Top 5 Places to Discover in Princeton

We’re only days away from the beginning of Princeton University’s academic year! Isn’t it hard to believe that school is starting soon and autumn is just along the horizon?

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald

Summer may be over soon, but there are many more adventures and experiences you can look forward to! Wiebke Martens, a photographer, and Jennifer Jang, a museum education consultant, are both Princeton residents and the authors of a new book: Discovering Princeton: A Photographic Guide with Five Walking Tours.

In this post, they will share the Top 5 Places to Discover in Princeton – Nassau Hall, Palmer Square, Hind’s Plaza, Scudder Plaza, and Carl Icahn’s Laboratory! Hope you enjoy their guide below!


Welcome to Princeton! Whether you have two hours or two days to explore, there are several special spots not to be missed in this charming college town.

  1. Nassau Hall

    Take a short walk from the Nassau Inn and you will find yourself in front of this imposing stone building in the heart of Princeton University’s old campus. This is where it all began when The College of New Jersey (the University’s original name) was moved to Princeton from Newark, New Jersey in 1756. For several decades students spent nearly every waking hour here: studying, sleeping, eating, and praying. Built to a thickness of more than two feet, the walls of this building have withstood the American Revolution, riots and fires. Make sure to take a picture with the tigers and pause to appreciate the carefully-cultivated ivy–a gift from Princeton’s graduating classes!
  2. Palmer Square
    Palmer Square is Princeton’s village within a village: an array of charming stores tucked into Tudor-style buildings around a grassy green and the historic Nassau Inn. Visit one-of-a-kind boutiques or stop for an ice cream, play a game of chess or lounge on the green. Many special events enliven the square throughout the year, from activities around Pi Day in March to weekend concerts in summer and the JazzFeast in September. In December the towering Christmas Tree dazzles both young and old.
  3. Farmer’s Market on Hinds Plaza
    On Thursdays from May through November Hinds Plaza bursts into color with a weekly farmer’s market. Nearly a dozen vendors bring the freshest of goods–mushrooms, flowers, cheese, veggies, jams, pickles, and breads–right into Princeton’s heart. Live music adds to the mix, making this the perfect spot to grab lunch!
  1. Scudder Plaza

    Princeton University’s campus boasts many fine sculptures, but James FitzGerald’s Fountain of Freedom surely counts as one of the most memorable pieces. Set in a wide, shallow pool on Scudder Plaza in front of Robertson Hall the fountain becomes especially busy on hot summer days when students and local families gather to relax and cool off in the spray.
  2. Carl Icahn Laboratory
    The Gothic style is synonymous with Princeton University, but make sure to visit Icahn Laboratory to glimpse an impressive example of the newest architecture on campus. Designed by Rafael Viñoly and located at the edge of the oval Poe Field, Icahn is fronted by a huge atrium, its southwestern wall of glass shaded by a set of aluminum louvers that rotate with the movement of the sun. Have fun looking for endless reflections as you walk along the curved pathway!

Hope you enjoyed our guest stars of the post, Wiebke Martens and Jennifer Jang. If you enjoyed this brief guide of Princeton, you’ll definitely want to check out their new book, Discovering Princeton: A Photographic Guide with Five Walking Tours! These photographic guides will be useful if you are ever wondering where to explore next in Princeton. Have a great academic year!

