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     New Jersey and Princeton References in the Episodes

Friday, December 23, 2005

Season 1 - Episode 1 - "Pilot"

When I first saw this episode, I knew that the show was set in the Princeton, NJ area. I was tickled when they showed the aerial view of part of the Princeton University campus. The building that is supposed to be the Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital (PPTH) looked so familiar. I know I had been in that building, but something about it didn't look right. (I needed to see the second episode with the larger aerial view of the campus to confirm my suspicions, which I'll discuss here.)

When I saw the opening sequence for the second episode, I was able to find familiar landmarks. The most notable one is the all white, modern-looking building with white columns that you'll see in the upper right of the shot. That building is Robertson Hall at the Woodrow Wilson School of
Public and International Affairs. It is diagonally across Washington Road from the building in question. I got out my old campus map and discovered it is Palmer Hall: Palmer Physics Laboratory was built in 1908. (Albert Einstein conducted work there, though he was never a member of the faculty.) I did a Google search and learned the building had been gutted, renovated and re-named the Frist Campus Center in 2000. It had been a "U"-shaped building. They filled in the "U" with a modern facade, but it still has its gothic character, which is why I recognized it. Interestingly, the smaller building in the foreground and to the left is the McCosh Infirmary. (The photo above is Palmer Hall prior to the renovation and re-naming, the way I knew it.)

There is no such place as PPTH. This fictional hospital is based on Princeton Hospital, now known as University Medical Center at Princeton and is located at 253 Witherspoon Street. I was a patient there in the early 1970s. Albert Einstein died there in 1955.

Now to the episode ... In the scene where House, Foreman, and Cameron were talking and House mentioned an "MRI from Trenton County", meaning Trenton County Hospital, there is no such place, and no such county. The reference would be to Mercer County Hospital, now known as Mercer Medical Center, located at 446 Bellevue Avenue in Trenton.

When House walks up to his colleagues and says "No treatment", look up at the area over the doorway in the background and you'll see the words "McCormick Wing." There is a McCormick Hall on campus that is home to the Department of Art and Archeology.

I got such a kick out of the orange guy in the clinic. I'm wondering if this was an inside joke. Princeton University's mascot is the tiger. The school colors are orange and black. I laughed when House told the guy his wife was having an affair, because she hadn't noticed her husband was orange. Truth is, if this was during Homecoming, *NO ONE* would notice!!!! People dress up in the most unbelievable orange and black outfits. (I was always impressed by the fluorescent orange shoes!) I've seen people with faces painted to look like tigers. I saw one man with half his face painted black and the other half orange. So, seeing a completely orange guy wouldn't make anyone bat an eye!

Jersey Girl


Cap said...

Have you seen this?

From David Shore's fevered brain to reality.


2:04 PM  
revitts said...

Frist Campus Center is actually the work of architects Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates:

8:26 AM  

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