Princeton Real Estate Listings and Information

Princeton

Princeton NJ  


Princeton, New Jersey can refer to--
-  Borough of Princeton, New Jersey
-  Princeton Township, New Jersey (surrounding the Borough of Princeton)
-  Princeton, New Jersey (about both the Borough and the Township)

Other similar named places in New Jersey
-  Princeton Junction, New Jersey
-  Princeton Meadows, New Jersey
-  Princeton North, New Jersey

The Borough of Princeton is a borough and is one of the two municipalities making up Princeton, New Jersey.  It lies in Mercer County, New Jersey, and is completely surrounded by Princeton Township, from which it was formed in 1894. As of the United States 2010 Census, the borough had a population of 12,307, and the borough has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.8 km²), all of it land.  The Borough contains Nassau Street, the main commercial street, most of the University campus, and incorporated most of the urban area until the postwar suburbanization.

Princeton Township is a township in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States. As of the United States 2010 Census, the township population was 16,265, and the township has a total area of 16.6 square miles (43.0 km²), of which, 16.4 square miles (42.4 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km²) of it (1.38%) is water.

Although residents of Princeton (Princetonians) traditionally have a strong community-wide identity, the community is composed of two separate municipalities: a township and a borough.  The Borough seceded from the Township in 1894 in a dispute over school taxes; the two municipalities later formed the Princeton Regional Schools, and some other public services are conducted together.  There have been three referenda proposing to reunite the two Princetons, but they have all been narrowly defeated. 

United States Postal Zip Codes for Princeton include 08542 (largely the Borough), 08544 (the University), and 08540.  The latter covers areas outside Princeton proper, including portions of Lawrence, Hopewell, and West Windsor Townships in Mercer County, Montgomery and Franklin Townships in Somerset County, and Plainsboro and South Brunswick Townships in Middlesex County.

Offering a stimulating atmosphere and university town energy, Princeton Borough creates a distinctive small-town lifestyle.  Encircling the borough, Princeton Township provides a more suburban atmosphere with immediate access to the borough's amenities.

Princeton University is a dominant feature of the community. Its main campus has its historic center on Nassau Street in the borough and stretches south into the township.  Its James Forrestal satellite campus is located in Plainsboro Township, and some playing fields (and half of the University's Lake Carnegie) lie within adjacent West Windsor Township.

Mercer County Community College in West Windsor is the nearest public college to serve Princeton residents.

Westminster Choir College, part of Rider University, splits its campus between the Township and the Borough.  The remainder of Rider University is located in Lawrence Township.

Princeton Theological Seminary's academic campus is located in the Borough, and residential housing is located just outside the Township in West Windsor Township.

The Institute for Advanced Study is in the Township and maintains extensive land holdings (the "Institute Woods") in the Township.  The Institute is a private research institution that has been an academic home to Albert Einstein, Kurt Gödel, and many other famous and prize-winning scientists. 

The six public schools of the Princeton Regional Schools district serve both the borough and the township, including four elementary schools (Community Park, Johnson Park, Littlebrook and Riverside), one middle school (John Witherspoon Middle School), and one high school: (Princeton High School). The high school is located in the borough; the other schools are in the township. The high school also serves students from Cranbury Township as part of a sending/receiving relationship.

In the early 1990s, redistricting occurred between the Community Park and Johnson Park School districts, as the population within both districts had increased due to residential development. Concerns were also raised about the largely white, wealthy student population attending Johnson Park (JP) and the more racially and economically diverse population at Community Park (CP). As a result of the redistricting, portions of the affluent Western Section neighborhood were redistricted to CP, and portions of the racially and economically diverse John Witherspoon Neighborhood were redistricted to JP.

The Princeton Charter School (grades K-8) is located in the township. The school operates under a charter granted by the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education. The school is a public school that operates independently of the Princeton Regional Schools, and is funded on a per student basis by locally-raised tax revenues.

