Whitney Houston exhibit unveiled at Garden State Parkway service area

whitney houston garden State Parkway

The Whitney Houston display at the Garden State Parkway’s Whitney Houston Service Area.

In a Dec. 14 ceremony attended by Whitney Houston’s brother Gary and her sister-in-law Pat, an exhibit honoring her was unveiled at the Whitney Houston Service Area (formerly known as the Vauxhall Service Area) at mile 142 of the Garden State Parkway North, in Union.

Other attendees included New Jersey state senators Joseph P. Cryan and Patrick J. Diegnan, and Newark municipal council member The Rev. Louise Scott-Rountree.

In addition to a large photo of Houston and an interactive video monitor, the display contains a platinum album honoring Houston’s hit, “I Will Always Love You.”

At the unveiling ceremony, Pat Houston, who was Whitney’s manager and now is president of Whitney Houston Enterprises, gave a speech in which she quoted the song “Home” from the musical “The Wiz.” Whitney sang that song on her first television appearance, on “The Merv Griffin Show,” in 1983.

Among the lines Pat Houston recited was, “When I think of home, I think of a place where’s there’s love overflowing.”

“And that’s what’s going on here today,” she added. “Love is definitely overflowing. … this means so much to the estate of Whitney Houston; to the family; to the city of Newark, where she was born. This is amazing.”

The exhibit is part of the New Jersey Hall of Fame’s ongoing program to honor its inductees by renaming Garden State Parkway service areas after them, and building displays about them.

The following Garden State Parkway service areas (for both northbound and southbound travelers, unless noted) have been named after New Jersey Hall of Fame members:

Mile 18.3: Toni Morrison
Mile 41.4: Frank Sinatra
Mile 76: Celia Cruz
Mile 100.4: Judy Blume
Mile 124: Jon Bon Jovi
Mile 142 (northbound): Whitney Houston
Mile 153 (northbound): Larry Doby
Mile 153.3 (southbound): Connie Chung
Mile 171: James Gandolfini

New Jersey Turnpike service areas are also named after famous New Jerseyans:

Mile 5.4 (southbound): Clara Barton
Mile 5.4 (northbound): John Fenwick
Mile 30.2 (southbound): Walt Whitman
Mile 39.4 (northbound): James Fenimore Cooper
Mile 58.7 (southbound): Richard Stockton
Mile 58.7 (northbound): Woodrow Wilson
Mile 71.7 (southbound): Molly Pitcher
Mile 78.7 (northbound): Joyce Kilmer
Mile 92.9 (northbound): Grover Cleveland
Mile 92.9 (southbound): Thomas Edison
Mile 111.6 (southbound, Eastern spur only): Alexander Hamilton
Mile 116: (northbound and southbound): Vince Lombardi

The New Jersey Hall of Fame will open an entertainment and learning center at the American Dream mall in East Rutherford at some point in the spring of 2024. For information and updates, visit njhalloffame.org.


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