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New Brunswick

New Brunswick NJ  

New Brunswick is a city and the county seat in Middlesex County, New Jersey.  The 2006 United States Census Bureau population estimate of New Brunswick was 50,172, and the city has a total area of 5.8 square miles, including 0.5 square miles covered by water.

New Brunswick is in Raritan Valley, which contains a line of cities in central NJ, bordered by Piscataway, Highland Park, and Edison across the Raritan River to the north, and also by North Brunswick to the southwest, East Brunswick to the southeast, and Franklin Township in Somerset County.  New Brunswick is approximately 40 minutes southwest of New York City and 45 minutes northeast of Philadelphia.

New Brunswick was formed by Royal Charter in 1730, within other townships in Middlesex County and Somerset County and was reformed by Royal Charter with the same boundaries in 1763, at which time it was divided into north and south wards.  New Brunswick was incorporated as a city by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature in 1784.

New Brunswick is noted for its rich ethnic heritage. At one time, one quarter of the Hungarian population in New Jersey resided in the city. Today, much of that Hungarian community continues to thrive as well as a growing Hispanic community that has developed around French Street past Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

The town’s extensive history dates back to pre-Revolutionary times.  Pick up the Historic Downtown Walking Map to visit buildings from 1730 through the turn of the 19th century. 
Most of New Brunswick's retail businesses are within a designated Urban Enterprise Zone.  In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3½% sales tax rate (versus the 7% rate charged statewide).

Home of the original and largest campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, two hospitals and the headquarters of Johnson & Johnson.  The city is known as "the Healthcare City", due to the concentration of medical facilities in Central Jersey, including Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Saint Peter's University Hospital and The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital, as well as the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.  The corporate offices or production facilities of several large pharmaceutical companies are also within city limits.

The New Brunswick Public Schools serve students in kindergarten through twelfth grade.  The district is one of 31 Abbott Districts statewide.  New Brunswick's Board of Education members are appointed by the city's mayor.

Schools in the district include elementary schools — Lincoln and Lincoln Annex, Livingston, McKinley, A. Chester Redshaw, Paul Robeson Community Theme School for the Arts and Paul Robeson Annex, Roosevelt, Lord Stirling and Woodrow Wilson — New Brunswick Middle School, as well as New Brunswick High School, New Brunswick Alternative School and New Brunswick Health Sciences Technology High School for grades 9-12.

The community is also served by the Greater Brunswick Charter School, a K-8 charter school with an enrollment of about 250 children from New Brunswick, Highland Park, Edison and other area communities.

Higher education includes--
- Rutgers University has three campuses in the city: College Avenue Campus (seat of the University), Douglass Campus, and Cook Campus, which limits extend into outer townships. Rutgers has also added several buildings downtown in the last two decades, both academic and residential.
- New Brunswick is the home to the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, a seminary of the Reformed Church in America, founded in 1784.
- Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, part of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, is located in New Brunswick and Piscataway.
- Middlesex County College has some facilities downtown, though its main campus is in Edison.

New Brunswick is served by New Jersey Transit and Amtrak trains on the Northeast Corridor Line.  New Jersey Transit provides frequent service north to Pennsylvania Station, in Midtown Manhattan, and south to Trenton, while Amtrak's Keystone Service and Northeast Regional trains service the station.  The Jersey Avenue station is also served by Northeast Corridor trains.  For other Amtrak connections, riders can take New Jersey Transit to Pennsylvania Station, Trenton, Metropark, or Newark Penn Station.

Local bus service is provided by New Jersey Transit, with Rutgers University campus busing provided by Academy Bus.

New Brunswick was at the eastern terminus of the Delaware and Raritan Canal, of which there are remnants surviving or rebuilt along the river.

The New Brunswick NJ Parking Authority (NBPA) manages New Brunswick NJ Parking facilities alongside CitiPark CitiPark who manages a downtown parking facility at 2 Albany Street.

The city encompasses the intersection of U.S. Route 1 and N.J. Route 18/CR 527, and is bisected by Route 27. Other state routes that pass through include Route 26, Route 91 and Route 171.