Top 10 Ways to Celebrate
Summer in Princeton

  1. Summer Photoshoot
    There’s no better place for a photoshoot than Princeton, where every street has an aesthetic backdrop. Breathe in the fresh summer air while you walk downtown and flaunt your style!Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Summer in PrincetonFeatured Princeton Fashionista: Lana Jayne
  2. Design at Dohm Alley
    The alley between Starbucks and Landau is being creatively transformed and will soon be the go-to spot for enjoying art during a coffee break. Dohm Alley’s latest designs include a moon gate, sculptures, art and poetry from English Romantic Poets.Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Summer in Princeton
  3. Swimming Pool Park
    Summertime living is sweeter when you go swimming! Lather on sunscreen, put on your favorite swimsuit, carry that book you’ve always wanted to read and head over to the pool. Community Park Pool on Witherspoon Street offers swimming, lessons, waterslides, diving boards and a snack bar.Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Summer in Princeton
  4. Summer Outdoor Movies
    Bring your picnic basket, chair, blanket and love for movies under the stars! There will be outdoor movies begin playing at 8:30pm on the Palmer Square Green during these Friday nights:
    June 16th – The Iron Giant
    July 14th – The Parent Trap
    August 18th – MoanaTop 10 Ways to Celebrate Summer in Princeton
  5. Play & Energize
    Join JaZams Summer Block Party – Friday, June 16th
    Fun for all ages, includes games, crafts, live performances and so much more!
    JaZams Block Party Princeton, New JerseyThe Princeton Parket’s Energy Playground in front of JaZams is also a unique spot to sit down, eat ice cream, play board games and energize!

    Wow! The @princeton.parklet is really looking great! We can't wait to see the finished product of this alternative energy themed masterpiece! #palmersquare #princetonnj @jazamstoys

    Posted by Palmer Square – Princeton NJ on Wednesday, June 7, 2017

  6. Princeton Festival
    Throughout June, experience the arts – jazz, chamber music, a cappella and symphonic concerts; piano, organ, choral and dance recitals; world music, a piano competition, a conducting master class, lectures, and educational programs.Enjoy the Grammy-winning jazz sounds of the Peter Martin Trio at McCarter’s Berlind Theatre on Saturday, June 17th at 8pm.

    Jazz: See the Peter Martin Trio – June 17

    Enjoy the Grammy-winning jazz sounds of the Peter Martin Trio at McCarter's Berlind Theatre on Saturday, June 17th at 8 pm. Make it a date! Visit http://princetonfestival.org/event/2017-jazz/, stop by McCarter's Ticket Office, or call 609.258.2787 today. Specially priced student tickets are also available for this performance.

    Posted by The Princeton Festival on Saturday, April 15, 2017

  7. Carnival Fairs
    Nothing says summer celebration like carnival rides, funnel cake, live band performances, laughter and fireworks!Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Summer in PrincetonThe Freedom Festival is at Mercer County Park on June 24th.

    The Italian-American Festival is at Mercer County Park on September 22-24th.

  8. Live Music
    Nothing screams summer quite like ice cream, but Halo Pub doubles down on the summer vibe with outdoor live music every Saturday night!Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Summer in Princeton
    Photo by Nattydhay 
    Don’t forget about Live Music & Tastings, Thursdays on the Yankee Doodle Tap Room patio! There will also be music on Palmer Square every Saturday in July and August between 2-4pm.Live Music and Tastings Princeton New Jersey
  9. Terhune Orchards
    Whether you’re looking for fresh fruit to eat or make DIY jam, fruit picking is a fun way to welcome summertime! Pick strawberries and make your own fresh strawberry ice cream with the Terhune Orchards recipe. They also have a new winery and many opportunities for tastings.Terhune Orchards Fruit Picking Winery
  10. 26th Annual Jazzfeast
    Sunday, September 17, 12pm-6pm.
    JazzFeast is an open-air jazz festival that swings with the joy of great music and food! Spend the day listening to performances by some of the industry’s best Jazz musicians and showcasing many local food vendors.Jazz Feast Princeton New Jersey

Show us how you’re spending your summer, using the tag #SummerInnPrinceton!

How to Make the Most
of Your Princeton Visit

When in Princeton, there is so much to see, taste, and experience as you walk across streets lined with bookstores, cafés, shops, and the beautiful University campus. With so much art, culture, history, theater, and delicious food in your surroundings, you’ll want to take it all in and create memories worth cherishing.

Best Things to Do in Princeton New Jersey
Photo Credit: Han of Harmony

Best Things to Do in Princeton New Jersey

Day 1:
Check into your room, and get comfortable.

Best Things to Do in Princeton New Jersey

Check VisitPrinceton.org, PalmerSquare.com, and our event calendar for festivals and events – there’s always something going on!

