Lawrence Township, Mercer County, New Jersey

Lawrence Township, Mercer County, New Jersey
Lawrence Township, New Jersey
—  Township  —
Lawrence Township highlighted in Mercer County. Inset map: Mercer County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Lawrence Township, Mercer County, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°16′40″N 74°43′46″W / 40.27778°N 74.72944°W / 40.27778; -74.72944Coordinates: 40°16′40″N 74°43′46″W / 40.27778°N 74.72944°W / 40.27778; -74.72944
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Mercer
Formed February 20, 1697 as Maidenhead Township
Incorporated February 21, 1798
Renamed January 24, 1816 as Lawrence Township
 – Type Faulkner Act (Council-Manager)
 – Mayor Michael Powers
 – Administrator Richard S. Krawczun[1]
 – Total 22.2 sq mi (57.4 km2)
 – Land 22.1 sq mi (57.3 km2)
 – Water 0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 102 ft (31 m)
Population (2010)
 – Total 33,472
 – Density 1,317.0/sq mi (508.5/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 08648 - Lawrenceville
Area code(s) 609
FIPS code 34-39510[2][3]
GNIS feature ID 0882126[4]

Lawrence Township is a Township in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township population was 33,472.



According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 22.2 square miles (57 km2), of which, 22.1 square miles (57 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.18%) is water.

Area residents often refer to all of Lawrence Township as Lawrenceville. Lawrenceville is a census-designated place and unincorporated area located within Lawrence Township. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that the Postal Service (which is in Lawrenceville) instructs many Lawrence Township residents to use Lawrenceville, Princeton or Trenton in their mailing address, and not Lawrence Township.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1930 6,293
1940 6,522 3.6%
1950 8,499 30.3%
1960 13,665 60.8%
1970 19,567 43.2%
1980 19,724 0.8%
1990 25,787 30.7%
2000 29,159 13.1%
2010 33,472 14.8%
Population 1930 - 1990.[5]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 29,159 people, 10,797 households, and 7,233 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,317.0 people per square mile (508.5/km²). There were 11,180 housing units at an average density of 504.9 per square mile (195.0/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 79.22% White, 9.28% African American, 0.08% Native American, 7.91% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 1.79% from other races, and 1.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.61% of the population.

There were 10,797 households out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.9% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the township the population was spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 12.4% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 88.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.4 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $67,959, and the median income for a family was $82,704 (these figures had risen to $81,718 and $100,506 respectively as of a 2007 estimate[6]). Males had a median income of $56,681 versus $38,468 for females. The per capita income for the township was $33,120. About 2.6% of families and 4.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.0% of those under age 18 and 6.0% of those age 65 or over.


Local government

Lawrence Township operates under the Faulkner Act (Council-Manager) form of municipal government. The township is governed by a Council consisting of a Mayor and four Council Members who are elected at-large in partisan elections to serve four-year terms on a staggered basis, with two or three seats coming up for election every other year.[7] The Mayor is selected by the Council from among its members at an annual reorganization meeting to serve a term of one year.

As of 2011, the Lawrence Township Council consists of Mayor Greg Puliti, Bob Bostock, Jim Kownacki, Pam Mount and Michael Powers.[8]

The Township's Municipal Manager is Richard S. Krawczun.[1]

Recent mayors of Lawrence Township include:

  • 2003 - Greg Puliti (D)
  • 2004 - Mark Holmes (D)
  • 2005 - Pamela Mount (D)
  • 2006 - Michael Powers (D)
  • 2007 - Greg Puliti (D)
  • 2008 - Mark Holmes (D)
  • 2009 - Pamela Mount (D)
  • 2011 - Greg Puliti (D)

Federal, state and county representation

Lawrence Township is in the Twelfth Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 15th Legislative District.[9]

New Jersey's Twelfth Congressional District is represented by Rush D. Holt, Jr. (D, Hopewell Township).[10] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Frank Lautenberg (D, Cliffside Park) and Bob Menendez (D, Hoboken).