New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Princeton High School as the 6th best high school in New Jersey in its 2008 rankings of the "Top Public High Schools" in New Jersey.

Several private schools are located in the Township: American Boychoir School, Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart, Princeton Day School, Princeton Friends School, and Hun School of Princeton.

St. Paul School (K-8) and The Lewis School and Diagnostic Clinic are located in the Borough.

Schools that are outside the Township and Borough but have Princeton mailing addresses include Chapin School and Princeton Junior School in Lawrence Township, the Waldorf School of Princeton and Princeton Montessori School in Montgomery Township, and Eden Institute in West Windsor Township.

The Princeton Public Library, located in the borough, serves the borough and the township. The current facility was opened in April 2004 as part of the on-going downtown redevelopment project and replaced a building dating from 1966. The library itself was founded in 1909.

The area's strong research base fueled a business explosion in the last two decades of the 20th century.  Princeton University’s Neogothic structures, lovely tree-lined streets, historic monuments, and ornate homes create an enchanting setting.  The university influence enriches the community and sets exceptionally high educational standards.  Recreational amenities include active YMCA and YWCA, athletic fields, tennis courts, swimming pools, an ice-skating rink, and lush parks with trails.  Also nearby are forested wildlife reservations, Historic Princeton Battlefield State Park, golfing, and Carnegie Lake for sailing and crew. 

Princeton University has been in the community since 1756.  Although Princeton is a "college town", there are other important institutions in the area, including the Institute for Advanced Study, Educational Testing Service (ETS), Opinion Research Corporation, Siemens Corporate Research, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sarnoff Corporation, FMC Corporation, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Amrep, Church and Dwight, Berlitz International, and Dow Jones & Company.

The community is roughly equidistant from New York and Philadelphia.  Princeton has been connected to New York and Philadephia (via Princeton Junction) since the nineteenth century.  The community is close to many major highways that can take residents to both cities.  While the Amtrak ride time is similar to each city, the commuter train ride to New York — via New Jersey Transit's Northeast Corridor Line — is generally much shorter than the equivalent train ride to Philadelphia, which involves a transfer to SEPTA trains in Trenton.

New Jersey Transit operates the "Dinky", a small train that connects Princeton to the Princeton Junction station in West Windsor.

Princeton Township hosts U.S. Route 206 and Route 27 as its main roads. CR 583, CR 571 (commonly known as Washington Rd), and CR 533 also pass through the township.

New Jersey's capital is the city of Trenton, but the governor's official residence has been in Princeton since 1945, when Morven in the borough became the first Governor's mansion. It was later replaced by the larger Drumthwacket, a colonial mansion located in the township. Morven became a museum property of the New Jersey Historical Society.  Drumthwacket, the residence of the Governor of New Jersey, is at 344 Stockton Street in the Township.

Princeton was named #15 of the top 100 towns in the United States to Live and Work In by Money Magazine in 2005.