Best Things to Do in Princeton New Jersey

Take a stroll around Princeton University.

Best Things to Do in Princeton New Jersey
Photo Credit: Denise Applewhite

Best Things to Do in Princeton New Jersey

Visit the Princeton University Art Museum and Fountain of Freedom.

Best Things to Do in Princeton New Jersey

Shop in downtown Princeton.

Best Things to Do in Princeton New Jersey

Enjoy world class dining within walking distance.

World Class Dining | Princeton, New Jersey
Featuring: Agricola Eatery, Teresa Caffe, and Mediterra

Or stay in and dine at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Yankee Doodle Tap Room | Restaurant and Bar | Pub Grub | Princeton, New Jersey

Take in a show!

Watch Movies, Fine Theater, Shows and Performances | Best of Princeton, New Jersey

Fine theater, dance, music, comedy, Hollywood films, and latest movie showings – there’s something for everyone! Find showings at McCarter Theatre, Princeton Summer Theatre, and Princeton Garden Theater.

Experience Princeton nightlife.

Nightlife Princeton, New Jersey
Photo Credit: R Birkel

There’s nothing quite like taking a stroll in downtown Princeton and eating ice cream, followed by enjoyable late night conversations over cocktails and music at one of Princeton’s iconic taverns.


Check out: Small World Coffee, Halo Pub, Triumph Brewing Company, Alchemist & Barrister, Ivy Inn, and Yankee Doodle Tap Room.

Day 2:
Wake up with Lululemon’s complimentary morning yoga.

Lululemon Yoga | Princeton, New Jersey

Eat brunch in the Yankee Doodle Tap Room.

Explore Princeton with the Princeton Tour Company.

Visit Princeton New Jersey | Princeton Tour Company
You will have newfound love for this beautiful town. The Princeton Tour Company’s Shameless Name Dropping tour is packed with enthusiastic, informative, and entertaining knowledge about the history and people of Princeton – F. Scott Fitzgerald, T.S. Eliot, Albert Einstein, etc.

Canoe or Kayak at the D & R Canal or Lake Carnegie.
Tip: carry a waterproof camera or GoPro to capture the laughter and splash-filled memories.Canoeing and Kayaking | Princeton, New Jersey

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Make great memories, explore, and enjoy! Use social media tags #NassauInn and #YDTR to share your adventures with us. We look forward to welcoming you!

A Flavor for Every Mood

Looking for something energy boosting, comforting, or relaxing and enjoyable? Explore our tips to eating for all your moods!

Energize Your Day!
Whether you’re doing morning yoga with Lululemon, taking a nature walk, or shopping around downtown Princeton, you’ll want to feel good and energized for the day. Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These nourishments will give you a boost of energy to kick-start the morning and recharge you with mental clarity, physical energy, and a happier mood.

“The Chia Bowl is my favorite way to start the day,” claims our executive Chef, Michael LaCorte. “I love the delicious berries and house-made overnight oats soaked in almond milk. It’s nutty, soft textured, and there’s a refreshing burst of flavor from our season’s finest berries. I also recommend our healthy and delicious Overnight Oats and Breakfast Smoothie Bowls.”

Relax and Unwind
After a cold winter, a little sunshine can do a lot for your serotonin levels and boost your mood. Let the outdoor breeze and live acoustics carry you away as you unwind to seasonal dishes on the Yankee Doodle Tap Room patio.

“The Ginger Crusted Salmon is one of my favorite entrée dishes, because it’s fresh and cooked to perfection. Ginger gives the perfect complementing flavor. It’s delicious and refreshing,” says our Chef.

Burrata Cheese with Heirloom Tomatoes is seasonal, creamy, and mint basil pesto really brightens up the flavor. It’s my favorite appetizer!” says Chef LaCorte.

