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     New Jersey and Princeton References in the Episodes

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Season 1 - Episode 3 - "Occam's Razor"

Not much in this one. In the scene where House is confronting the parents, they're standing near a set of double doors that says above them "Cuyler Wing." Cuyler Hall is a dorm on the Princeton University campus.

Jersey Girl

Season 1 - Episode 2 - "Paternity"

Now we have the regular opening sequence, which has seemed to have caused some confusion. I've seen the bridge shown referred to as the "Trenton Makes" bridge. This is incorrect. That bridge spans the Delaware River. You can see from the photo that this bridge looks nothing like the one in the opening sequence. (The Delaware is partly frozen in this winter shot.) Also, notice the city of Trenton ... no woods there!

The body of water shown in the opening is actually Lake Carnegie, which you must cross to get into Princeton when traveling from the east-southeast. In winters when the lake froze, people would come from miles around to go ice-skating. I had a lot of fun skating there. (It was free.)

It's typical to see sculls on the water. If you look at the far shore, towards the background, you can see the University boathouse through the trees.

I don't ever recall knowing a name for that particular bridge. It may have had one, but I never heard of one. We just referred to it as the Washington Road bridge. Washington Road runs from Princeton Junction to the heart of the Princeton University campus.

In the scene with House and Foreman, during the search for Dan, they're talking in a corridor. If you look at the double doors, you'll see "Witherspoon Wing" above them. (It's a bit hard to read in this scene.) Witherspoon Hall on the Princeton University campus was named for John Witherspoon, the 6th president. It is the oldest existing dorm. 253 Witherspoon Street in Princeton is also the address of the real Princeton Medical Center upon which PPTH is based. (BTW, Plainsboro is a real town a short drive east of Princeton.)

I was tickled that the clinic patient was from Maplewood, a very wealthy town in northeastern New Jersey. I went to college near there. You could get finger sandwiches and a pot of tea at the Lord & Taylor's there for $1.50. A lot of us college students went there for a delicious, cheap lunch. In reality, Maplewood is only about 40 miles from Princeton, not 70 as House says.

Later on, when House is talking to the clinic patient and they're walking through the double doors, you get a good look at the words "Witherspoon Wing." They then stand in front of another set of double doors over which it says "Mathey Wing." Mathey College is part of Princeton University. It was dedicated in 1983. It's one of five underclass residential colleges.

Jersey Girl

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

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Hi Everyone! I hope you'll enjoy learning more about the New Jersey locations seen in House, M.D. The show is set in the Princeton, New Jersey area. I lived in that area for over ten years. It's a place that I really loved and have many fond memories of it. It's a beautiful place that's full of history. The "major attraction" there is Princeton University.

I'm going to review each episode and post information about each Princeton area reference I find. If you have a question, please email me, and I'll answer your question right here as soon as I'm able. (I just hope I'll have all the answers!) This way, if someone else has the same question, they'll get the answer at the same time. And it may save someone an email. ;-)

Jersey Girl