Early 20th century aerial view of Carpender Estate located on the Douglass Campus.
Historic Lindenwood Carpender House
The Rutgers Inn & Conference Center had its beginnings in 1965, when Rutgers acquired the 21-acre Sydney B. Carpender estate on Clifton Avenue at the edge of the Douglass Campus. Formerly known as Lindenwood, the beautifully landscaped property included the stately Carpender House, a 20-room manor house built in 1911 in the Tudor revival style popular during that period.
In 1969, Rutgers constructed a modern addition, which originally included 36 guest rooms, a spacious lobby, lounge, dining room, large conference room, kitchen and elevator.
The Carpender House has a fireplace in almost every room, and now contains six conference rooms, two of which are located on the second floor (the former living room and dining room) along with a sun porch and large front hall. Bedrooms on the third floor have been converted into small conference rooms, ideal for breakout sessions, and administrative offices.
An Illustrious Past
Lindenwood was built just before World War I for Sydney Bleecker Carpender and his wife, the former Louise Johnson. She was the daughter of James Wood Johnson, who with his brothers, Robert Wood and Edward Mead, founded the firm of Johnson & Johnson. Sydney Carpender was born on November 24, 1884, the son of Alice B. and Charles J. Carpender and grandson of Catherine Neilson and Jacob Stout Carpender, who built the original Lindenwood in 1848 for which this estate was named.
Among the striking features of Lindenwood are the landscape plantings and trees first installed by Mr. Carpender and his family and tended today by the university. A horticulture enthusiast, Carpender created a delightful man-made environment that has grown in value through the years as a site for study and environmental enrichment.
Recent overnight guests at the conference center have included a descendant of the Carpender and Neilson families, who contributed a detailed history of the family and the estate, and Frank Sinatra Jr., who performed at the nearby Nicholas Music Center in 2007.
Today, Lindenwood offers a retreat-like setting for conferences, seminars, workshops, meetings, and overnight stays. Its gardens and magnificent trees still dominate the grounds, adding to the site’s ambience, and making the Rutgers Inn & Conference Center one of the most unique places to meet and stay in New Brunswick.
Artist's sketch of the historic Carpender House in New Brunswick, built before World War I.
Above the Carpender House, the bridges across the Raritan are seen in the distance.
Lush plantings and manicured edging at the Carpender House in its early days.
Back garden view of the Carpender house on the Lindenwood property.