Take a Little Comfort
We all have certain dishes that make us feel good. You don’t need an excuse to want to feel comforted, and there’s nothing better than a little rice and bean for the soul.Plaintain, Saffron Rice & Black Beans was inspired by Latin and Cuban dishes, which are traditionally served with plantains, rice, and beans,” says Chef LaCorte. Our chefs have added a twist to the oozing dish with a perfectly cooked yolk, Pico de Gallo, and a dollop of guacamole sour cream on top.

You also can’t go wrong with House Smoked Spare Ribs that has a zesty orange flavor and smokiness reminiscent of summer.

End on a Happy Note!
There’s just something about dessert that makes you smile. Could it be that it contains high levels of endorphins, minerals, and antioxidants that take the blues away? Or is it just that they taste so good?

Lemon Curd, Blueberry Compote in a Mason Jar“Lemons are blueberries are a classic combination,” says Chef LaCorte. “A match made in heaven.”

“The Greek Honey Cake is adapted from Middle Eastern tradition. It’s similar to baklava but is more cake than phyllo,” explains Chef LaCorte. “You’ll love tasting the layers inside, filled with orange, honey, and nuts. A fresh scoop of Bent Spoon’s cinnamon ice cream makes the perfect complementing taste.”

Our new menus for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert, and cocktails launched last week. Taste the flavors of energy, relaxation, comfort, and happiness this spring!

Fall Menu Must-Haves

From appetizer, lunch, dinner to dessert – here are some of our favorite dishes from our newly released fall menu. You’ll want to try them al­l!

Appetizers

Fall Menu 2016

Bubbling in a miniature black cast iron pan, the Fiery Black Iron Chili is spicy, cheesy, and perfect for chilly fall evenings!

Roasted Pear Salad Roasted Pear Salad tastes just like autumn with the lightness of feta cheese, fresh fall greens, and sweet smoked walnut vinaigrette. You’ll feel festive after the first bite!

Chicken & Waffles Salad

Drizzled with maple vinaigrette and bacon, Battered Fried Chicken is sweet, salty, and goes with any mood you’re feeling; it’s the ultimate chicken and waffle styled soul-food of salads.

Lunch

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Smothered in pepper jack cheese, the Pan Fried Meatloaf Sandwich is buttery soft with crisp frazzled onions on toasty bread. Savor the different textures as they unravel with each bite.

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If you’re in the mood for something light, creamy, and comforting – indulge in the Pecan Crusted Tilapia, soaked in an orange butter sauce, with delicious root vegetable risotto.

Dinner

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The Filet Mignon Au Poivre is professionally cold-smoked, infused with smoky flavor and grilled. Soaked in a cognac demi-glace cream, the mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts are a perfect complement to this tender and succulent dish.

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House Smoked Pork Chop is deliciously doused in apple brandy and cognac demi-glace sauce, with local apple and sage bread pudding broccolini on the side. The smoky taste evokes a campfire like feeling.

Dessert

Nassau Inn

Mason Jar Pumpkin Pie has a wonderful pumpkin mousse filling with a delightfully light and airy texture. This creamy, soft mouse is such a tasty seasonal dessert, you’ll crave it all season long!

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Flourless Chocolate Cake with Lavender Salt is an indulgent dessert with chocolatey, smooth, soft, melt-in-your-mouth cake embellished by the gentle, sweet chill of Tahitian ice cream and delicate fluffiness of whipped cream. The subtle yet soothing lavender salt is the perfect ending to a serene night.

Enticed? There are many more options for you to discover and enjoy! Come and join us in tasting our new fall menu. Whether you are looking for a place to gather with friends or to indulge in a good meal on your own, we look forward to welcoming you this beautiful season!


About the AuthorLily Lee is the Marketing Assistant at the historical Nassau Inn. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Communications, minor in Digital Information & Media, and a passion for English and creative writing.

Making the Most of Your Wedding Room Block

We interviewed Jaime Wolf, catering sales manager at the Nassau Inn, who has been with us for 10 years! This is her version of Wedding Room Block Planning 101 for you.

