Project Update


The Paul Robeson Birthday Celebration

Sunday, April 9th - 3PM


The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP), and The Paul Robeson House of Princeton, presents a free community event Commemorating Paul Robeson's Birthday on Sunday April 9th from 3-5pm. The family friendly "birthday party" will feature a historical overview of Mr. Robeson's birth in Princeton, successful career in show business, and involvement in the civil rights movement. Baritone soloist Keith Spencer will perform a sampling of Robeson's repertoire and the Liberian Women's Chorus for Change, composed of renowned singers, dancers and musicians will showcase the power of traditional Liberian song. Participate in collaborative community artwork and enjoy a slice of birthday cake courtesy of The Gingered Peach. 

The Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, 102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ. To reserve a seat and for more information, please visit or call 609.924.8777.


The celebration of the 175th Anniversary of the founding of Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church was an opportunity to focus attention to key events in our rich history.  The dismissal of Rev. William Drew Robeson and the impact on the church proved to be a cause for reflective review  and action. Rev. David and Nancy Prince and the WSPC Session, lead discussions that prompted the adoption of  Statements Reconciliation and Apology from the Presbytery of New Brunswick, Nassau Presbyterian Church and the Synod of the Northeast.  The Synod appointed a committee to investigate and report  the circumstances that lead to the action. And after careful reflection the committee recommended the absorption of the balance of mortgage on the Robeson House. The gift of approximately $170,000 from the Synod has allowed us to retire the mortgage and  begin the needed renovations and building code updates to the Robeson birth home. The first phase of the repairs is underway.


1898 buspass






An important artifact was uncovered by volunteers working at the house. A transportation pass issued to William D Robeson on April 30, 1898 was found in the rubble. The monthly pass was issued to allow the oldest Robeson child to commute daily to Trenton since he was not permitted attend high school in Princeton. This document, found in the ceiling of the first floor, is confirming evidence Robeson family presence in the home and it documents the discriminatory practices of the era.  This “bit of history” has heightened awareness and broadened support for the preservation of this important part of the community.  



Robeson House Events...

November 2015

A celebration of the 175th Anniversary of the founding of the Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church for Colored People in 1840 was held at the Nassau Inn on Sunday, November 15 and featured a historical overview of the church and its legacy of leadership and service to the Princeton community. The Paul Robeson Award was awarded to Rev. David Prince, his wife Nancy Prince and Rev. David McAlpin for their outstanding achievement in the areas of social justice and civil rights. The Rev. Dr. Peter Paris was the main speaker. A diverse group of religious leaders, elected officials, philanthropic and educational organizations joined Witherspoon members in attendance.  There was also a Silent Auction.

The dinner was hosted by the Paul Robeson House of Princeton. Proceeds from the event will be used to support the continued development and rehabilitation of the former WSPC manse and birth home of Paul Robeson. The event was an opportunity for the community to join in celebration of the vital role the church and Robeson House have contributed to the quality of life to our community.

June 2015

The Paul Robeson House will receive the 2015 Arts Council of Princeton Pride of the Arts Council Neighborhood Award. The award recognizes the partnership with the Arts Council on community programs and events. It is given annually to those who have contributed to and assisted in fulfilling the mission of Building Community through the Arts. The award will be presented at the Annual Membership meeting at the Robeson Center for the Arts on Thursday June 18.

April 2015

April is the Paul Robeson birth month. We were invited by the One Table Café at Trinity Episcopal Church to present a program highlighting the life and times of Robeson and the activities at Robeson House. Denyse Leslie, Robeson House Advisory Committee member narrated a power point presentation that featured early life in the Witherspoon Jackson neighborhood, his accomplishments as a scholar, performer and civil rights activist. The presentation was well received by a capacity audience. This was an opportunity raise awareness of Robeson and his leadership in the modern civil rights movement.

Robeson House participated at the annual Communiversity event. We are part of the booth reserved by Nassau Church. We are proud to be included in this exciting community arts and street fair.