New Brunswick hosts less than a mile of the New Jersey Turnpike (I-95) and a few interchange ramps that lead to Exit 9 which is just outside the city in East Brunswick Township. These are non-local roads which, as a result, are built and maintained according to state or federal standards.

Other major limited access roads that are accessible include the Garden State Parkway in Woodbridge Township and I-287 in neighboring Edison, Piscataway and Franklin townships.

- Crossroads Theatre (7 Livingston Avenue) - designed by Parsons+Fernandez-Casteleiro Architects from New York. In 1999, the Crossroads Theatre won the prestigious Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Crossroads is the first African American theater to receive this honor in the 33-year history of this special award category.
- George Street Playhouse (9 Livingston Avenue) - a small, high quality and value theatre for community productions.
- State Theater (15 Livingston Avenue) - Home to the American Repertory Ballet and the Princeton Ballet School.
- Rutgers University has a number of student companies that perform everything from cabaret acts to Shakespeare and musical productions.

- Jane Vorhees Zimmerli Art Museum (71 Hamilton Street) -- The Art Museum has become quite an attraction as it continuously has new exhibitions coming in for European and American fine arts.
- Albus Cavus (3 Duke St) - is a collective of artists and educators who transform public spaces with creativity.
- Rutgers University Geology Museum (85 Somerset Street) - The museum, located in historic Geology Hall on the Old Queens Campus of Rutgers University, is open to the public and features exhibits on geology and anthropology, with an emphasis on the natural history of New Jersey.
- New Jersey Museum of Agriculture (103 College Farm Road) - The museum houses everything from a Lenni Lenape Native American wigwam (the Lenape were the region’s first farmers) to the largest observation beehive in the northeast.  Special programs focus on family fun, including dairy day with goat milking, barn tours and an ice cream sundae bar.

New Brunswick music scene has been the home to many original rock bands, including some which went on to national prominence such as The Smithereens and Bon Jovi, as well as and a center for local punk rock and underground music. Many alternative rock bands got radio airplay thanks to Rutgers University radio station WRSU.  The Court Tavern (124 Church St -- the Court Tavern has been New Brunswick NJ's longest running live music venue for over 25 years.

Rutgersfest -- Rutgersfest is the university’s annual late in the year carnival and free concert for the whole Rutgers community.  Attracting about 30,000 people on campus.  This has become quite an anticipated event, and thousands wait to hear the lineup for each years performance.  Keeping the fans waiting is part of the fun, which is why Rutgersfest holds out of the performance lineup until days before the spectacular event.
New Brunswick Community Farmers Market, located at 178 Jones Ave., is available summer and fall Thursdays 1pm-6:30pm and Saturdays 10am--3pm.

New Brunswick has a diverse restaurant market including Nouvelle American, Italian, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Peruvian, Indian, Ethiopian, Thai and Chinese cuisine.  New Brunswick is home to several 4-star restaurants and, typical of a college town, it has dozens of options for casual dining.  Most of the upscale dining is clustered in the downtown section around George St, all within easy walking distance of the train station.  Most of the college-oriented restaurants are focused on Easton Avenue, also within easy walking distance of the station.