Princeton Parks Open Space Listing--
Park Name -- Acres -- Activities/Facilities -- Park Owner
- Autumn Hill Reservation--78.0--Walking Trails, Birding, Wildflowers, Wildlife--Municipal
- Barbara Smoyer Memorial--38.0--Ball Fields/Playfields, Fishing, Ice Skating, Picnic Areas, Playgrounds, Restrooms, Walking Trails--Municipal
- Charles H. Rogers Wildlife Refuge--40.0--Birding, Wildlife--Private
- Community Park North--71.0--Amphitheater, Fishing, Ice Skating, Picnic Areas, Restrooms, Walking Trails, Birding, Wildflowers, Wildlife--Municipal
- Community Park South--27.0--Ballfields/Playfields, Basketball Courts, Bocce Courts, Swimming Pool, Picnic Area, Playground, Restrooms, Tennis and Platform Tennis Courts--Municipal
- D&R Canal (in Princeton)--11.0--Boat Launch/Rental, Fishing, Historic Structures, Geophysical Structures, Walking Trails, Birding, Wildflowers, Wildlife--State
- Grover Park--7.4--Ballfields/Playfields, Basketball Courts, Picnic Areas, Playground, Restrooms--Municipal
- Harrison Street Park--3.5--Ballfields/Playfields, Basketball Courts, Swimming Pool, Picnic Areas, Playground--Municipal
- Herrontown Woods--142.0--Arboretum, Walking Trails, Birding, Wildflowers, Wildlife--County
- Hilltop Park--11.8--Ballfields/Playfields, Playground, Restrooms--Municipality
- Institute Woods--300.0--Arboretum, Fishing, Picnic Areas, Walking Trails, Birding, Wildflowers, Wildlife--Private
- Marquand Park--17.0--Arboretum, Ballfields/Playfields, Picnic Areas, Playground, Walking Trails, Birding, Wildlife--Municipal
- Mary Moss Park--0.5--Swimming Pool, Picnic Areas, Playground--Municipal
- Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve--75.0--Fishing, Geophysical Structures, Picnic Areas, Walking Trails, Birding, Wildflowers, Wildlife--Municipal
- Potts Park--1.5--Ballfields/Playfields, Playground, Picnic Areas, Playground--Municipal
- Princeton Battleground Park--85.0--Arboretum, Ballfields/Playfields, Historic Structures, Picnic Areas, Restrooms, Walking Trails, Birding, Wildlife--State
- Quarry Park--4.2--Ballfields/Playfields, Picnic Areas--Municipal
- Sigmund Park--.05--Picnic Areas, Playground--Municipal
- Turning Basin Park--9.8--Ballfields/Playfields, Boat Launch/Rental, Fishing, Picnic Areas, Playground, Restrooms, Walking Trails, Birding, Wildflowers, Wildlife--Municipal
- Van-Dyke-Wight Woods--34.0--Walking Trails, Birding, Wildlife--Municipal
- Witherspoon Woods--40.0--Geophysical Structures, Walking Trails, Birding, Wildlife--Municipal
- Woodfield Reservation--107.0--Geophysical Structures, Walking Trails, Birding, Wildflowers, Wildlife--Municipal

Some restaurants include--
- Blue Point Grill (Seafood) - 258 Nassau Street, Princeton
- Mediterra Restaurant & Bar (Mediterranean) - 29 Hulfish Street, Princeton
- Ajihei (Sushi) - 11 Chambers St., Princeton
- Peacock Inn (American-New) - 20 Bayard Ln., Princeton
- Conte's (Pizza) - 339 Witherspoon St., Princeton
- Elements (American-New) - 163 Bayard Ln., Princeton
- Ruth's Chris Steak House (Steakhouse) - 2 Village Blvd., Princeton
- Teresa's Caffe (Italian) - 23 Palmer Square East, Princeton
- Tortuga's Mexican Village (Mexican) - 44 Leigh Avenue, Princeton
- Main Street Euro-American Bistro (American-New, Gastropub) - 301 N Harrison St, Princeton
- Witherspoon Grill (Seafood, Steakhouse) - 57 Witherspoon St., Princeton
- Penang (Malaysian, Thai) - 635 Nassau Park Blvd., Princeton
- Triumph Brewing Co (Eclectic / Int'l) - 138 Nassau St # A, Princeton
- Alchemist & Barrister (American, Pub) - 28 Witherspoon Street, Princeton
- Cross Culture Ethnic Indian Cuisine (Indian) - 301 N Harrison St, Princeton
- Ferry House (French) - 32 Witherspoon Street, Princeton
- Elements Restaurant - 163 Bayard Lane, Princeton
- Hoagie Haven (Sandwiches/Subs) - 242 Nassau St, Princeton
- Iano's Pizza (Pizza) - 86 Nassau St, Princeton
- J B Winberie Restaurant & Bar (American) - 1 Palmer Sq E # 1, Princeton
- La Mezzaluna (Italian) - 25 Witherspoon Street, Princeton
- Sushi Palace (Japanese, Sushi) - 4437 Rte. 27, Princeton
- Taste of Mexico (Mexican) - 301 N Harrison St, Princeton

