Thomas Edison State College

The Kelsey Building, located at 101 W. State Street, Trenton, is the original home of Thomas Edison College.

Thomas Edison State College is a public institution of higher education located in Trenton, New Jersey. One of New Jersey’s 12 public universities and colleges, Thomas Edison State College offers degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level. Thomas Edison State College was approved by the New Jersey Board of Education in December 1971, and established on July 1, 1972. The college was named in honor of Thomas Alva Edison, the New Jersey inventor who gained encyclopedic knowledge of many subject areas through self-directed learning.

The Kelsey Building, located at 101 W. State Street, Trenton, is the original home of Thomas Edison College. According to the college web site, it was built in 1911 to house the Trenton School of Industrial Arts. The Kelsey Building was initiated by Henry Cooper Kelsey, a banker who served as New Jersey’s Secretary of State for 27 years. Henry Cooper Kelsey initiated the project to memorialize his wife Prudence, who died in 1904.

The Kelsey Building was designed by one of America’s most famous architects, Cass Gilbert, and has been the home of four educational institutions including Thomas Edison State College, which moved into the building in 1979.

Gilbert, a past president of the American Institute of Architects and designer of the prominent Woolworth Building in New York, modeled the Kelsey Building after the most famous palace of the Florentine Renaissance the Palazzo Strozzi. This palace, a favorite of Prudence Townsend Kelsey, was built in Florence, Italy, in 1489.

Inside the Kelsey Building, a lavishly decorated room was built as a special tribute to Prudence. The Prudence Townsend Kelsey Memorial Room is a permanent exhibit space for the porcelain and art she and her husband collected on their annual trips to Europe.

Address: 101 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08608

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