Nassau Inn

  1. Tell your guests to save the wedding date and start reserving their overnight rooms before wedding invites are sent out. This way you won’t run into trouble if rooms are not available later on.
  2. If you are wondering what to pack for gift bags, some essentials include: water, Advil/Tylenol, a snack, and an itinerary (timeline for the weekend, breakfast arrangements, rehearsal dinner, transportation plans, etc.).
  3. Frequently Asked Question: “Can guests check in early?”
    Answer: It depends – but it’s safer to assume you can’t. Weekends, especially in towns like Princeton, can be busy and time may be needed for previous guests to check out and rooms to be cleaned.
  4. If you have a large room block, it is considered thoughtful to have a breakfast the next morning to say thank you to all of your guests! We have great breakfast packages and offer discounts for all in house weddings! Be sure to ask your Catering Manager for details.
  5. Encourage your guests to make time to explore. Princeton is a great place to stay and this is the perfect opportunity for them to make it a mini vacation or getaway. Site seeing, downtown shopping, dining and bar hopping are just a few of the reasons you need more than a day to take it all in!

Nassau Inn

Nassau Inn

Nassau Inn


About the AuthorLily Lee is the Marketing Assistant at the historical Nassau Inn. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Communications, minor in Digital Information & Media, and a passion for English and creative writing.

Princeton’s Best Travel Tips

Traveling to Princeton soon?
These are our best tips when coming to visit us!

Palmer Square

  1. Need advice on what to pack? Refer to our seasonal guide for weather tips based on your time of travel. There is always something going on in town, do a quick Google search before you plan your itinerary. You never know what festivals, side walk sales, or events we’re having.
  2. If you are a first timer, check out the Princeton Tour Company. They will give you the all-around Princeton experience. They offer guided walking tours that include sites on Princeton University campus, the neighborhoods of Albert Einstein, TS Eliot, F Scott Fitzgerald, Robert Oppenheimer, James Madison, Woodrow Wilson, Grover Cleveland, JFK, countless tycoons, Hollywood celebrities, Signers of the Declaration of Independence and much more.
  3. You can travel by train from NYC or Newark Airport. The “historical” Dinky Train will pick you up and drop you off at Princeton Junction just minutes away from the center of down.
  4. We have the best shopping right here in Palmer Square, so if you forgot something, do not worry – there is most likely a store where you will find it!

DSCN2374


About the Author: Brandon DeChirico spent the summer interning at the Nassau Inn. He is a student at Widener University studying hospitality.

Edited by Lily Lee

Outside Art: The Great Outdoor Sculptures of Princeton University

All over Princeton University, colorful, interesting and some mystifying pieces of art liven up the campus environment. And, while passersbys appreciate the art that surrounds them, the looming question, ‘What does it mean?’ often crosses the minds of observers.

From the giant fountain in front of Scudder Plaza to the huge, color-laden stained glass display outside of the art museum, all the way to the ‘emerald green thing’ between Stanhope Hall and West College, each piece of art adorning the campus has its own backstory – some of which we hope to explain a little bit about in this blog segment.

(Any) Body Oddly Propped (2015)

Any Body Oddly Propped

  • Created by artists Mike and Doug Stern
  • Made from glass, steel, and bronze
  • Located on the front lawn of the Princeton University Art Musuem
  • Inspired by energy systems found in nature
  • Invites visitors to linger amidst the sculpture and experience it under constantly shifting light conditions
  • Weighs nearly 8 tons and is constructed of six 18-foot tall colored glass panels

    Cubi Xiii (1963)
    Cubi XIII

  • Created by artist David Smith (1906-1965)
  • Made from stainless steel
  • Located between McCormick Hall and Whig Hall
  • Installed in 1969
  • David’s Smith’s final and most famed sculptures
  • The geometric shapes are assembled to evoke the human figure
  • Cubi Xiii traveled widely between the years of 1964-1969 before finding a home at Princeton Univeristy
  • Smith polished the stainless steel so that it would reflect the color of its surroundings
  • One in a series of 28 sculptures. One sold for over $23.8 million

