All over Princeton, whether you're looking at streets or buildings, names offer a clear window into Princeton's past.
Start with the obvious: Witherspoon Street, Stockton Street, Paul Robeson Place.
Then the slightly lesser known: Bunn Drive, for example is named after "Mr. Princeton" himself, Benjamin Franklin Bunn, who served as mayor of both the Borough and Township and was a founding trustee of the Westminster Choir College.
Now there are calls to name a Princeton landmark after Albert E. Hinds of John Street, who had a hand in paving Nassau Street, building Palmer Square, and was generally regarded by neighbors as the embodiment of Princeton history.
Mr. Hinds died two weeks ago at the age of 104 and was remembered June 10 at the Carl Fields Center. There, Shirley Satterfield, herself a historian and neighbor and distant relative of Mr. Hinds, made a proposition:
"Mr. Albert Edward Hinds was a friend and mentor to us all: how can we honor a legend in our time?
"How about an Albert E. Hinds Street, building, or square?"
Ms. Satterfield is not alone. At a Princeton Future steering committee meeting last week, the organization acknowledged Mr. Hinds's passing, as well as suggesting the possibility of naming a public street, square, or the new Princeton High School gymnasium after him. Mr. Hinds, a graduate of PHS, excelled on the school's track team.
In fact, Princeton Future specifically endorsed the idea of naming the as-yet-unnamed plaza adjacent to the Princeton Public Library on Witherspoon Street "Albert E. Hinds Square."
"Ideas about the unnamed square have considered naming it after Madison, Robeson, or Einstein, each of whom, at one period of their lives, lived in Princeton," said Yina Moore, a member of Princeton Future. "Mr. Hinds, although not known nationally, nor was he internationally acclaimed, was an extremely bright light in this community."
Borough Mayor Mildred Trotman said that any request to honor Mr. Hinds with a naming could be considered by Borough Council, and she acknowledged his prominence in the community.
In fact, the Princeton Historical Society, which conducts walking tours of the John-Witherspoon neighborhood, has agreed to rename that tour to honor Mr. Hinds. "It would be good to have something in Princeton named after Mr. Hinds."
Ms. Satterfield said she would approach Ms. Trotman to find ways to pursue the commemorative effort.
"Let us all keep his legend alive in this town," she said.
Return to Previous Story | Return to Top | Go to Other News