It was the glass industry that gave birth to Glassboro back in 1779. Established by Solomon Stranger, the town and factory were originally known as “Glass Works in the Woods.” By the 1840s, Glassboro had become one of the largest communities in Gloucester County, New Jersey. When the glass factory moved to the town’s periphery, commercial ventures began to take its place, resulting in the traditional downtown feel the community continues to this day.
In 1923, Glassboro became home of the New Jersey Normal School. Now known as Rowan University, it forms the basis of Glassboro’s growth, diversity, and evolution. While Glassboro remains rich in history, the vision for transforming Glassboro into the quintessential college town ensures a promising future.
Glassboro is a growing community centrally located in Gloucester County, New Jersey. Less than ten-square-miles, it is small enough to impart a hometown feel, yet it still offers diverse neighborhoods, each with their own distinct character and architecture. Glassboro’s housing stock reflects its history and evolution. Homes built in the late 1700s up until the mid 1800s can be found in Glassboro’s downtown. Chestnut Ridge includes homes built during the 1920s, and newer town homes and single-family homes can be found in Old Orchard, Doubletree, and Rolling Greens, which were all built in the last 20 years.
Rowan University contributes largely to Glassboro’s sense of community, yet residents of all ages have many reasons to make Glassboro their home. Its strong public schools; more than 20 houses of worship; and its proximity to Philadelphia, Atlantic City, and the New Jersey Shore are just some of the many benefits of being a resident.
Glassboro residents enjoy a traditional downtown that serves many of their needs. It is also enhancing this offering, creating a new shopping destination that will make it easy to obtain all of life’s necessities without the need for a car.
The new Rowan Boulevard Downtown Development Project is a catalyst for Glassboro’s sustainable economic growth. This ongoing project to connect Rowan’s Campus with Glassboro’s commercial center is generating new opportunities in construction, retail, hospitality, and real estate. A partnership of Rowan University and SORA Holdings, it will include a public square that will be situated along High Street, as well as a new professional service district that is expected to offer more than 150,000 square feet of office space and opportunities in information technology, health care, and financial services.
Glassboro’s location also contributes to its success. Route 55 is the community’s main highway and provides connections to all major roads including 295, 676, the Atlantic City Turnpike, and the New Jersey Turnpike.
Looking to bring more businesses and residents to the region, Glassboro and DVRPC are actively engaged in improving the community’s public transportation options. The West Jersey Rail Line that served Glassboro throughout much of its history is being redeveloped to create a light rail line that will provide access to economic and residential centers throughout the region.
Rowan University also employs more than 1,200 people.
Whether you’re eager to catch a game, take in a performance, or maybe just enjoy the great outdoors, Glassboro is the place to go. In addition to its five major parks that offer summer sports programs, hiking and biking trails, basketball courts, and athletic fields, the community is also home to the Glassboro Wildlife Management Area. Totaling 2,337 acres, this unique destination allows residents and visitors to witness nature’s many wonders.
Come night time, many Glassboro residents take advantage of regular concerts and theater productions available through Rowan University or a football, basketball, or baseball game at one of the local high schools.
A new public square is designed to be the centerpiece of the community. It will be lighted and wired for sound to serve as a venue for outdoor concerts and community events. Still, there are many opportunities for the local Glassboro community to come together. These events include Unity Day and Cruise Night, the annual Memorial Day Parade, and the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.
Glassboro offers a great number of entertainment attractions and cultural destinations. Within the town itself are the historic Hollybush Mansion and Heritage Glass Museum, as well as local landmarks like Angelo’s Diner.
The cultural and entertainment options available through Rowan University also attract visitors from the surrounding region. Premier destinations include the Frederic and Jean Edelman Planetarium at Rowan University, Westby Gallery, and Pfllger Concert Hall.
As Glassboro achieves its vision of becoming the quintessential college town, it will have even more to offer. New development will bring expanded shopping, dining, and entertainment options to the community, encouraging visitors to make Glassboro their destination for great shopping, fine dining, and live entertainment, all along a walkable, tree-lined boulevard.
Beginning at the West Jersey Train Depot Museum and Welcome Center, explore the bustling home of Rowan University. You will wind through campus and through the new Town Square.
Built in the 1860’s, this train station once served as the gateway to Glassboro for those riding the West Jersey and Seashore Lines. The Glassboro Historical Society restored the station and converted it into a museum and welcome center in 2015.
Built in 1849, Hollybush has had many lives: the Whitney Mansion; a dorm for the earliest students of Glassboro Normal School, now Rowan University; and the residence for the University’s presidents. In 1967 President Lyndon B. Johnson and Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin joined together for the Summit at Hollybush, talks that helped quell tensions between the two countries during the height of the Cold War.
The Fredric and Jean Edelman Planetarium provides instructional and entertaining programs that educate the members of the Rowan community, the K-12 students of the region and the general public. We serve as a public resource for astronomical information and involve elements of other natural sciences, education, communications and the fine and performing arts in our shows.
Formerly a series of underutilized buildings,the newly built Town Square, where the Boulevard meets Downtown Glassboro is the active, community gathering place for the entire region where pedestrian-friendly street and walkways provide the ideal atmosphere for enjoying a day with the family. Art Garden exhibitions make modern art available to borough residents, students and visitors.
The Museum has exhibits of historic glass, bottles and animal glass art figurines. It has an extensive library on glass blowing and education.The Most important function of the museum is the retrieval, preservation and exhibition of historic Glass, bottles and related items. This serves to identify the links between the past and the present so to provide a means to connect to our local history.