    Centaur  (1954)
    Centaur with Pipes

  • Created by artist Dimitri Hadzi (1921-2006)
  • Located in the Prospect Gardens
  • Installed in 1971
  • Made from cast bronze
  • Inspired by Hadzi’s lifelong interest in mythology
  • His work is in the collections of many major museums, among them the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston
  • The fountain was commissioned by President Robert F. Goheen, a classicist, when Prospect House was still home to the University’s president

    Public Table (1979)
    Public Table

  • Created by artist Scott Burton (1939-1989)
  • Located between East Pyne Hall & Murray-Dodge Hall
  • Made from cast concrete
  • Installed in 1998
  • Burton’s work has been described as “sculpture in love with furniture”
  • It’s an actual usable table where students and passersby can socialize or study
  • Based on an identical example in the sculpture garden at General Mills in Minneapolis, MN
  • Burton believed that “art should place itself not in front of, but around, behind, and underneath the audience.”

    Oval with Points (1970)
    Oval with Points

  • Created by artist Sir Henry Moore (1898-1986)
  • Located between Stanhope Hall and West College
  • Made from bronze
  • Installed in 1971
  • Said to have been inspired by an elephant’s skull
  • The appearance of the sculpture changes when viewed from various angles. Some see resemble a face and as you walk further around, the face will contort like a comedy/tragedy masks on a theater façade.
  • There are other casts of the work in Kew Gardens and Columbus Museum of Art

    Head of a Woman (1971)
    Head of a woman

  • Originally created by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
  • Located between Spelman Halls and New South Building
  • Installed in 1971
  • Artist, Carl Nejar executed the sculpture from a 12-inch maquette that Picasso had completed in 1962
  • The sculpture is intended to depict the essence of the female form
  • Carl Nejar was often referred to as Picasso’s right arm
  • The sculpture is nearly 16’ high

    The Hedgehog and the Fox (2000)
    The Hedgehog and the Fox

  • Created by artist Richard Serra (1939)
  • Located between Lewis Library and Fine Hall
  • Made from Core-Ten steel
  • Installed in 2000
  • The title of the sculpture refers to an essay “The Hedgehog & the Fox” by Isaiah Berlin that points to how scholars become free thinkers and invent or become subjugated to the dictates of history.
  • The sculpture is 94 feet long and 15 feet high and invites visitors to walk through it
  • It is said that ‘without interaction with the piece, there is no piece’

    Titan (2004)
    Titan

  • Created by artist Michele Oka Doner (1945)
  • Located near the Prospect House
  • Made from bronze
  • Installed in 2004
  • Collobaration between longtime friends: artist, Michele Oka Donna and model, Micky Wolfson
  • The hollow sponge-like figure evokes both growth and decay
  • The work was donated to Princeton University Art Museum in honor of longtime Princeton benefactor Mickey Wolfson’s 70th birthday

    Atmosphere and Environment (1970)
    atmosphere and the environment

  • Created by artist Louise Nevelson
  • Located adjacent to Firestone Library
  • Made from Core-Ten steel
  • Installed in 1971
  • The sculpture achieves its magic through the play of natural light over its geometric surface
  • Standing at 21-feet tall, it creates a variety of constantly changing visual images as the viewer moves past it.
  • Nelson explained, “The landscape is the atmosphere that fills the spaces of the steel environment; the two together are the sculpture.”
  • Nevelson’s was nearly 70 years old when she undertook the Princeton commission, her first monumental outdoor sculpture in Cor-Ten steel.

    Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads
    Circle of Heads

  • Created by artist Ai Weiwei
  • Located at Scudder Plaza
  • Made from bronze
  • Installed from 2012 to 2016
  • Inspired by sculptures that once adorned the fountain clock at Yuanming Yuan, representing signs of the zodiac.
  • Each of the 12 sculpture stands approximately 10 feet high and weighs 800 pounds
  • It is significant that the sculptures are placed alongside the Scudder Plaza reflecting pool, as the original Zodiacs were in front of the fountain of the imperial palace.

