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     New Jersey and Princeton References in the Episodes

Thursday, April 12, 2007


April 10th's episode of House was, again, not chock full of New Jersey references. Last week House talked about the Princeton tiger mascot. But who doesn't know that? This week the only reference worth commenting on was the little paper with the phone number on it. The one for the young professional woman with the heart of gold. Yes, that one. When Wilson opened it up and dialed the 609 area code was correct for the Princeton area...although why she wrote her area code for a local call is beyond me. I'm sure all the 609ers watching were pleased for the accurate shout thanks to the writers/set decorators/prop people for that.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I apologize to anyone who has looked here for information regarding Princeton/New Jersey locations on House. But it isn't really my fault. Apparently with all the success of the show the creator and writers have forgotten where home is. NEW JERSEY!

I faithfully watch every episode with pen and pad at the ready. (I used to actually hold them!) There are very few references to the good old Garden State. Since the last post here are the few I have notes on. November just a lot of my standard hatch mark doodle. Nothing of note in that one. January 31...they were running near Lake Carnegie (years ago it was just Carnegie Lake...but whatever). Whenever they are outside of the hospital it does appear as though they are on the Princeton Campus but even that could be something somewhere else that looks like Princeton. February 12 ...the car crash was on "Canal Road, just outside of Kingston". Hooray an actual reference to a locality that really exists and would be icy, etc. And then a nice long break where we have to re-watch last season or go through serious withdrawal. (Do any House watchers really care who the next American Idol is? Anyone? Anyone? I didn't think so.)

So today I get an email from an obviously friendly and intelligent guy named Andy. He remarks on the restaurant and the backwards reflection in the Alchemist and Barrister-ish (a comfy little restaurant that's been there for decades) restaurant window advertising the hardware store across the street. Andy, you're right the location of the hardware store across from the Alchemist is correct. I want to believe, like you, that that locale was an homage to a lovely little spot just a few blocks from the University in one direction and the Medical Center at Princeton in the other. We'll just stick with that. (Andy and I are smiling now...each lost in our own memories of Old Nassau).

Along with the ending shot there are some other things that are "local". The stage on which Patrick/Dave Matthews was getting ready to play looked to be McCarter Theatre. A well known and wonderful theatre renovated well beyond it's original form and located at the edge of the Princeton University campus right next to the train station where you can catch the "Dink". And Cameron's applying for a job a Penn would be realistic. Penn, of course, is the University of Pennsylvania...a world class hospital just an hour south in Philadelphia.

I am disappointed that those who put House on the air have really neglected the environment that is Princeton and the area that surrounds it. There are statues on the street, great stores and restaurants. Why doesn't House frequent The Princeton Record Exchange? There is a very interesting statue outside the Medical Center at Princeton that includes a wheelchair that would amuse and entertain Dr. House for hours, not to mention provide him with ways to annoy and surprise those blasted friends of his.

What do you say guys? Can we "see" some more of New Jersey?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

"Meaning" September 5, 2006

Great episode! I'm sure if you're reading this you thought so too. All those who are glad our favorite doctor is back grab your skateboards and meet me on the Princeton University campus. That's where that skateboarding appears to have taken place. Much, if not all, of the old "cobblestone" walkways were re-done with those more modern bricks. And House appeared to be joggin along Lake Carnegie which runs along the campus as well. He also jogged through the campus. There is no hospital on the campus of Princeton University and there is no medical school there....but that's what it would look like if there was.

I wonder when the filming was...would love to catch a glimpse!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Summer Re-run - "Euphoria" 1 & 2

Hi. Pennie here. What a chock full show to be my first entry!!! As you can tell from the synopsis of the two episodes there was a lot of action...but nary a mention of our beloved NJ. As a born and bred native of the state...I did not recognize the alley in which the episodes began but the view from the officer's pigeon deck captured what appeared to be the Trenton skyline down along the Delaware, which we must assume was the location is the oldest part of the city. The home are built in the style similar to the policeman's apartment. The large white square office building looks exactly to be the state office buildings in that part of town. There were quite a few times that we saw that big white building so I am assuming we were meant to. Not sure if it was a location shot or a similar building someone found. A view of the state house's gold dome or even the planetarium next door would have proved an actual location shot. But the building is certainly correct.

