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Trenton, New Jersey
City
City of Trenton
New Jersey Capitol Complex Executive Center
New Jersey Capitol Complex Executive Center
Flag of Trenton, New Jersey
Flag
Nickname(s): Capitol City
Turning Point of the Revolution.
Motto: "Trenton Makes, The World Takes"
Location in Mercer County and the state of New Jersey.
Location in Mercer County and the state of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Trenton, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Trenton, New Jersey
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Mercer
Founded June 3, 1719
Incorporated November 13, 1792
Named for William Trent
Area
 • Total 8.155 sq mi (21.122 km2)
 • Land 7.648 sq mi (19.809 km2)
 • Water 0.507 sq mi (1.313 km2)  6.21%
Area rank 228th of 565 in state
9th of 12 in county
Elevation 49 ft (15 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 84,913
 • Estimate (2015) 84,225
 • Rank 10th of 565 in state
2nd of 12 in county
 • Density 11,101.9/sq mi (4,286.5/km2)
 • Density rank 26th of 565 in state
1st of 12 in county
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC−4)
ZIP codes 08608-08611, 08618-08620, 08625, 08628, 08629, 08638
Area code 609
FIPS code 3402174000
GNIS feature ID 0885421
Website www.trentonnj.org

Trenton is the capital city of the U.S. state of New Jersey and the county seat of Mercer County. It was briefly the capital of the United States. The city's metropolitan area is grouped with the New York metropolitan area by the United States Census Bureau, but directly borders the Philadelphia metropolitan area and is part of the Federal Communications Commission's Philadelphia Designated Market Area. As of the 2010 United States Census, Trenton had a population of 84,913, making it the state's 10th-largest municipality. The Census Bureau estimated that the city's population was 84,034 in 2014.

Trenton dates back at least to June 3, 1719, when mention was made of a constable being appointed for Trenton, while the area was still part of Hunterdon County. Boundaries were recorded for Trenton Township as of March 2, 1720, a courthouse and jail were constructed in Trenton around 1720 and the Freeholders of Hunterdon County met annually in Trenton. Trenton became New Jersey's capital as of November 25, 1790, and the City of Trenton was formed within Trenton Township on November 13, 1792. Trenton Township was incorporated as one of New Jersey's initial group of 104 townships by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798. On February 22, 1834, portions of Trenton Township were taken to form Ewing Township. The remaining portion of Trenton Township was absorbed by the City of Trenton on April 10, 1837. A series of annexations took place over a 50-year period, with the city absorbing South Trenton borough (April 14, 1851), portions of Nottingham Township (April 14, 1856), both the Borough of Chambersburg Township and Millham Township (both on March 30, 1888), as well as Wilbur Borough (February 28, 1898). Portions of Ewing Township and Hamilton Township were annexed to Trenton on March 23, 1900.

History

Surrender of the Hessian Troops to General Washington, after The Battle of Trenton. December 1776. Copy of lithograph, 1 - NARA - 532880
The surrender of the Hessians at Trenton, 1776
Old Barracks, South Willow Street, Trenton (Mercer County, New Jersey)
The Old Barracks in Trenton, New Jersey

The first settlement which would become Trenton was established by Quakers in 1679, in the region then called the Falls of the Delaware, led by Mahlon Stacy from Handsworth, Sheffield, England. Quakers were being persecuted in England at this time and North America provided an opportunity to exercise their religious freedom.

By 1719, the town adopted the name "Trent-towne", after William Trent, one of its leading landholders who purchased much of the surrounding land from Stacy's family. This name later was shortened to "Trenton".

During the American Revolutionary War, the city was the site of the Battle of Trenton, George Washington's first military victory. On December 26, 1776, Washington and his army, after crossing the icy Delaware River to Trenton, defeated the Hessian troops garrisoned there. After the war, the Confederation Congress briefly met in Trenton in November and December 1784. While the city was preferred by New England and other northern states as a permanent capital for the new country, the southern states ultimately prevailed in their choice of a location south of the Mason–Dixon line.

Trenton became the state capital in 1790, but prior to that year the New Jersey Legislature often met here. The city was incorporated in 1792.

During the War of 1812, the United States Army's primary hospital was at a site on Broad Street.