    Fountain of Freedom (1966)
    Fountain of Freedom

  • Created by artist James Fitzgerald (1910-1973)
  • Located at Scudder Plaza
  • Made from bronze
  • Installed in 1966
  • Standing at 23-feet high and weighing 6 tons, the fountain is one of the largest cast bronze sculptures in the United States.
  • Named to symbolize Woodrow Wilson’s vision of lasting world peace
  • The grooves, channels, and spires are meant to symbolize Woodrow Wilson’s aspirations and frustrations.
  • It was once referred “Jersey Shore West” back when visitors used to play and wade in the water
  • 700 gallons of water are recirculated through the fountain each minute

Princeton Ghosts & Hauntings

Ghost WashingtonDo you believe in ghosts? Princeton is one of those places where skeptics cross the threshold and start saying yes. Mysterious lights, strange presences, and ghostly figures have made Princeton a ghost hunter’s paradise.

Nestled between New York and Philadelphia, the small town of Princeton is steeped in history. From the Lenape Native Americans, to the British settlement, to the Revolutionary War, to our world famous university, the paranormal footprint left behind here by the people and events of centuries past isn’t too difficult to find.

“You may think you know Princeton well, but there’s a lot more than meets the eye,” said Mimi Omiecinski, owner of Princeton Ghost Tours. “Many people just find Princeton way too beautiful to leave, even after death.”

Ghostly sightings and experiences have been noted in just about every part of town, including here at the Nassau Inn and the Yankee Doodle Tap Room, where dozens of apparitions have been accounted for throughout the course of two and half centuries.

Nick Ballas, Director of Rooms at the Nassau Inn, reported on several occasions of having heard strange noises, seen bizarre figures, and, while staying overnight, witnessed a translucent woman in a white dress floating up the stairs from the 2nd to 3rd floor. “It was both spooky and mesmerizing at the same time,” Ballas recounted.

“The fifth floor is where some of the eeriest stories come from,” remarked a front desk attendant at the Nassau Inn. “There were several instances where guests called down with concerns of hearing constant chatter from disembodied voices. A few guests also described feelings of being hugged by an invisible stranger.”

As a regular stop along the Princeton Ghost Tour route, Mimi Omiecinski knows first-hand that the Nassau Inn is a hotbed of oddities and anomalies. “It’s not just a bunch of kooky ghost stories,” she explained. “We have evidence that they are here.”

You don’t have to take Omiecinski’s word for it, though. She proves the presence of ethereal beings by providing her tour groups with dowsing rods, EMF detectors, and therma-meters.

“Ghosts don’t always announce their presences with scents, sounds or slime,” said Omiecinski. “Ghosts, by their ethereal nature, tend to be a tad elusive. But, with this equipment we can locate, and often communicate with the other side.”

And, Princeton purportedly has quite the cast of famous specters in the area to communicate with. George Washington, John Witherspoon, and Albert Einstein are among the many celebrity spirits associated with Princeton that are believed to frequent the surrounding shops, residences, hotels, and university.

“Princeton has all the right features conducive of paranormal activity,” said Omiecinski. “The historic buildings are conduits of energy that spirits draw from.  You can bet that ghosts like George Washington and Albert Einstein are dropping by Nassau Hall, the McCarter Theater, and the Yankee Doodle Tap Room all the time.”

No matter what you believe about ghosts and the afterlife, one thing is certain – the historic town of Princeton has a lot more odd, unexplained activity than most other places in the world. And, while we don’t guarantee a ghost sighting when you book a room with us, taking a Princeton Ghost Tour should be on your to-do list while you’re here. “Not only is it great time for adults and children alike,” said Omiecinski. “But, what you’ll hear is true and what you’ll see is real.”

The Architecture of Princeton University

If you’ve ever explored the open campus of Princeton University, you may have found yourself in awe of the gloriously designed landscape that’s older than the United States itself. The architectural history is so vast and filled with such variety that it was once described as being “a beautiful sculpture garden for famous architects’ buildings”. Easily within walking distance from our front door, it seems only right to share some of what we know about these beautiful structures and the architects behind them.

