Princeton New Jersey.

The Nations Capital in 1783.

Scultures galore!

Nassau Hall

Home to the Nations Government

Princeton is part of the short list of towns that were home to the nations Government, because in 1783, Congress decided to move from Philadelphia to Princeton for about 6 months.  This was because apparently there were many disgruntled Continental Army soldiers who had not been paid!  Thus Congress elected to get out of town for a while until things were sorted. It all took place in Nassau Hall then newly built.

 

Preparation:  3 Tips

  • check Princeton Historical Society for its Guided Walks on offer
  • check with the University for what concerts might be on for when you are visiting – many are free
  • plan to allow a good part of a day; make sure you have a detailed map (your phone won’t have all the detail). Plan to recover at one of the many cafes on or off Nassu Street or visit the Yankee Doodle Tap Room!

 

University Town

Princeton is a town with lots of interest and history to work at uncovering.  To me university buildings, which of course dominates,  is somewhat ungainly and only variously elegant.  The US obsession with colleges seems to mean that buildings are given by wealthy donors, of course to their demands, for the most part and thus one ends up with a lot of wonderful buildings, new, old, hugely different styles – all living alongside each other.  Leading to an odd patchwork.
That said the importance of this town and University, of Prysberterian
origins, and the many folk who made their name here is very intense.  We explored it on one of the various guided walks you can join (every Sunday there is a walk, starting from Bainbridge House on Nassu Street, we had an incredibly knowledgeable Guide, at 2pm for a mere $7!). Ours lasted 3hours and really whetted the appetite to join some of the other subject specific ones.  One I plan to do is about the increasingly controversial former President Woodrow Wilson who was the President of the University , prior to becoming the New Jersey State Governor and then President for 2 terms; although one is unsure about his real control for much of the 2nd term given his medical condition.

University History

Check out the Princeton Historical Society for its Walking Tours, events and the Museum just out of town.  On the campus itself set off the main Nassau St is Nassau Hall (so named after some of its Dutch heritge) and behind it are the many University Buildings.  A couple worth specific mention are the Princeton University Art Museum , which has ancient Greek and Egyptian exhibits and goes right through to Andy Warhol.  Princeton Unversity Chapel is also tremendous and has guided tours and hosts a variety of concerts, mostly free it seems, which are worth investigating.  Look out for the many scultures – there are 24.  Some even seem to fit in to their surrounds!
The Unversity will detain you for quite a while for sure, but should you make it out of the grounds you might walk to the house Albert Eienstein iived in for 25 years and where he hosted some of the many Jews leaving Germany in the 1930’s.   Elsewhere you can spend time on the Deleware & Canal Park.
The Tap Room – you have earned it if you have done a full exploration of Princeton – in the Nassau Hotel!

Einsteins house!

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