Throughout the 19th century, Trenton grew steadily, as European immigrants came to work in its pottery and wire rope mills. In 1837, with the population now too large for government by council, a new mayoral government was adopted, with by-laws that remain in operation to this day.

Geography

2014-05-12 12 17 50 View of the "Falls of the Delaware" and downtown Trenton, New Jersey from Morrisville, Pennsylvania
The "Falls of the Delaware" at Trenton

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 8.155 square miles (21.122 km2), including 7.648 square miles (19.809 km2) of land and 0.507 square mile (1.313 km2) of water (6.21%).

Several bridges across the Delaware River — the Trenton–Morrisville Toll Bridge, Lower Trenton Bridge and Calhoun Street Bridge – connect Trenton to Morrisville, Pennsylvania, all of which are operated by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission.

Trenton is located near the exact geographic center of the state, which is 5 miles (8.0 km) located southeast of Trenton. So it is sometimes included as part of North Jersey and as the southernmost city of the Tri-State Region, while others consider it a part of South Jersey and thus, the northernmost city of the Delaware Valley.

However, Mercer County constitutes its own metropolitan statistical area, formally known as the Trenton-Ewing MSA. Locals consider Trenton to be a part of an ambiguous area called Central Jersey, and thus part of neither region. They are generally split as to whether they are within New York or Philadelphia's sphere of influence. While it is geographically closer to Philadelphia, many people who have recently moved to the area commute to New York City, and have moved there to escape the New York region's high housing costs.

Trenton is one of two state capitals that border another state – the other being Carson City, Nevada.

Trenton borders Ewing Township, Hamilton Township and Lawrence Township in Mercer County; and Falls Township, Lower Makefield Township and Morrisville in Bucks County, Pennsylvania across the Delaware River.

Panoramic views

2009-08-26 View of downtown Trenton in New Jersey and the mouth of the Assunpink Creek from across the Delaware River in Morrisville, Pennsylvania
Downtown Trenton from across the Delaware River. Note the gold top of the State House.

Neighborhoods

The city of Trenton is home to numerous neighborhoods and sub-neighborhoods. The main neighborhoods are taken from the four cardinal directions (North, South, East, and West). Trenton was once home to large Italian, Hungarian, and Jewish communities, but since the 1950s, demographic shifts have changed the city into a relatively segregated urban enclave of middle and lower income African Americans. Italians are scattered throughout the city, but a distinct Italian community is centered in the Chambersburg neighborhood, in South Trenton. This community has been in decline since the 1970s, largely due to economic and social shifts to the suburbs surrounding the city. Today Chambersburg has a large Latino community. Many of the Latino immigrants are from Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua. There is also a significant and growing Asian community in the Chambersburg neighborhood primarily made up of Burmese and Bhutanese/Nepali refugees.

The North Ward, once a mecca for the city's middle class, is now one of the most economically distressed, torn apart by race riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968. Nonetheless, the area still retains many important architectural and historic sites. North Trenton still has a large Polish-American neighborhood that borders Lawrence Township, many of whom attend St Hedwig's Roman Catholic Church on Brunswick Ave. St. Hedwig's church was built in 1904 by Polish immigrants, many of whose families still attend the church. North Trenton is also home to the historic Shiloh Baptist Church—one of the largest houses of worship in Trenton and the oldest African American church in the city, founded in 1888. The church is currently pastored by Rev. Darrell L. Armstrong, who carried the Olympic torch in 2002 for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Also located just at the southern tip of North Trenton is the city's Battle Monument, also known as "Five Points". It is a 150 ft (46 m) structure that marks the spot where George Washington's Continental Army launched the Battle of Trenton during the American Revolutionary War. It faces downtown Trenton and is a symbol of the city's historic past.

South Ward is the most diverse neighborhood in Trenton and is home to many Latin American, Italian-American, and African American residents.

East Ward is the smallest neighborhood in Trenton and is home to the Trenton Transit Center and Trenton Central High School. Recently, two campuses have been added, Trenton Central High School West and Trenton Central High School North, respectively, to this area of the city. The Chambersburg neighborhood is within the East Ward, and was once noted in the region as a destination for its many Italian restaurants and pizzerias. With changing demographics, many of these businesses have either closed or relocated to suburban locations.