Nassau Hall (1754-56)

Everywhere - nassau hall

          Fun Facts About the Building

  • Built 1754-56 by architect Robert Smith
  • Georgia Colonial style
  • Named after: King William III of the House of Nassau.
  • At the time, it was the largest stone structure in North America
  • It is the oldest building at Princeton University.
  • It was possessed by both American & British troops during the Revolutionary War.
  • It suffered from fires in 1802 and 1855.

    Fun Facts About the Architect
    Nassau Hall was the 3rd building he designed in the colonies.
  • Other important works include St. Peter’s Church, Benjamin Franklin’s House, Carpenter’s Hall, and Walnut Street Prison (all in Philadelphia).
  • During the revolutionary war, he produced designs for military architecture to protect Philadelphia from British attack.

President’s House/Maclean’s House
Everywhere - Palmer House

Fun Facts About the Building

  • Built 1754-56 by architect Robert Smith
  • Philadelphia Georgian Style
  • Named after John Maclean, Jr. – founder of the Alumni Association and the last president to occupy the house throughout his administration.
  • 10 University Presidents & 7 Deans lived here.

Prospect House
Prospect-House

Fun Facts About the Building

  • It was an 18th century home rebuilt 1850-52 by architect John Notman
  • Italianate style
  • Woodrow Wilson lived here before he became governor of NJ & President of the United States.
  • It was donated to the college in 1878.
  • Dignitaries such as Theodore Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Truman have been entertained at the house.
  • It is one of the best preserved early Italianate villas in the country.

          Fun Facts About the Architect

  • Also known for NJ State Lunatic Asylum, Laurel Hill Cemetery Gatehouse, Athenaeum of Philadelphia, and the Church of the Holy Trinity.
  • Credited with introducing Italianate style to America.
  • He was a founding member of the American Institute of Architects.


Edwards Hall

Edwards Hall
Built: 1879-80
Architect: Edward D. Lindsey
Style: Romanesque

 

 

 

      Fun Facts About the Building       Fun Facts About the Architect
  • Named after Jonathon Edwards, the third president of the college.
  • Originally designed to provide cheap rooms for struggling students.
  • It is now among the most desirable addresses on campus since its renovation in 1985.
  • He was a professor of architecture and the Curator of Buildings and Grounds for the College.
  • Also known for the French Theater and Girard Building in New York.
  • One of his early interests was construction of fire-proof buildings.

FitzRandolph GateFitzRandolph Gate
Built: 1905
Architects: McKim, Meade, & White
Made from: Authentic wrought iron from England

 

 

 

 

       Fun Facts About the Structure      Fun Facts About the Architects
  • Named after Nathaniel FitzRandolph, who was instrumental in raising the money and land required to build the College.
  • It’s the official entrance to the College.
  • It was originally kept closed and locked, except at graduation, the P-Rade, or when a notable guest was visiting.
  • The Class of 1970 ensured the gate would always remain open as a symbol of the University’s openness to the local and worldwide community.
  • Also known for Pennsylvania Station, Brooklyn Museum, the main campus of Columbia University, and mansions in Newport, RI.
  • Their work has been said to define the Gilded Age of America.
  • They were invited to renovate the White House in 1903.
  • With a staff of over 100, the firm became the model for the modern architectural practice.

Firestone LibraryFirestone Library
Built: 1946-1948
Architect: O’Connor & Kilham
Style: Collegiate Gothic Revival

 

 

 

      Fun Facts About the Building       Fun Facts About the Architect
  • Named after tire magnate Harvey Firestone.
  • The library has 70 miles of bookshelves, more than 7 million books, 6 million microfilms, and 48,000 linear feet of manuscripts.
  • Most books are stored in partially underground levels.
  • It was the last building on campus to be built in the gothic style.
  • Also known for work on the Metropolitan Museum, Trinity College, and Smith College.
  • Their firm specialized in storage depots and barracks.
  • Robert O’Connor was a Princeton trained architect.
  • Walter Kilham spent over 3 years visiting libraries all around the world in preparation for the Firestone Library.