Built in 1766 by Job Stockton, a prosperous tanner and cousin of Richard Stockton, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Bainbridge House is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Princeton and one of the area's best preserved examples of mid-Georgian architecture. Located on Nassau Street, the town's busiest and most historic thoroughfare, it is situated directly across from Princeton University. Bainbridge House has been home to several Stockton families; it was the birthplace of William Bainbridge, hero of the War of 1812; in 1783 it was listed as providing accommodations for the Continental Congress; during the late 19th century it served as a boarding house for university students; and for more than fifty years it was home to the public library. The exterior of Bainbridge House was restored by the Historical Society in 1969 to its original 18th-century appearance. Nearly 70% of the original interior woodwork remains, including original paneled walls and flooring. With the exception of circa 1814 alterations to the main parlor and a late 19th-century addition at the rear of the house, almost all of the 1766 structure remains. From 1991-1992, Bainbridge House underwent a complete renovation, with the addition of new structural supports, climate controls, new electrical work, and upgraded safety and security features. The interior trim was restored to original paint colors, the pine flooring was refinished, and portions of the brick facade were replaced with 18th-century bricks and repainted. An exterior ramp was installed in front of the house.
In 1967, the Historical Society established its headquarters in Bainbridge House, one of the finest surviving examples of Georgian architecture in the area, and since that time the building has served the public as both a museum and library. Its main floor comprises temporary and permanent exhibition spaces. The second and third floors house the library and photographic archives, as well as administrative offices and meeting rooms. The facilities of Bainbridge House also serve as an information center and the headquarters for the Society's far-reaching programs. Visitors are welcome at Bainbridge House from 12 to 4pm Wednesday through Sunday.
Address and Hours
158 Nassau Street
Princeton, NJ 08542
Open Wednesday-Sunday from 12-4 pm
Admission is $4 - free for members of HSP! Join Now