Some restaurants include--
- Frog and the Peach (American-New) - 29 Dennis St., New Brunswick -- Top 10 Wine List Restaurants 2011 by
- Stage Left (American-New) - 5 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick ?-- Located next to the George Street Playhouse and known for one of the best wine lists in town.
- Due Mari (Italian, Seafood) - 78 Albany St., New Brunswick
- Kairo Kafe (Egyptian) - 49 Bayard St, New Brunswick
- Makeda (Ethiopian) - 338 George St., New Brunswick
- Steakhouse 85 (Steakhouse) - 85 Church St., New Brunswick
- Catherine Lombardi (Italian) - 3 Livingston Ave., 2nd fl., New Brunswick?
- Clydz (American-New) - 55 Paterson St., downstairs, New Brunswick
- Delta's (Soul Food, Southern) - 19 Dennis St., New Brunswick
- Tula Restaurant & Lounge (American-New) - 47 Easton Ave, New Brunswick
- Panico's (Italian) - 103 Church St., New Brunswick?
- Hotoke (Pan-Asian) - 350 George St., New Brunswick ?-- Diners' Choice: Best Asian Food by
- Old Man Rafferty's (American) - 106 Albany St., New Brunswick
- Old Bay (Cajun, Creole) - 61-63 Church St., New Brunswick?
- Ginger n Olive (North Indian & Mughlai) - 120 Albany Street, New Brunswick
- Stuff Yer Face (Italian) - 49 Easton Ave., New Brunswick -- the stromboli spot where chef Mario Batali first donned a professional apron.
- The Grease Trucks (a group of truck-based food vendors) - located on College Avenue, New Brunswick -- a landmark of Rutgers student life.
- Thai Noodle (Thai) - 174 Easton Avenue New Brunswick
- Hansel 'N Griddle (American-New) - 112 Church Street, New Brunswick --This colorful place is a little hole in the wall that usually has a ton of people standing outside.  Has been voted “Best Wraps” and “Fastest Delivery”.
- Cool Runnin's (Caribbean) - 25 Easton Ave, New Brunswick -- This place truly is a “hole in the wall” place with only a few seats and tables, but that is because just about everyone takes it to go.

Other points of interest include--
- The Heldrich Hotel in Downtown New Brunswick
- Albany Street Bridge across the Raritan River to Highland Park
- Delaware and Raritan Canal
- Lawrence Brook, a tributary of the Raritan River.
- Birthplace of poet Joyce Kilmer
- Kilmer Square, a retail/commercial complex on Albany Street
- Rutgers Gardens (in nearby North Brunswick)
- The Willow Grove Cemetery near downtown
- Grave of Mary Ellis (1750–1828). This grave stands out due to its location in the AMC Theatres parking lot on U.S. Route 1 downriver from downtown New Brunswick.

National Register of Historic Places listings include--
- Thomas I. Agnew House, Memorial Pkwy., New Brunswick
- James Bishop House, 115 College Ave. near Bishop St., New Brunswick -- a mansion of the Italianate style of architecture
- Buccleuch Mansion, 200 College Ave., Buccleuch Park, New Brunswick     (Built in 1739)
- Christ Episcopal Church, 5 Paterson St., New Brunswick    
- Delaware and Raritan Canal, Follows the Delaware River to Trenton, then E to New Brunswick, New Brunswick  (Built in 1830-34)
- Demarest House, 542 George St., New Brunswick  (Built in 1867)
- Dutch Reformed Church, 160 Neilson St., New Brunswick
- Henry Guest House, 58 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick  (Built in 1760)
- Levi D. Jarrard House, George St., Douglass College campus, New Brunswick
- William H. Johnson House, 52 Welton St., New Brunswick  (The house (c. 1870) is named for William H. Johnson (born 1829), the original owner who lived here until his death, February 26, 1904 with his wife Sarah and daughter Adilade.)
- King Block, 316-324 Memorial Pkwy., New Brunswick
- Livingston Avenue Historic District, Area surrounding Livingston Ave. between Half and Morris Sts., New Brunswick
- Main Post Office, 86 Bayard St., New Brunswick
- National Musical String Company, 120 Georges Rd., New Brunswick
- New Brunswick Station, French St. and Albany St., New Brunswick  (Built 1903 by Pennsylvania Railroad)
- New Jersey Hall, 73 Hamilton St., Rutgers University, New Brunswick  (Built 1889)
- Old Queen's, 83 Somerset St., Rutgers University, New Brunswick     Built 1808. Oldest building at Rutgers University, considered one of the finest examples of Federal architecture, and a great place for a casual meal..
- Poile Zedek Synagogue, 145 Neilson St., New Brunswick
- Queen's Campus, Rutgers University, Bounded by College Ave. and George, Hamilton, and Somerset Sts., New Brunswick -- Includes Van Nest Hall (1845), Daniel S. Schanck Observatory (1865), Geology Hall (1872), Kirkpatrick Chapel (1873), Winants Hall (1890).
- Rutgers Preparatory School, 101 Somerset St., New Brunswick  (Established 1766. Oldest independent school in New Jersey.)
- Saint Mary of Mount Virgin Roman Catholic Church, 190 Sandford St., New Brunswick
- Saint Peter the Apostle Church, 94 Somerset St., New Brunswick
- Wood Lawn, Clifton Ave. and George St., New Brunswick

