Princeton Street Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The East Orange Revitalization & Development Corporation celebrated its Ceremonial Ribbon Cutting on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 29 Princeton Street East Orange, New Jersey 07018 at 10:00am.

This ribbon cutting ceremony represented the construction of a new housing development “Princeton Estates Phase II,” consisting of six (6) two family homes. Each of these two family units is constructed on newly subdivided lots.

For more information, please visit their website at

From the Historical Society:

This map section from 1881 shows the earliest record of Princeton Street, shortly after it was cut from Central Avenue (1871) up to the edge of the A.B. Lindsley estate. 1881 was an important year for the township (it was not yet a city) of East Orange, because the area was growing and new sewage and water lines had just been installed. Earlier (in 1872), gas lamps had been installed on many of the streets and by 1881, one and two family houses were being built everywhere so that by 1891, the above map would have a completely different look to it. The map makers just couldn't keep up with the changing landscape.

By around 1905, when this postcard photo was probably taken, the wooden plank sidewalks had been replaced with concrete walkways, but the streets were still just dirt roads. We can just get a glimpse of the corner of Princeton Street at the point where a man is crossing Central Avenue. The house shown on that corner is currently the site of a Rite-Aid Pharmacy. Off in the distance, we see an electric trolley car competing for the road with a horse and carriage and an early automobile. Both trolleys and horse carriages are now a thing of the past and today's view would be filled with cars and trucks.

The map above shows Princeton Street as it is today, leading from Central Avenue to Clifford Street. Just as many of the early streets were named after East Orange's leading citizens of the time (Baldwin, Munn, Harrison, Lindsley and so on), other streets were named after trees ( Elmwood, Evergreen, Chestnut, Beech, and so on) and it seems to have then been popular in the 1880's to name streets after famous universities (Harvard, Cambridge, Princeton, Amherst, and so on).

Today, Princeton Street is made up of a mix of old houses standing beside newer houses and brand new modern houses. Notice the lack of electric wires hanging over the street. That's because in 1892, East Orange was one of the first cities to insist that all electric wires had to be buried beneath the ground with the exception of trolley wires. The tent at the end of the street is being put up for today's Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

A Study in Contrasts. The house on the left seems to be the oldest house still standing on Princeton Street, probably dating from the 1880's or so. Several other houses on the street seem to date from the early 1900's. The house on the right was constructed as part of the "Princeton Estates" project, in 2008.

The house where the ribbon cutting ceremony took place today is a modern three story house built for two families.

The back of the house is mostly paved, with only a tiny bit of a grass lawn, in contrast to all the other older houses that had mostly lawns in back, a bit of pavement on the side for car parking, and no garages. The contrast shows our current dependence on our vehicles. The large garage on the new house accomodates two cars, with a third car in the smaller garage. The side of the older house shows a house that added electricity, air conditioning, and satellite dishes as it progressed through the 20th century. The modern house comes fully equipped with those amenities.

Jim Gerrish, researcher

Article from the July 3rd, 2008 East Orange Record, Vol.108, No. 52, Page 8

In 2014, Executive Director Lancie Marchan pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $380,000 from the East Orange Revitalization and Development Corporation, to finance a lavish lifestyle that included refurnishing her former residence in Orange, trips, hotel stays at casinos, jewelry and other personal expenses, according to Assistant Prosecutor Robert Grady, who handled the case.

Original Indictment news:

Guilty Plea News:


Article from the East Orange Record, July 31, 2008, Volume 109, No. 4

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