LAWRENCE GREENWAY NEWS Fall 2000
EAST MEETS WEST
Sorghum field to become RCN telecommunications campus on Lewisville Road and Princeton Pike
RCN’s 133 acre site is being made ready for the construction of their office park as the old Union Camp building on Princeton Pike is removed. The only entrance to the facility will be on Princeton Pike, north of the 270 year old Brearley Oak.
Eventually the corporate campus will consist of 10 office buildings (1.5 million square feet) and 10 parking garages with spaces for 6,500 cars. It will be built in two phases.
Phase One should be completed in fourteen months and will consist of four office buildings and five parking garages with space for 3,000 cars. Interior recreational amenities include a playing field and a jogging path.
A bikeway along RCN’s northeastern edge will tie together parks, neighborhoods, schools and trails of the township in all directions.
The Brearley Trail opposite the east side of RCN
Down Meadow Road from the Princessville Cemetery, the 1761 John Brearley House was purchased in 1972 by Lawrence Township and has been recently restored by the town and the Lawrence Historical Society.
In 1998 the township built the 1/3 mile Brearley-Great Meadow Trail which crosses Shipetaukin Creek and connects the historic site to the D&R Canal towpath.
The D&R Canal Trail to New Brunswick connects with the Brearley Trail.
New Jersey’s Delaware and Raritan Canal is a sixty mile linear park. The canal was constructed in 1834 to carry cargo and was in operation for 99 years. When its business failed in 1933 the state took possession.
As a linear park, there is a high priority on re-connecting the sections in which there are breaks. A bicycle-pedestrian bridge over Route.1 in Lawrence is being designed and is scheduled for construction by the NJDOT.
Lawrenceville School property borders Lewisville Road. Beside the soccer fields, this farm road leads to the former Cranstoun Farm and Route 206.
The Lawrenceville School was founded in 1810 by the Pastor of the Maidenhead Presbyterian Church to educate 9 local boys.
In the 1890’s the school expanded; it’s new campus was designed by famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. It had a national reputation for excellence and 362 students were enrolled.
Today there are 550 boarding students, 200 day students and 330 employees on the 600 acre campus.
The Lawrenceville School acquired the 119 acre Cranstoun Farm in 1997 from Lawrence Township in a swap enabling the school to consolidate its land.
In the swap the township acquired the 184 acre Dyson Trust parcel adjacent to the Brearley Tract, which consolidated its open space land between the D&R Canal and Princeton Pike.
Franklin Corner Road crosses under power lines and Interstate 95 on the southern edge of the RCN property.
RCN plans no access here to the office park after construction has been completed.
An RCN bike path from the Lewisville Road Bikeway to Franklin Corner Road would join to the Lawrence Greenway here.
On Franklin Corner Road the Lawrence Greenway leads under I-95 to southern Lawrence and the Ewing-Lawrence Loop.
The greenway along Franklin Corner Road is the township’s only way for a trail to cross I-95, constructed (in Lawrence) in the mid-1970’s.
The Greenway in southern Lawrence connects to Rider University, the Trenton Farmers Market, Colonial Lake and the Lawrence Senior Link.
From Rider, a Ewing-Lawrence Loop connects to the College of New Jersey.
From RCN’s property on Franklin Corner Road, the Lawrence Greenway leads to the Johnson Trolley line.
A bicycle-pedestrian path is needed along Franklin Corner Road (County Road 546) from RCN to the intersection with the trolley line.
The Lawrenceville School’s border is on the right; the intersection with Route 206 is ahead.
The Johnson Trolley Line carries the Greenway toward Village Park
The Trenton-Princeton Traction Company ran a trolley known as the "Fast Line" from 1900 until 1939. It ran on a half-hour schedule for a 10˘ fare.
Lawrence Township has just been awarded a $10,000 federal Recreational Trails grant to improve the trolley line from Denow Road to Gordon Avenue; it will provide a crossing over the open drainage flumes near Green Avenue.
IN THE WEST
The western approach to Village Park
Intersecting the trolley trail, Craven Lane provides pedestrian and bicycle (but not auto) access to Lawrence’s 62 acre Village Park.
Built in the early 1990’s, it provides tot lots, a bicycle path, playing fields for baseball and soccer, courts for bocce and tennis, and a dog park.
Northwest Mercer Park adjacent to Village Park offers a square mile of the old AT&T tract. A proposed perimeter path will connect Lawrence to Ewing, Hopewell and Princeton as well as Rosedale Park.
The 800 acre parcel was farmed until the 1920’s when it was purchased by AT&T for its transatlantic phone calls. 180-foot high towers transmitted short wave radio calls until 1975.
In 1995 Mercer County purchased the "Pole Farm" for $8.6 million.
Last year a public opinion survey recommended a passive recreation park here.
Proposed Greenways in Lawrence TownshipClick on map to view full-size.
Lawrence Township Greenway Committee
Last reviced: Thursday, December 28, 2000 by T. Cosmas