West Ward is the home of Trenton's more suburban neighborhoods.

Neighborhoods in the city include:

Trenton neighborhoods
Map of neighborhoods in Trenton, New Jersey.

Climate

According to the Köppen climate classification, Trenton lies in the transition from a humid subtropical (Cfa) to a warmer humid continental climate (Dfa), favoring the former, with four seasons of approximately equal length and precipitation fairly evenly distributed through the year. Winters are cold and damp: the daily average temperature in January is 31.1 °F (−0.5 °C), and temperatures at or below 10 °F (−12 °C) occur on 3.9 nights annually, while there are 16–17 days where the temperature fails to rise above freezing. Summers are hot and humid, with a July daily average of 75.7 °F (24.3 °C); temperatures reaching or exceeding 90 °F (32 °C) occur on 15–16 days. Extremes in temperature have ranged from −14 °F (−26 °C) on February 9, 1934, up to 106 °F (41 °C) as recently as July 22, 2011. However, temperatures reaching 0 °F (−18 °C) or 100 °F (38 °C) are uncommon.

The average precipitation is 46.4 inches (1,180 mm) per year, which is fairly evenly distributed through the year. The driest month on average is February, with 2.31 in (59 mm) of precipitation on average, while the wettest month is July, with 4.95 in (126 mm) of rainfall on average. The all-time single-day rainfall record is 7.25 in (184.2 mm) on September 16, 1999, during the passage of Hurricane Floyd. The all-time monthly rainfall record is 14.55 in (369.6 mm) in August 1955, due to the passage of Hurricane Connie and Hurricane Diane. The wettest year on record was 1996, when 67.90 in (1,725 mm) of precipitation fell. On the flip side, the driest month on record was October 1963, when only 0.05 in (1.3 mm) of rain was recorded. The 28.79 in (731 mm) of precipitation recorded in 1957 were the lowest ever for the city.

Snowfall can vary even more year-to-year. The average snowfall is 23.4 inches (59.4 cm), but has ranged from as low as 2 in (5.1 cm) in the winter of 1918–19 to as high as 76.9 in (195.3 cm) in 1995–96, which included the greatest single-storm snowfall, the Blizzard of January 7–8, 1996, when 24.2 inches (61.5 cm) of snow fell.

Climate data for Trenton, New Jersey (1981–2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 73
(22.8)
76
(24.4)
87
(30.6)
93
(33.9)
99
(37.2)
100
(37.8)
106
(41.1)
105
(40.6)
101
(38.3)
94
(34.4)
83
(28.3)
76
(24.4)
106
(41.1)
Average high °F (°C) 39.0
(3.89)
42.2
(5.67)
50.9
(10.5)
61.4
(16.33)
71.8
(22.11)
80.8
(27.11)
85.3
(29.61)
83.6
(28.67)
76.1
(24.5)
65.0
(18.33)
54.5
(12.5)
43.1
(6.17)
62.9
(17.17)
Daily mean °F (°C) 31.1
(-0.5)
34.0
(1.11)
41.4
(5.22)
51.2
(10.67)
61.1
(16.17)
70.5
(21.39)
75.7
(24.28)
73.9
(23.28)
66.2
(19)
54.6
(12.56)
45.7
(7.61)
35.3
(1.83)
53.4
(11.89)
Average low °F (°C) 23.2
(-4.89)
25.8
(-3.44)
31.9
(-0.06)
41.0
(5)
50.5
(10.28)
60.3
(15.72)
66.0
(18.89)
64.2
(17.89)
56.4
(13.56)
44.2
(6.78)
36.9
(2.72)
27.6
(-2.44)
44.1
(6.72)
Record low °F (°C) −13
(-25)
−14
(-25.6)
1
(-17.2)
11
(-11.7)
33
(0.6)
41
(5)
48
(8.9)
41
(5)
31
(-0.6)
22
(-5.6)
12
(-11.1)
−7
(-21.7)
-14
(-25.6)
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.16
(80.3)
2.31
(58.7)
4.14
(105.2)
3.54
(89.9)
4.37
(111)
4.41
(112)
4.95
(125.7)
4.10
(104.1)
4.27
(108.5)
4.18
(106.2)
3.31
(84.1)
3.70
(94)
46.44
(1,179.6)
Sunshine hours 163.1 169.7 207.4 227.2 248.1 262.8 269.2 252.5 215.0 201.5 149.3 140.1 2,505.9
Source: NOAA (sun 1961–1981)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 1,946
1810 3,000
1820 3,942 31.4%
1830 3,925 −0.4%
1840 4,035 * 2.8%
1850 6,461 60.1%
1860 17,228 * 166.6%
1870 22,874 32.8%
1880 29,910 30.8%
1890 57,458 * 92.1%
1900 73,307 27.6%
1910 96,815 32.1%
1920 119,289 23.2%
1930 123,356 3.4%
1940 124,697 1.1%
1950 128,009 2.7%
1960 114,167 −10.8%
1970 104,638 −8.3%
1980 92,124 −12.0%
1990 88,675 −3.7%
2000 85,403 −3.7%
2010 84,913 −0.6%
Est. 2015 84,225 −0.8%
Population sources: 1790–1920
1840 1850–1870 1850
1870 1880–1890 1910–1930
1930–1990 2000 2010
* = Territory change in previous decade.