15th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature, which is represented in the New Jersey Senate by Shirley Turner (D, Lawrenceville) and in the New Jersey General Assembly by Reed Gusciora (D, Trenton) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D, Ewing Township).[11] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham).[12] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[13]

Under Mercer County's form of government, the County Executive performs executive functions and oversees the day-to-day operations of the county and a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders acts in a legislative capacity, setting policy. As of 2011, the County Executive is Brian M. Hughes.[14] Members of the Board of Chosen Freeholders are elected at-large to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two or three seats coming up for election each year. A Freeholder Chair and Vice-Chair are selected on an annual basis from among its members.[15] County Freeholders are Freeholder Chair Pasqual "Pat" Colavita, Jr. (term ends December 31, 2012; Lawrenceville)[16], Freeholder Vice Chair Lucylle R. S. Walter (2011; Ewing Township)[17], Samuel T. Frisby (2011; Trenton)[18], Ann M. Cannon (2012; East Windsor Township)[19], Anthony P. Carabelli (2013; Trenton)[20], John Cimino (2011; Hamilton Township)[21] and Andrew Koontz (2013; Princeton Borough)[22][23]

New Jersey Lottery is headquartered in the One Lawrence Park Complex in Lawrence Township.[24][25]


The Lawrence Township Public Schools serve students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Schools in the district (with 2009-10 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[26]) are four elementary schools — Eldridge Park Elementary (K-3; 240 students) Ben Franklin Elementary (PreK-3; 448) Lawrenceville Elementary (PreK-3; 375) Slackwood Elementary (PreK-3; 264) — Lawrence Intermediate School (4-6; 877), Lawrence Middle School (7-8; 588) and Lawrence High School (9-12; 1,158). Students from Robbinsville Township (known as Washington Township until 2007) had attended Lawrence High School as part of a sending/receiving relationship which ended with the final group of seniors who graduated in the 2006-07 school year.

Lawrence Township is home to two parochial schools operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton: Notre Dame High School is a coeducational, Roman Catholic, college preparatory school for students in grades 9-12; and Saint Ann School, which serves 341 students in pre-3 through eighth grade.[27]

Lawrenceville is home to the Lawrenceville School, a coeducational, independent boarding school for grades 9-12, founded in 1810.[28]

Rider University is a private university with its main campus just south of Lawrenceville.

While not educating anyone particularly, Lawrence Townships most notable involvement in education is being the headquarters location for the Education Testing Service ("ETS"); see section on "Business" below.


What is now Lawrence Township was originally formed as Maidenhead Township on February 20, 1697, while the area was still part of Burlington County in West Jersey. The township was named by the early Quaker settlers after Maidenhead, a Thames River village west of London. It became part of the newly-created Hunterdon County on March 11, 1714. Maidenhead 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.[29]

On January 24, 1816, the municipality was renamed Lawrence Township, in honor of Captain James Lawrence — commander of the frigate USS Chesapeake and one of the naval heroes of the War of 1812 — best known for his dying command of "Don't Give up the Ship." Lawrence Township became part of Mercer County at its creation on February 22, 1838. Portions of the township were taken to form Millham Township (February 10, 1882, annexed by Trenton in 1888).[29]

On September 23, 2003, at approximately 8:25am, an F1 tornado ripped through Lawrence Township. The tornado followed a path along Princeton Pike and caused widespread damage to homes. There were no fatalities.[30][31]

Business and commerce

Lawrence Township is home to the headquarters of:

Quaker Bridge Mall is a two-level, indoor shopping center located in Lawrenceville on U.S. 1, near Interstate 295. The mall opened in 1975, and has over 100 retail establishments. The mall's anchor stores include J.C. Penney, Lord & Taylor, Macy's, Sears and Old Navy. The mall has a gross leasable area of 1,102,000 ft².[32]

The business district of Lawrenceville is small, but stable. The Lawrence Shopping Center and other businesses along U.S. Route 1 provide additional commercial clusters in the township.

The transmitter for WKXW-FM, better known as New Jersey 101.5, is located near the Quaker Bridge Mall.

