What begun as one man’s vision in 1929 has become a ‘must-go’ destination for people of all ages.  Located in downtown Princeton and across from the prestigious  Princeton University, Palmer Square is a combination of boutique shops, delectable restaurants with incredible dining possibilities, and luxury residences. It is also on the state and national register of historic places.

Edgar Palmer

Edgar Palmer - The Visionary of Palmer Square

Developer Edgar Palmer wanted to revolutionize the town of Princeton – a place he had strong ties to.  Mr. Palmer, heir to the New Jersey Zinc Company fortune as well as a Princeton University graduate and charter trustee of the University, hired architect Thomas Stapleton to create the square and in 1929 announced his plans to develop the area into the central municipality and a commercial hub.  However, the project was put on hold until the impact of the Great Depression eased.  In 1936 his dream became reality and construction began.

Mr. Palmer envisioned an area that would offer residents a home above or near shops and within walking distance of their workplace, and visitors an exclusive destination to stay, shop, and dine.  It would be styled after a European walking village set amid a quasi-metropolitan downtown.

Nassau Inn

Nassau Inn then

Nestled right in the heart of the Square (the centerpiece of the development) would be the Nassau Inn, which would relocate from 52 Nassau Street.  Mr. Palmer was so interested in the Inn moving to the Square that he took part in the real estate negotiations until agreements were made.  Construction was complete and the doors of the new Nassau Inn opened in 1937 – where we’ve been ever since.

Nassau Inn

Nassau Inn today

Unfortunately, Mr. Palmer only got to see half of the construction on the Square complete before his death in 1943, but what’s become of his vision has truly escalated Downtown Princeton to ‘must visit’ status.

Through the years many additions have been made to accommodate the growing demand of excellence.  The Square now includes 1 Hotel (the Nassau Inn), 41 retail locations, 6 dining establishments, over 125 homes, and 2 parking garages.

In 2009, construction began on the rejuvenation of the Nassau Inn and the development of The Residences at Palmer Square.

When completed, the Nassau Inn will have the historic charm of the past, but with fresh and modern updates – or simply put, 18th Century elegance with 21st Century comfort.

The Residences will include 17 townhouses and 83 condominiums and will complete the realization of Mr. Palmer’s vision of family living in the square – making living in Palmer Square part of an urban lifestyle.

For the rest of the year, Palmer Square will host events to celebrate this incredible milestone and we hope you will join us!

By: Lauren Scarpa

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