2010 Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 84,913 people, 28,578 households, and 17,747 families residing in the city. The population density was 11,101.9 per square mile (4,286.5/km2). There were 33,035 housing units at an average density of 4,319.2 per square mile (1,667.7/km2)*. The racial makeup of the city was 26.56% (22,549) White, 52.01% (44,160) Black or African American, 0.70% (598) Native American, 1.19% (1,013) Asian, 0.13% (110) Pacific Islander, 15.31% (13,003) from other races, and 4.10% (3,480) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 33.71% (28,621) of the population.

There were 28,578 households out of which 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 25.1% were married couples living together, 28.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.9% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.40.

In the city, the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 32.5% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 8.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.6 years. For every 100 females there were 106.5 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 107.2 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $36,601 (with a margin of error of +/- $1,485) and the median family income was $41,491 (+/- $2,778). Males had a median income of $29,884 (+/- $1,715) versus $31,319 (+/- $2,398) for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,400 (+/- $571). About 22.4% of families and 24.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.3% of those under age 18 and 17.5% of those age 65 or over.

2000 Census

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 85,403, people, 29,437 households, and 18,692 families residing in the city. The population density was 11,153.6 people per square mile (4,304.7/km²). There were 33,843 housing units at an average density of 4,419.9 per square mile (1,705.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 52.06% Black, 32.55% White, down from 88.6% in 1950, 0.35% Native American, 0.84% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 10.76% from other races, and 3.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.53% of the population.

There were 29,437 households, 32.4% of which had children under the age of 18 living with them. 29.0% were married couples living together, 27.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.5% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.38.

In the city the age distribution of the population shows 27.7% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 31.9% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,074, and the median income for a family was $36,681. Males had a median income of $29,721 versus $26,943 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,621. About 17.6% of families and 21.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.8% of those under age 18 and 19.5% of those age 65 or over.

Top 10 ethnicities reported during the 2000 Census by percentage were:

  1. African American (50.1)
  2. Puerto Rican (14.5)
  3. Italian (4.6)
  4. Irish (3.5)
  5. Polish (3.0)
  6. Guatemalan (2.8)
  7. English (1.9)
  8. Jamaican (1.5)
  9. Hungarian (1.0)
  10. Mexican (1.0)

Arts and culture

  • New Jersey State Museum – Combines a collection of archaeology and ethnography, fine art, cultural history and natural history.
  • New Jersey State House was originally constructed by Jonathan Doane in 1792, with major additions made in 1845, 1865 and 1871.
  • New Jersey State Library serves as a central resource for libraries across the state as well as serving the state legislature and government.
  • Trenton City Museum – Housed in the Italianate style 1848 Ellarslie Mansion since 1978, the museum features artworks and other materials related to the city's history.
  • Trenton War Memorial – Completed in 1932 as a memorial to the war dead from Mercer County during World War I and owned and operated by the State of New Jersey, the building is home to a theater with 1,800 seats that reopened in 1999 after an extensive, five-year-long renovation project.
  • Old Barracks – Dating back to 1758 and the French and Indian War, the Barracks were used by both the Continental Army and British forces during the Revolutionary War and stands as the last remaining colonial barracks in the state.
  • Trenton Battle Monument – Located in the heart of the Five Points neighborhood, the monument was built to commemorate the Continental Army's victory in the December 26, 1776, Battle of Trenton. The monument was designed by John H. Duncan and features a statue of George Washington atop a pedestal that stands on a granite column 148 feet (45 m) in height.
  • Trenton City Hall – The building was constructed based on a 1907 design by architect Spencer Roberts and opened to the public in 1910. The council chambers stand two stories high and features a mural by Everett Shinn that highlights Trenton's industrial history.
  • William Trent House – Constructed in 1719 by William Trent, who the following year laid out what would become the city of Trenton, the house was owned by Governor Lewis Morris, who used the house as his official residence in the 1740s. Governor Philemon Dickerson used the home as his official residence in the 1830s, as did Rodman M. Price in the 1850s.