The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville is home to one of the nine ESF Summer Camp locations. These camps are located in five different states in the mid-Atlantic.[33] The camp has won multiple awards for safety.[34] The camp offers activities for ages 4 to 16 and offers a variety of activities including an all-sports camp.[35]


Two major transportation routes traverse the Township. Part of the Interstate Highway network, Interstate 95 and Interstate 295, describe a semicircle through Lawrence. The Interstate route numbers change at the highway's intersection with U.S. Route 1, the other major highway bisecting the municipality. U.S. 1 is in effect three different roads: the original route from Trenton to New Brunswick in the southern half of the Township, the limited access Trenton Freeway, and the combined road in the northern half that serves as a regional arterial linking the Interstates with New Brunswick and Route 18. U.S. Route 206 is the main artery within the township itself, running from Trenton to Princeton roughly north-to-south. It is a segment of the historic Lincoln Highway, and before that, it was part of the main New York-Philadelphia Post road. Locals refer to it alternately as Route 206 or Lawrence Road. Major county routes that pass through include County Route 533, County Route 546 and County Route 569.

Lawrence Township is famous for the "abrupt ending" of Interstate 95. This resulted from politics in Somerset County that eliminated its planned connection of the Somerset Freeway to Interstate 287. When driving on I-95 north while approaching the interchange for U.S. Route 1, the 95 designation abruptly ends and the highway turns south and becomes Interstate 295. Motorists are then forced to find an alternate route, either by taking US 1 north, or (are directed by signs) to take Interstate 295 south to the Central Jersey Expressway (I-195) east and to the New Jersey Turnpike (the continuation of Interstate 95) at Exit 7A in Robbinsville Township.

The busy Northeast Corridor rail line, carrying Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains, runs along the eastern edge of the township. The nearest stations are at Hamilton and Princeton Junction.

A rail spur used to run to Lawrenceville from Trenton, but was discontinued in the 1970s and is now a bicycle trail. From Lawrenceville, a trolley line to Princeton existed from 1900 to 1941, but was dismantled before World War II, and the right-of-way largely has reverted to neighboring landowners.[36]

The nearest airport is Trenton-Mercer Airport, formerly known as the Mercer County Airport, in Ewing. Lawrence Township is roughly equidistant to Philadelphia International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport, the nearest airports with commercial passenger service.

Points of interest

The Port Mercer Canal House is located at 4378 Quakerbridge Road, along the Delaware and Raritan Canal near the border of West Windsor Township and Princeton Township. The house was built in the 1830s as housing for the bridgetender and his family. The bridgetender was needed to open the swing bridge when canal boats came through, then close it to allow traffic to cross over the canal.

The Delaware and Raritan Canal has an intact walking towpath for most of its length. Additional walking trail areas in the township include Shipetaukin Woods, Carson Road Woods, and part of Rosedale Park. Lawrence Township is part of the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail,[37] currently under development.[38]

Jasna Polana was the home of John Seward Johnson I of Johnson & Johnson. His widow converted it into Tournament Players Club at Jasna Polana golf course.

Notable residents

Notable current and former residents of Lawrence Township include:


  1. ^ a b Manager, Lawrence Township. Accessed March 28, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ A Cure for the Common Codes: New Jersey, Missouri Census Data Center. Accessed July 14, 2008.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ New Jersey Resident Population by Municipality: 1930 - 1990, Workforce New Jersey Public Information Network. Accessed March 1, 2007.
  6. ^
  7. ^ 2005 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, April 2005, p. 73.
  8. ^ Town Council, Lawrence Township. Accessed March 28, 2011.
  9. ^ 2011 New Jersey Citizen's Guide to Government, New Jersey League of Women Voters, p. 60. Accessed May 29, 2011.
  10. ^ Municipalities, Congressman Rush D. Holt, Jr. Accessed June 29, 2008.
  11. ^ "Legislative Roster: 2010-2011 Session". New Jersey Legislature. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  12. ^ "About the Governor". New Jersey. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  13. ^ "About the Lieutenant Governor". New Jersey. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  14. ^ County Executive, Mercer County, New Jersey. Accessed January 5, 2011.
  15. ^ What is a Freeholder?, Mercer County, New Jersey. Accessed January 5, 2011.
  16. ^ Pasquale "Pat" Colavita, Jr., Mercer County. Accessed January 6, 2011.
  17. ^ Lucylle R. S. Walter, Mercer County. Accessed January 6, 2011.
  18. ^ Samuel T. Frisby, Mercer County. Accessed August 1, 2011.
  19. ^ Ann M. Cannon, Mercer County. Accessed January 6, 2011.
  20. ^ Anthony P. Carabelli, Mercer County. Accessed January 6, 2011.
  21. ^ John Cimino, Mercer County. Accessed January 6, 2011.
  22. ^ Andrew Koontz, Mercer County. Accessed January 6, 2011.
  23. ^ Meet the Freeholders, Mercer County. Accessed January 6, 2011.
  24. ^ Contact Us. New Jersey Lottery. Retrieved on March 23, 2009.
  25. ^ Lawrence township, Mercer County, NJ. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved on March 23, 2009.
  26. ^ Data for the Lawrence Township Public Schools, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed May 29, 2011.
  27. ^ School Directory, Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton. Accessed May 29, 2011.
  28. ^ School History, Lawrenceville School. Accessed May 29, 2011.
  29. ^ a b "The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968", John P. Snyder, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 162-163.
  30. ^ Tornado damages homes and power lines in Lawrence Twp., The Daily Princetonian, September 24, 2003.
  31. ^ NCDC: Event Details
  32. ^ International Council of Shopping Centers: Quaker Bridge Mall, accessed September 21, 2006. Archived March 13, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ Education, Sports, Fun Locations
  34. ^ Education, Sports, Fun in Lawrenceville Wins Awards
  35. ^ Camp Ages and Typical Day
  36. ^ East Meets West (and South) at RCN, Lawrence Greenway News, Fall 2000.
  37. ^ Lawrence Hopewell Trail
  38. ^ Professor Pathfinder's Princeton map, Hedberg Maps, Inc. ©2006
  39. ^ The Founding Fathers: New Jersey - David Brearly, National Archives and Records Administration. Accessed November 27, 2007.
  40. ^ George Houston Brown, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed September 1, 2007.
  41. ^ Katz, Michael. "THE EDUCATION OF QUARTERBACK BRUNNER", The New York Times, September 20, 1982. Accessed October 23, 2007. "Scott, who was born in Sellersville, Pa., grew up in Middletown, N.Y.; West Chester, Pa., and Lawrenceville, N.J.... The family moved to Lawrenceville just before Scott's junior year in high school."
  42. ^ Staff. [680260840051186.txt "Mercer County honors Richard J. Coffee", The Trentonian, October 19, 2009. Accessed May 29, 2011.. "The Lawrence resident is considered the driving force behind the county park system. Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes said Coffee should have been honored long ago."
  43. ^ Knapp, Krystal (15 December 2009). "The Philosopher Kings". Trenton, New Jersey: The Times. Retrieved 18 December 2009. 
  44. ^ Haiti Water Project
  45. ^ Staff. "LORD ACCEPTS BID FOR SENATE RACE; Choice of Jersey Democrats Serves on Port Authority -- Nomination Assured", The New York Times, February 15, 1960. Accessed February 2, 2011. "Mr. Lord served several years ago on the Lawrence Township Council."
  46. ^ "Schwarzkopf returns to a hero's welcome Lawrence Township honors its favorite son", The Star-Ledger, May 25, 1997. "The hero at the Lawrence Township parade was also a favorite son - Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, U.S. Army (Ret.). Schwarzkopf, 62, the commander of the U.S.-led coalition in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, lived in Lawrence Township until he was 13."
  47. ^ Blackwell, Jon. "1928: Patrolling on horse and Harley", The Trentonian. Accessed February 2, 2011. "Schwarzkopf remained at the family home in Lawrenceville, narrated the radio drama 'Gangbusters,' and kept on good terms with his officers."
  48. ^ Silverstein, Marilyn. "Jewish values inform view of new labor commissioner", New Jersey Jewish News, August 24, 2006. Accessed May 29, 2011. "His mother, Elizabeth Socolow, lives in Lawrenceville."
  49. ^ America's Anchors: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert faked it until they made it. Now they may truly be the most trusted names in news, Rolling Stone
  50. ^ Senator Shirley K. Turner, Project Vote Smart. Accessed February 2, 2011.

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