Points of interest include--
-  Lake Carnegie -- a manmade lake financed by 19th century steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. It is located just south of the main university campus and roughly 1 mile from Palmer Square.
-  McCarter Theatre -- Located at 91 University Place on the campus of Princeton University, this Tony-award winning theater showcases several productions before they arrive on Broadway.
-  Palmer Square -- Palmer Square is a collection of shops, restaurants, offices and residential spaces in Princeton, New Jersey. Originally built in 1936-1939 by Edgar Palmer, heir to the New Jersey Zinc fortune, the Square was created in the Colonial Revival style to complement to Princeton University, which sits across Nassau Street from the Square.
-  Princeton Cemetery -- located at 29 Greenview Avenue, it is owned by the Nassau Presbyterian Church.  John F. Hageman in his 1878 history of Princeton, New Jersey refers to the cemetery as: "The Westminster Abbey of the United States."
-  Princeton Record Exchange -- located at 20 South Tulane St., and is an independent music store founded in 1980 and maintains one of the largest selections anywhere.
-  Princeton University Art Museum -- Located in McCormick Hall, and founded in 1882, the Princeton University Art Museum is one of the finest art museums in the country. Its collection features more than 68,000 works ranging from ancient to contemporary art.
-  Princeton University Chapel -- Completed in 1928, at a cost of $2.4 million (approximately $30.8 million in 2010 dollars).  It is among the largest collegiate chapels in the world.
-  Stony Brook Meeting House and Cemetery -- Stony Brook Meeting House and Cemetery are historic Quaker sites located at the Stony Brook Settlement at the intersection of Princeton Pike/Mercer Road and Quaker Road in Princeton Township.

National Register of Historic Places listings include--
- Grover Cleveland Home, 15 Hodge Rd., Princeton
- Drumthwacket, 344 Stockton Rd., Princeton
- Albert Einstein House, 112 Mercer St., Princeton
- Joseph Henry House, Princeton University campus, Princeton
- Donald Grant Herring Estate, 52, 72 and 75 Arreton Rd., Princeton Township, Rocky Hill
- Jugtown Historic District, Nassau and Harrison Sts., Harrison St. N, and Evelyn Pl., Princeton    
- Kingston Mill Historic District, Roughly bounded by Herrontown, River, Princeton-Kingston Rds., and lots W of Princeton Twp., Princeton
- Lake Carnegie Historic District, Roughly bounded by Lake Carnegie shoreline from Conrail bridge at W end to dam W of Kingston at E end, Princeton
- Maybury Hill, 346 Snowden Lane, Princeton
- Morven, 55 Stockton St., Princeton
- Mountain Avenue Historic District, 73-143 Mountain Ave., Princeton    
- Nassau Hall, Princeton University campus, Princeton
- President's House, Nassau St., Princeton    
- Princeton Battlefield State Park, Roughly Quaker Rd. from Stockton Rd. to Stony Brook, Princeton
- Princeton Battlefield Historic District, Irregular pattern between Lytle St. and Haslet Ave. from Lovers Lane to Olden Sts., Princeton    
- Princeton Ice Company, 57 Mountain Ave., Princeton    
- Prospect, Princeton University campus, Princeton
- John Rogers House, S of Princeton on S. Post Rd., Princeton
- Tusculum, N of Princeton on Cherry Hill Rd., Princeton    
- University Cottage Club, 51 Prospect Ave., Princeton
- Witherspoon Street School for Colored Children, 35 Quarry St., Princeton

Historically, the first inhabitants of the Princeton area were the Lenni Lenape Indians. Europeans founded the settlement in the latter part of the 17th century.  The recorded history of the Princeton area began in the late 17th century when European travelers crossed the narrow "waist" of New Jersey between the Delaware and Raritan rivers along paths created by the Lenni Lenape Indians.

