Bainbridge House, built in 1766 by Job Stockton, is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Princeton, New Jersey. Important historic events occurred there, including serving as lodging for members of the Continental Congress in 1783, and witnessing the birth of William Bainbridge, a hero of the War of 1812. Owned by Princeton University since 1877, for more than 50 years it served as the home of the Princeton Public Library. From 1967 until 2015, Bainbridge House was home to the Historical Society of Princeton, which left in late 2015 to concentrate its activities at Updike Farm.
The preservation, restoration, and reuse of historic Bainbridge House constitute an important resource for and contribution to the town, an emblem of the University’s commitment to community engagement. Its rich history demanded that it be preserved and continue to serve the public good. Operated under the auspices of the Princeton University Art Museum, Bainbridge House serves as a gateway to the visual arts at Princeton, with gallery spaces and space for community gathering on the first floor. Gallery programming is lively and varied throughout the year, encouraging repeat visitation. Information is available that will also help visitors discover the full range of arts and humanities programming on the University campus and in the surrounding community. Its street front location introduces first-time visitors to the visual arts at Princeton and encourages visitors to extend their visit to include the Art Museum’s primary home at the heart of the Princeton campus.