Parks and recreation

Historic sites

  • Adams and Sickles Building (added January 31, 1980 as #80002498) is a focal point for West End neighborhood, and is remembered for its soda fountain and corner druggist.
  • Friends Burying Ground, adjacent to the Trenton Friends Meeting House, is the burial site of several national and state political figures prominent in the city's early history.
  • Trenton Friends Meeting House (added April 30, 2008 as #08000362), dating back to 1739, it was occupied by the British Dragoons in 1776 and by the Continental Army later in the Revolutionary War.

Transportation

Roads and highways

2014-05-12 11 31 16 View north along the Trenton Freeway (U.S. Route 1) from the East State Street overpass in Trenton, New Jersey
Route 1 through downtown Trenton, looking north from the East State Street overpass

As of May 2010, the city had a total of 168.80 miles (271.66 km) of roadways, of which 145.57 miles (234.27 km) were maintained by the municipality, 11.33 miles (18.23 km) by Mercer County and 10.92 miles (17.57 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 0.98 miles (1.58 km) by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission.

City highways include the Trenton Freeway, which is part of U.S. Route 1, and the John Fitch Parkway, which is part of Route 29. Canal Boulevard, more commonly known as Route 129, connects US Route 1 and NJ Route 29 in South Trenton. U.S. Route 206, Route 31, and Route 33 also pass through the city via regular city streets (Broad Street/Brunswick Avenue/Princeton Avenue, Pennington Avenue, and Greenwood Avenue, respectively).

2014-05-12 12 31 16 View north along the John Fitch Parkway (New Jersey Route 29) from the ramp to the Trenton Freeway (U.S. Route 1) in Trenton, New Jersey
NJ 29 through downtown Trenton, with the Delaware River on the left

Routes 29 and 129 connect the city to Interstate 195 which provides connections with Interstate 295 and the New Jersey Turnpike (also known as Interstate 95).

Public transportation

Public transportation within the city and to/from its nearby suburbs is provided in the form of local bus routes run by NJ Transit. SEPTA also provides bus service to adjacent Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

The Trenton Transit Center, located on the heavily traveled Northeast Corridor, serves as the northbound terminus for SEPTA's Trenton Line (local train service to Philadelphia) and southbound terminus for NJ Transit Rail's Northeast Corridor Line (local train service to New York Penn Station). The train station also serves as the northbound terminus for the River Line, a diesel light rail line that runs to Camden. Two additional River Line stops, Cass Street and Hamilton Avenue, are located within the city.

Long-distance transportation is provided by Amtrak train service along the Northeast Corridor.

The closest commercial airport is Trenton–Mercer Airport in Ewing Township, about 8 miles (13 km) from the center of Trenton, which has been served by Frontier Airlines offering service to and from points nationwide. In January 2015, Frontier cited low demand as the reason behind its decision to cut service to five cities in the Midwest, leaving 13 destinations available to passengers.

Other nearby major airports are Newark Liberty International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport, located 55.2 miles (88.8 km) and 43.4 miles (69.8 km) away, respectively, and reachable by direct New Jersey Transit or Amtrak rail link (to Newark) and by SEPTA Regional Rail (to Philadelphia).

NJ Transit Bus Operations provides bus service between Trenton and Philadelphia on the 409 route, with service to surrounding communities on the 600, 601, 602, 603, 604, 606, 607, 608, 609 and 611 routes.

Images for kids


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