Bird Spencer Newman
Born: Bayville, New Jersey, February 16, 1895, of English and Dutch ancestors who settled in central Jersey in late 1600's and early 1700's and were farmers and watermen.
A boyhood love of art expressed chiefly in pen and ink drawing led to his choice of architecture as a career.
In early teens when "Big Sea day" was still celebrated in the shore area, he would assist artists on the back by filling n the ocean and sky on their painting for the artists' final touch up.
He grew up in Passaic and graduated from Passaic, New Jersey, high school and started training as an architect. This was interrupted first by service with the National Guard on the Mexican border and then service as an officer with the 29th Division in France during World War I.
He received his Architectural Degree from Pratt Institute in 1920 and came to Hackensack as a draftsman. He opened his own office for the practice of architecture in Hackensack in 1925.
Retreat at New Bridge Landing by B. Spencer Newman
He soon became acquainted with others interested in painting and met regularly with them for painting sessions when artists were thought of as a "little strange".
In 1939 he was one of the organizers of the Hackensack Art club, serving as its third president. Hoe was also an active member of the Bergen County Artist's Guild, serving several times as president.
In 1958 the management of Bergen Mall asked him to serve as voluntary organizer and chairman of their annual art show to show representative work of all Bergen county painters. He did this until his death.
During all of this time he was an active architect designing many homes, churches, banks and industrial buildings and winning awards in this field.
Among his best remembered paintings are a series representing each volunteer agency of the Hackensack Community Chest and a series of historical paintings of Bergen County during the Revolution. There is a large mural in the main branch of the Garden State Bank on Main Street, Hackensack, and many paintings throughout Bergen County.
He was an active member of civic organizations, a member of the Exchange Club and the Rotary Club. He gained recognition as an after dinner speaker and humorist. He was on the Board of Directors of the YMCA and The Residence. He also expressed an early interest in a museum for Bergen County.
In 1918 while in the service in Anniston, Alabama, he married Lois Burton of Batavia, Illinois, and Passaic, New Jersey, and they had two children, Spencer B. and Albert Augustus.
The Bird Spencer Newman family lived 4 years on Main Street, several years on Euclid Avenue and until his death on Elm Avenue in Hackensack.
Waterloo Village by B. Spencer Newman
Bird Spencer Newman died in March of 1969 after several heart attacks.
Bio courtesy of Newman Family.