, in northern Monmouth County, New Jersey. It is about 24 miles due south of the tip of Manhattan and about 25 nautical miles (29 miles) to the tip of Manhattan if traveling by water along the Navesink River and through the Raritan Bay. Red Bank is bordered by Middletown Township and the Boroughs of Tinton Falls, Fair Haven, Shrewsbury, and Little Silver.
There were 5,201 households out of which 18.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.2% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.9% were non-families. 42.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the borough the population was spread out with 17.5% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 35.2% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 18.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.9 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $47,282, and the median income for a family was $63,333. Males had a median income of $45,922 versus $34,231 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $26,265. About 6.3% of families and 12.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.
As of 2008, the mayor and council members are:
For grades nine through twelve, public school students attend Red Bank Regional High School, which also serves students from the boroughs of Little Silver, Red Bank, Shrewsbury, Union Beach and Interlaken.
Red Bank Charter School is a public school that accepts students and receives its funding from property taxes of the town, like a typical public school. It does not charge tuition and operates independently of the public school system, with a separate school board. Students are selected to enroll in the charter school based on an annual lottery, which is open to all Red Bank residents of school age.
Other schools in Red Bank include Red Bank Catholic High School, and St. James Elementary School which are Catholic schools affiliated with Saint James parish. Some students from Red Bank attend private and county sponsored schools in the area.
Red Bank is two miles (3 km) east of Interchange 109 of the Garden State Parkway.
During the 20th century, Red Bank was a strong cultural, economic, and political center in Monmouth County, New Jersey, until it was hindered by the economic recession that began in 1987. During this time, Red Bank's economy, based largely on retail commerce, was in decline, due to a real estate scandal, leading local pundits and urban planners to refer to the town as "Dead Bank." Beginning in approximately 1991, under the New Jersey Development and Redevelopment Law, the town authorized the creation of an organization to manage redevelopment in what was designated a Special Improvement District. This organization is known as the Red Bank RiverCenter RiverCenter retains authority over the management and redevelopment of an agreed-upon "downtown business district."
The downtown district includes Broad Street from the post office to Marine Park and from Maple Avenue to one block east of Broad Street. The district that was originally proposed was much larger. It originally included the commercial areas west of Maple Avenue, including the antique buildings, The Galleria, and Shrewsbury Avenue. However, some property owners in this area were opposed to the idea because they did not want to pay the assessment. Plans for the larger district advanced but opposition became more rigorous. Therefore the proposed district was amended to exclude those who were opposed, and the district that was adopted stops at Maple Avenue.
Red Bank is a noted social and commercial destination, filled with boutiques, designer clothing and home stores, parks, and restaurants. Many events such as the Kaboom fireworks on July, 3rd occur throughout the summer.
There is an annual fireworks display (called " KaBoom! Fireworks on the Navesink") held on July 3 that is popular with those residing in the Metropolitan New York Area. Each summer, Red Bank hosts the Red Bank Jazz and Blues Festival in partnership with the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Society. "First Night", a New Year's Eve arts and entertainment festival, is a Red Bank event designed to provide an alternative to alcohol-related events.
Boating, sculling, sailing, and fishing are popular outdoor activities in Red Bank; in the winter, ice boats sail on the frozen Navesink. The Monmouth Boat Club, Marine Park, and the slips of the Molly Pitcher Inn provide access to the Navesink and, from there, the Atlantic Ocean.
Smith's production company, View Askew Productions, occupies a building on Broad Street in Red Bank. In addition, Smith opened a comic shop/novelty store, "Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash," located at 35 Broad Street, directly across the street from Jack's Music Shoppe, which was a location in Chasing Amy. A scene in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, was filmed in the store, but for the film, the sign was temporarily removed and replaced with a sign that read "Brodie's Secret Stash", due to the fact that the character Brodie owned the store in the movie. That sign now hangs inside the store on display, along with other View Askew paraphernalia, including the "Buddy Christ". Regular actors from his film series work and/or make appearances in the store, as many of his fans travel from all across the country to frequent it and buy film-related merchandise.
Smith and View Askew host the annual Vulgarthon film marathon in various theaters around Red Bank.
Smith's 1999 film Dogma had scenes set in Red Bank that were filmed in other locations.
Kevin Smith has been known to appear, alongside other actors, inside his comic store. On announced dates, crowds of fans have been known to line the streets of Red Bank for blocks, hoping to meet Smith.
Long Branch, another nearby town, is also known for its artistic vibe, and the three cities are collectively referred to as the "New Jersey Tricity." There is a local publication aiming at the artistic scene called Tricity News, as well as several other local music publications including the popular Upstage magazine, which is published out of Asbury Park.
The popular Adult Swim cartoon Aqua Teen Hunger Force shown on the Cartoon Network makes reference to an address at "612 Wharf Avenue" in the episode "MC P. Pants". The address is an actual one, located in Red Bank. This stands to reason since the show is set in an unnamed locale on the New Jersey shore.
An early skit on the classic PBS children's series The Electric Company featured a game show whose winner would be "whisked to beautiful Red Bank, New Jersey" as a prize (illustrated with a still photograph).
The George Sheehan Classic began in 1981 as the Asbury Park 10K Classic and quickly became one of the major road running events on the national calendar. The race moved to Red Bank in 1994 and was renamed to honor the memory of Dr. George A. Sheehan, the prominent author, philosopher and area physician. “The Doc” has been called the “father of the running boom” in the United States. The Classic was named one of the Top 100 Road Races by Runner's World magazine, and the Best Memorial Race in New Jersey by The New York Times. Nearly 2,500 athletes participated in the 2006 Sheehan Classic.
Red Bank is home to Riverview Hospital, incorporated in 1928, began in a renovated boarding house on Union Street, with 29 beds, one operating room, a delivery suite, and facilities for six newborns. Today, Riverview is a 446-bed acute care hospital serving the northern region of Monmouth County.
In the essay Memoirs of a Drudge (The New Yorker, October 3rd, 1942), Humorist James Thurber recalls being sent to Red Bank by his newspaper's city editor on a tip that "Violets (are) growing in the snow over in Red Bank". Putting in a telephone call to that town's Chief of Police in advance, Thurber is told by a desk sergeant, "Ain't no violence over here", and nothing more.
During the 1990s, news media figure Geraldo Rivera was involved in developing a newspaper for the Red Bank area, The Two River Times. This newspaper and various others serve the Red Bank area.
Notable current and former residents of Red bank include: