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Plainsboro Township

Township of Plainsboro

  •   State: 
    New Jersey
    Middlesex County
    Plainsboro Township
      County FIPS: 
    40°20′18″N 74°34′55″W
      Area total: 
    12.11 sq mi (31.37 km²)
      Area land: 
    11.74 sq mi (30.40 km²)
      Area water: 
    0.37 sq mi (0.97 km²)
    79 ft (24 m)
    Incorporated May 6, 1919
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Plainsboro Township, Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    2,051.8 residents per square mile of area (792.2/km²)
      Unemployment rate: 

Plainsboro was officially founded on May 6, 1919, and was formed from sections of Cranbury and South Brunswick townships. The township is centrally located in the Raritan Valley region and is a part of the outer-ring suburbs of the New York metropolitan area. As of the 2020 United States census, the township's population was 24,084. The oldest developed section of Plainsboro is at the intersection of Dey and Plainsboro Roads. In 1897, the Walker-Gordon Dairy Farm opened up, which, among many other things, contributed Elsie the Cow, possibly the most famous cow ever, and The Walker Gordon Diner, which has since been closed. In 1971, Princeton University (which owned most of the township) and Lincoln Properties, Inc., together started to develop the area into what it is now, a large suburban township still holding on to its rural past. A new hospital facility was under development in Plainsboro, that would be renamed the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Officials announced they will be opening the new hospital at the opening of the Philadelphia Children's Park in 2015. The new hospital and 171-acre (69 ha) medical campus was designed to include a modern medical office building attached to the hospital, a world-class education center, a fitness center, and a public park. The village center's downtown atmosphere is the location of many shopping and dining destinations. The Village Center features a large village with a tranquil walking paths in a park-like setting.


Plainsboro was officially founded on May 6, 1919, and was formed from sections of Cranbury and South Brunswick townships. In 1897, the Walker-Gordon Dairy Farm opened up, which, among many other things, contributed Elsie the Cow, possibly the most famous cow ever. In 1971, Princeton University (which owned most of the township) and Lincoln Properties, Inc., together started to develop the area into what it is now, a large suburban township still holding on to its rural past. Plainsboro Village Center currently features eight buildings totaling almost 75,000 square feet (7,000 m2) of retail, commercial and office space, as well as 11 single-family homes and 12 townhomes. The Village Center also houses a new $12.4 million Plainsboro Library, which opened on April 10, 2010. The township broke ground on July 27, for two new buildings that will host medical offices, additional retail space and eight residential condominium units. Officials at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) announced they will be opening a facility in Plainsboro on 13 acres (5.3 ha) of the new hospital campus. The new hospital and 171-acre (69 ha) medical campus was designed to include a modern medical office building attached to the hospital, a world-class education center, a health and fitness center, and a pediatric services facility. The hospital opened in January 2012, with patients relocated from the former facility in Princeton that had been use for 93 years.


Plainsboro Center (with a 2010 Census population of 2,712) and Princeton Meadows (13,834 as of 2010) are unincorporated communities and census-designated places (CDPs) located within Plainsboro Township. The township borders the municipalities of Cranbury and South Brunswick in Middlesex County; and East Windsor Township, Princeton and West Windsor Township in Mercer County. According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 12.11 square miles (31.37 km²), including 11.74 sq miles (30.40 km²) of land and 0.37sq miles (0.97 km²") of water (3.09%) as of the 2010 U.S. Census. Other uninc incorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Aqueduct, Schalks and Scotts Corner. It is located on the New Jersey Turnpike, which connects to New Jersey via the Raritan River and the Delaware River. It was named after Plainsboro, New Jersey, where the town of Plainsboro was founded in the 17th century. The town's name is derived from the Plainsboro River, which runs through the center of the town. The name Plainsboro is a corruption of the word "plainsboro" or "plough", which means "to plough" in English. It has been used as a name for Plainsboro since the 19th century, when the town was founded.


As of the 2010 Census, 29.6% of the township's population self-identified as being Indian American, making them the largest minority group in the township. In the 2000 census, 8.55% of Plainsboro Township's residents identified themselves as being of Chinese ancestry. This was the second-highest percentage (behind Holmdel Township) of people with Chinese ancestry in any municipality in New Jersey with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry. The median household income was $86,986 (with a margin of error of +/ $5,536) and the median family Income was $114,457 (+/ $6.162) in the 2010 census. The per capita income for the township was $46,222 (-/ $2,054) In 2010, 1.9% of families and 3.9%. of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.6%. of those under age 18 and 4.0% of those age 65 or over. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.14. As of the 2000 United States census there were 20,215 people, 8,742 households, and 5,122 families residing in the Township. The population density was 1,707.7 people per square mile (659.2/km²). There were 9,133 housing units at an average density of 771.5 per squaremile (297.8/ km²). The racial makeup of the Township was 58.20% White, 7.58% African American, 0.10% Native American, 30.51% Asian, 0,01% Pacific Islander, 1,36% from other races, and 2.24% from two or more races.


Forrestal Village is an upscale mixed use lifestyle center located on U.S. Route 1. The center opened in 1986 and has a gross leasable area of 720,000-square-foot (67,000 m2) of retail and office space. It was designed by Sasaki Associates of Watertown, Massachusetts with the architectural firm Bower Lewis Thrower/Architects to "create a retail mix that will not just bring people in every few weeks like the regional malls do" As of 2022 its tenants are primarily smaller boutique retailers, offices, restaurants, and a hotel. MarketFair in Princeton and Quaker Bridge Mall in Lawrence Township are also a short distance away. The Center has also been approved for residential units. It is located on 52 acres (210,000 meters) of land. It has been described as a "luxury lifestyle center" with a "magnificent mix of retail, office, and residential space" The center has been called "one of the best malls in the United States" and has been criticized for being too expensive and too expensive to run. It also has a reputation for being overrun with squatters. It will be torn down and replaced with a mixed-use development by the end of the 20th century, with plans for a hotel, restaurants and a shopping mall in the future. It opened its doors to the public in 1986, and is now home to more than 1,000 retailers. It's located on a former landfill site.


Plainsboro Township is governed by a Township Committee form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body is comprised of a five-member Township Committee whose members are chosen at-large on a partisan basis. Major departments are Administration, Township Clerk, Finance, Recreation/Cultural Affairs, Municipal Court, Public Safety, Public Works, Planning/Zoning, and Building Inspections. As of 2022, members of the Plainsboro Township Committee are Mayor Peter A. Cantu (D, term on committee ends December 31, 2023; terms as mayor ends 2022), Deputy Mayor Neil J. Lewis (D), David Bander (D) and Nuran Nabi (D). Middlesex County's Board of County Commissioners is made up of seven members, with two or three seats up for election each year on a staggered basis. At an annual reorganization meeting held in January, the board selects from among its members a commissioner director and deputy director. New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2027) and Bob Menendez (Harrison, term end 2025) New Jersey's 14th state legislative district is represented by Linda R. Greenstein (D, East Brunswick) and in the General Assembly by Daniel R. Benson (D, Hamilton Township, Mercer County) As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 11,460 registered voters in Plainsborough Township, of which 3,884 (33.9%) were registered as Democrats, 1,486 (13.0%) were registering as Republicans and 6,081 (53.1%) wereregistered as Unaffiliated.


West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District serves students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 202021 school year, the district, comprised of 10 schools, had an enrollment of 9,386 students and 773.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a studentteacher ratio of 12.1:1. The district is overseen by a directly elected nine-member board of education whose members are allocated to the two constituent municipalities based on population, with four of the nine seats allocated to Plainsboro. Three of the district's schools have been recognized by the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. The campus of the former St. Joseph's Seminary, located in Plainsboro, is home to a number of private schools. The Laurel School, a Classical Christian school, will be permanently located in the former Saint Joseph's seminary in 2019. East Brunswick, Perth Amboy and Piscataway technical high schools offer full-time career and technical education at no tuition charged to students for attendance. The American Boychoir School (closed after 2017-2018 school year) is a private school that teaches pre-K-8 students. West Windsor-plainsboro High School North was the 32nd-ranked public high school, in New Jersey out of 328 schools statewide, in September 2012 cover story on the state's Top Public High Schools. The school had been located in plainsboro from 2011 to 2014 but permanently located on the grounds of the school from 2014 to 2019.