Again...the campus of the hospital is actually an aerial view of Princeton University (which has no medical school and is not affliated with the University Medical Center at Princeton).

Having been to what I will probably always call Princeton Hospital (that's what it used to be!!!) and having had occasion to sit in the looked to me that whoever described the interior to the set designer had to have spent some time there too. The chapel is a peaceful small room. A nice place to sit and think as Forman's father found out for himself.

Did I miss something? Questions? Additions? Let me know!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Editors of House MD Guide Note

This blog is being taken over by Pennie. The old postings by Jersey Girl will look as if they came from Penny (as does this post) but only the posts after this one will come from the new owner of this blog. We are currently experimenting with this blog even changing the way it looks. But from now on we, who have only a slight acquaitance with New Jersey, hope to learn about references we may have missed or be confused by in past and future episodes.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Looking for a New Jersey Native

The person who has been doing this blog cannot keep it up. Is there anyyone else out there who has personal knowledge of the Princeton, New Jersey area who might like to help the rest of us understand the references thrown into various episodes? All it takes is a little time for a post a week (or once every two weeks or so) and knowledge of Princeton. Email the editors of the House MD Guide with your questions (see the footer of any non-blog page in the site) or at the current email address of this blog:

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Season 1 - Episode 4 - "Maternity"

In this episode, we have some new references, and a number of old ones.

There is a spoken reference to "Princeton General Hospital". It doesn't exist.

In the scene where the female clinic patient brings in her husband and they confront House by his office, you'll see above the double doors, behind House's head "Carnegie Wing." This is undoubtedly a reference to Lake Carnegie and Andrew Carnegie.

There's an interesting story here ... Princeton University students had long complained of the lack of a satisfactory rowing venue. In the 1870s, the crew team tried rowing on the Delaware and Raritan Canal, but it was too narrow and heavily traveled. One day Howard Russell Butler (Class of '76 ... 1876, that is) happened to run into Andrew Carnegie, the Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist and founder of Carnegie Steel Company (later to become U.S. Steel) while both were traveling on the train affectionately known as the Dinky (still runs between the Princeton campus and Princeton Junction and is usually only one car, hence the name). Butler aired his complaints to Carnegie who had built a number of lakes in his native Scotland. He was intrigued and asked Butler to research what it would cost to fulfill Butler and his friends' dream to create a lake by flooding the wetlands south of campus. Butler sent Carnegie a letter dated July 16, 1902 stating it was feasible and should cost just over $100,000.00. Carnegie agreed to fund the project.

Four years later, the 300-acre marsh and surrounding land was purchased, the vegetation removed and mud dredged out by horse-drawn wagons. An area of Stony Brook and the Millstone River between Kingston and Princeton was dammed, flooding the area to a depth of 12 feet. Princeton now had its lake ... three miles long and up to 800 feet wide. Lake Carnegie was dedicated on December 5, 1906.

About the only one not happy with the lake was Princeton's 13th President at the time, Woodrow Wilson (yes, *that* Woodrow Wilson ... he didn't become U.S. President until seven years later). Both he and President James McCosh before him had tried many times to get Carnegie to make a donation to the University without success. Instead Carnegie gave the University a lake. It is said Wilson remarked, "We asked for bread, and he gave us cake."

As the husband, wife and House go *around the corner from his office*, we see "McCormick Wing." Keep that in mind, it's important.

Later, we see "Mathey Wing" behind Cuddy and Wilson.

When House is next by his office, where the double doors had said "Carnegie Wing", we see that now it says "McCormick Wing!" I did a double take.
Either the "Continuity Fairy" was asleep on the job or I'm seeing things! I rewatched the two scenes three times. I was seeing correctly. Apparently, someone goofed! :-D

Later when House is watching the elderly woman volunteer, we see "Mathey Wing" behind him. and that's it for this episode.

Happy New Year, Everyone!
Jersey Girl

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

Monday, November 28, 2005

Welcome, Jersey Girl

We, the editors of House MD, welcome this blog about the Princeton area mentions on House MD.


Quotations, etc. Copyright Heel & Toe Productions, Bad Hat Harry Productions, et al.
Pictures from the show copyright Fox Broadcasting Corporation
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