Originally inhabited by the Lenape Native Americans, the first white settlement at the site of New Brunswick was made in 1681.  The settlement here was first called Prigmore's Swamp (1681–97), then Inian's Ferry (1691–1714).  In 1714, the young village was given the name New Brunswick after the city of Braunschweig, in state of Lower Saxony, in Germany.

Centrally located between New York City and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania along an early thoroughfare known as the King's Highway and situated along the Raritan River, New Brunswick became an important hub for Colonial travelers and traders.  New Brunswick was incorporated as a town in 1736 and chartered as a city in 1784. I t was occupied by the British in the winter of 1776-1777 during the Revolutionary War.

The Declaration of Independence (1776) received its third public reading in New Brunswick, after it was publicly read in Philadelphia following its promulgation by the Continental Congress.

The Trustees of Queen's College (now Rutgers University), founded in 1766, voted to locate the young college in New Brunswick.  Classes began in 1771 with one instructor, one sophomore, Matthew Leydt, and several freshmen at a tavern called "The Sign of the Red Lion" on the corner of Albany and Neilson Streets (now the grounds of the Johnson & Johnson corporate headquarters).  Classes were held through the American Revolution in various taverns and boarding houses, and at a building known as College Hall on George Street, until Old Queens was erected in 1808.

The New Brunswick Theological Seminary, founded in 1784, moved to New Brunswick in 1810 sharing its quarters with the fledgling Queen's College (Queens would close from 1810 to 1825 due to financial problems, and reopen in 1825 under the name Rutgers College).  The Seminary, due to overcrowding and differences over the mission of Rutgers College as a secular institution, moved to a seven acre tract of land less than one-half mile  west, which it still occupies although the land is now in the middle of Rutgers University's College Avenue campus.

New Brunswick began attracting a Hungarian immigrant population around the turn of the 20th century. Hungarians were primarily attracted to the city by employment at Johnson & Johnson factories located in the city. Hungarians settled mainly in what today is the second ward.

The immigrant population grew until the end of the early century immigration boom.  During the Cold War, the community was revitalized by the decision to house refugees from the failed 1956 Hungarian Revolution at Camp Kilmer, in nearby Edison.  Even though the Hungarian population has been largely supplanted by newer immigrants, there continues to be a Hungarian Festival in the city held on Somerset Street on the first Saturday of June each year.  Many Hungarian institutions set up by the community remain and active in the neighborhood.

Several landmarks in the city also testify to its Hungarian heritage.  There is a street and a recreation park named after Lajos Kossuth, the famous leader of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848.  The corner of Somerset Street and Plum Street is named Mindszenty Square where the first ever statue of Cardinal Joseph Mindszenty was erected.  A stone memorial to the victims of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution also stands nearby.

Since the 1960s, many of the new residents of New Brunswick have come from Latin America.  Many citizens moved from Puerto Rico in the 1970s.  In the 1980s many immigrated from the Dominican Republic, and still later from Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador, and Mexico.  There are many Latino businesses on and around French Street (N.J. Rt. 27).

New Brunswick contains a number of examples of urban renewal in the United States.  In the 1960s-1970s, the downtown area became blighted as middle class residents moved to newer suburbs surrounding the city.  Beginning in 1975, Rutgers University, Johnson & Johnson, and the local government collaborated through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to form the New Brunswick Development Company (DevCo), with the goal of revitalizing the city center and redeveloping neighborhoods.

Johnson & Johnson decided to remain in New Brunswick and built a new World Headquarters building in the area between Albany Street, Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, Route 18, and George Street, requiring many old buildings and historic roads to be removed.

The process is ongoing, Devco, the hospitals, and the city government continue redevelopment efforts.  The Gateway tower, a 16 story redevelopment project next to the train station, is expected to be completed in 2011.

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