Portions of these paths survive in present day Nassau and Stockton Streets, Princeton-Kingston Road, Princeton-Lawrenceville Road, and Mount Lucas Road. One former path became the King's Highway and central New Jersey's main road for well over a hundred years.  The first European to find his home in the boundaries of the future town was Henry Greenland. He built his house in 1683 along with a Tavern.  It was in this drinking hole that representatives of West and East Jersey met to set boundaries for the location of the township in the State.

In 1688 the proprietors created Somerset County which included the northern portions of the Princeton area.  In the 1690's six Quaker families established a community along Stony Brook near the King's Highway (Route 206).  Originally, Princeton was known only as part of nearby Stony Brook. Mr. James Leonard was the first to refer to the town as Prince-town, when describing the location of his large estate in his diary.  When Richard Stockton, one of the founders of the township, died in 1709 he left his estate to his sons, which helped expand property and population.

In 1756 the College of New Jersey moved from Newark and erected Nassau Hall, bringing the village prominence and a strong Presbyterian influence.  The village initially clustered around the college - the Stockton family of Morven thought of themselves as living "near" the village rather than in it. 

Two of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence—Richard Stockton and John Witherspoon lived in Princeton.  The settlement was the site of the revolutionary Battle of Princeton, a victory in 1777.  Also, in 1783 the Second Continental Congress met in Princeton and brought America's new leaders to town.  The new State Legislature also met at Princeton, the first Legislature under the State Constitution of New Jersey to decide the State’s seal, Governor and organization of its government.

During the most stirring events in its history, Princeton was a wide spot in the road; the boundary between Somerset County and Middlesex County ran right through Princeton, along the high road between New York and Philadelphia, now Nassau Street.  When Mercer County was formed in 1838, part of West Windsor Township was added to the portion of Montgomery Township which was included in the new county, and made into Princeton Township; the area between the present borough line and the Delaware and Raritan Canal was added to Princeton Township in 1853. Based on the 1880 census, the population of the town was only 3,209 (not including students).  Princeton Borough became a separate municipality in 1894.

In the early nineteenth century, New Jersey boroughs had been parish bodies, chartered within existing townships.  Princeton Borough received such a charter in 1813, as part of Montgomery and West Windsor Townships; it continued to be part of Princeton Township until the Act of 1894, which required that each township form a single school district; rather than do so, Princeton Borough petitioned to be separated. (The two Princetons now form the Princeton Regional School district.) Two minor boundary changes united the then site of the Princeton Hospital and of the Princeton Regional High School inside the Borough, in 1928 and 1951 respectively.

Historians of agriculture have noted that farming in New Jersey declined more or less continuously since the 1870's, and this is true in Princeton Township as well.  As general farming continued to give way to special crops, marginal farmland was abandoned.  Although the hilly areas of the Township were never completely cleared, forests returned to many formerly cultivated areas.  Many of the old farm houses became inhabited by tenant-farming families.

After the First World War developers began to create subdivisions with a relatively limited choice of house designs.  From Forest-to-Agriculture-to-Housing in the Township While residential growth in the Borough continued at a steady pace, the Township remained agricultural and rural until the 20th century. 

For most farmers, agriculture in the Township was not profitable enough to withstand the reward promised by real estate development. In the 1920's and '30's the northwestern section of the Township along the borough line was the first part to become suburbanized.  Housing development boomed as postwar employment expanded in Princeton and nearby communities and as commuting to New York became more affordable and practical.

On January 10, 1938 Henry Ewing Hale called for a group of citizens to discuss opening a “Historical Society of Princeton.”  Later the Bainbridge House would be dedicated for this purpose.  Previously the house was used once for a meeting of Continental Congress in 1783, a general office and as the Princeton Public Library.  The House is actually property of Princeton University and is leased to the Princeton Historical Society for one dollar per year.  The house has kept its original staircase, flooring and paneled walls.  Aside from safety features like wheelchair access and electrical work, the house was merely restored to its original look.

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