As of May 2010, the township had a total of 64.94 miles (104.51 km) of roadways. County Route 614 has its western terminus at U.S. Route 1 and passes through the center of Plainsboro. The closest limited access road is the New Jersey Turnpike (I-95) which is accessible from neighboring East Windsor Township and Monroe Township. There are many cycle routes through Plainsboro, connecting the main shopping districts and down to the D&R Canal cycle pathway. New Jersey Transit bus service includes the 600, which provides service to Trenton. NJ Transit and Amtrak trains service the township at the nearby Princeton Junction.Suburban Transit buses 300 line to New York from the Park and Ride in Route 130 provides service directly to Grand Central Terminal in Midtown Manhattan. The New Jersey Department of Transportation maintains 2.10 miles (3.38km) of roads in the township. The township has a population of 2,816. It is located on the New York-Newark rail line, which runs between New York City and Newark. It also runs through the northwestern part of the township on the Northeast Corridor rail line that runs through Trenton and Princeton. The town is home to a number of charities, including the Plainsboro Food Bank and Plainsboro United Methodist Church, which has a mission to help the poor and disadvantaged. It has also been known to host the "Plainsboro Day Parade" in the summer of each year since the 1970s.

Media appearances

Plainsboro is mentioned in the description of the battle area in Orson Welles's 1938 radio broadcast, The War of the Worlds. Plainsboro was featured on the MTV series, True Life ("I'm Graduating from High School") season 11, 2008, on which MTV took a look at the life of three seniors who were enrolled at High School North. It is the site for the tomb of Elsie the Cow. The HBO film, Rocket Science, is based on the town. The town is the namesake of the fictional hospital in the Fox TV series House (a.k.a. Princeton-Plainsborough Teaching Hospital) It is referred to in Tim Curry's song "Paradise Garage" from his album Fearless. It was also featured in the film, "The Godfather: Part II", which was based on a true story of the same name. The city is also the site of the film's inspiration, The Godfather Part III, which was set in the 1930s and 1940s. It has a population of about 3,000. The name of the town is also used in the book, "A Farewell to Arms" by William Faulkner, and the movie, "Gone with the Wind" by Ernest Hemingway. It also appears in the novel "The Great Gatsby" by Paul Auster, who was born in the town and grew up in the nearby town of Piedmont, New Hampshire.

Science and research

Plainsboro is home to the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, a laboratory for plasma physics research. The Rotolactor was the first rotary milking parlor and a popular tourist attraction. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, where the first computer models of climate were developed, is physically located in Plainsboro on the James Forrestal Campus of Princeton University. The John von Neumann Center hosted the liquid nitrogen-cooled ETA10 supercomputer, then the world's fastest computer, and was a major hub of the early Internet. In 1930, the Rotolater was invented by Walker Gordon Farms in Plainsborough. It remained in use into the 1960s. It is located on Nuclear Reactor Road, which was built in 1957. It was the site of a nuclear research reactor in the 1950s and 1960s, and is still in use today. The town is located near the New Jersey Turnpike, which runs from New Jersey to New York City. It has a population of about 2,000 people (as of 2011). It is also the location of the U.S. Air Force Academy, which is located in the town of Plainsboro, New Jersey. It also has a high school, where students can earn a degree in math or science. The city has a post-secondary school, which opened in the 1970s and is now the home of the University of New Jersey's College of Arts and Sciences. In the 1990s, Plainsboro was home to a number of high-tech companies, including Apple and Hewlett-Packard.

  • Plainsboro Township's population in Middlesex County, New Jersey of 3,489 residents in 1900 has increased 6,9-fold to 24,084 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

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