New Brunswick lies in north central New Jersey on the southern banks of the Raritan River, 22 miles southwest of Newark. A center of education and healthcare, it is the seat of Rutgers University, the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and the headquarters of the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company. It is also the seat of Middlesex County.
New Brunswick was founded in 1681 by settlers from Long Island. It was named in 1724 after King George I, Duke of Brunswick, and was incorporated as a city in 1784. George Washington's final military campaign, which ended in victory at Yorktown, began here.
The poet Joyce Kilmer, famous for his poem "Trees," was born here.
Downtown New Brunswick was experiencing decline in the 1960's and 1970's typical of many American cities, but in recent years has built on its assets to reverse this trend. Amtrack's northeast corridor tracks, with high-speed service to New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, border downtown to the northwest. Rutgers University and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, with large numbers of students and professionals, are just beyond. The 1980's brought office developments along Albany Street, including One Johnson & Johnson Plaza. Redevelopment of public housing such as New Brunswick Homes, along with dormitory and condominium projects such as Skyline Tower and One Spring Street, are leading development in the 2000's.
The city limits of New Brunswick cover a small area. Tall buildings in the surrounding communities of East Brunswick, Highland Park, Piscataway, and parts of Franklin Township are visible one from another.