Princeton is a very special place, not only because of its historical significance, but because of the diversity of its housing stock and population. Settled in the late 17th century, the place was named “Prince-Town” in honor of William of Orange and Nassau, who became King William III of England. In 1777, General George Washington fought here in the decisive Battle of Princeton, and two of Princeton’s leading citizens signed the Declaration of Independence. Over the years, many prominent scholars, artists, musicians and architects have resided, studied or contributed to Princeton’s legacy. Centered by Princeton University -- one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious educational institutions and a mecca for international scholars as well -- Princeton is divided into several distinct urban neighborhoods, some of which are actually more rural than city-like.
For example, the Western section of Princeton is brimming with stately homes, on large wooded lots, abundantly private and overgrown. The Littlebrook section, closer to the borders of Somerset and Middlesex Counties, is recommended for its excellent elementary school and its many contemporary homes built on quiet tree-lined streets. The center of town is known for the “tree” streets, like Maple, Pine and Chestnut, close to the high school, restaurants and charming shops, and where vintage semi-attached homes often share driveways, while street parking is at a premium. And the Riverside section borders Carnegie Lake, which was created by the damming of the Millstone River. Named after steel magnate Andrew Carnegie and supported financially by him, the Lake was intended to relieve the University crew team from practicing on the otherwise bustling Delaware and Raritan Canal. To this day, the Lake remains an ideal location for rowing practice and competitions, fishing, and just enjoying a bit of serenity in the afternoon sun. And the D & R Canal trail is a favorite of cyclists, runners and walkers, who may happen to traverse the Princeton portion of its 70 miles that extend along the Delaware River towns and then through Titusville, Trenton, Lawrence Township, and Princeton, before continuing northward and eventually ending in New Brunswick.
In 2013, Princeton Township was dissolved after merging with the existing Borough and one unified new Princeton (operating as a borough format) was born! The charm and character of this historic but ever-changing metropolis still remain. You can find palatial mansions, modest split-levels, semi-attached turn-of-the century dwellings and apartment-style condos throughout its many neighborhoods. And with a reasonable commuting distance to both Philadelphia and New York City, as well as the Poconos and the New Jersey shore towns, Princeton continues to be an attractive option for many. Its biggest drawback – the property taxes!