120 East State is a new, New Jersey 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to creating a vibrant, new hub of activity in downtown Trenton, less than half a mile from the Capitol. Our mission is to preserve and develop the First Presbyterian Church’s properties into flexible, multi-use spaces for community benefit. Code-named the Steeple Center, the project restores and repurposes the site’s historic cemetery, church sanctuary, and function-rooms into:
- A 272-seat performing arts center, capable of supporting dance, music, spoken word, and theater (among many others), providing a first or second home-venue for most of the active performing arts organizations in the City including African American Cultural Collaborative of Mercer County, Capital Harmony Works, Capital Philharmonic of New Jersey, Circus Squad, DanceSpora, and Passage Theatre Company. The Center represents a unique, optimally-sized venue for the Trenton market, and will deliver state-of-the-art lighting, audio, and projection systems to enhance production values while reducing costs.
- A Welcome and Visitor Center which will support historic tourism for one of the key cities in the America250 Celebration while providing sorely needed amenities for use by the local community. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the site preserves a Revolutionary War Cemetery, establishes a café and visitor center open 7 days a week, and creates vibrancy and activity in the neighborhood to enhance quality of life and public safety.
- A meeting and event facility that will support activities ranging from small group meetings to catered events of 300 diners. Projected users will include the many non-profits with headquarters in Greater Trenton, local community groups, and individuals and families. Events will range from fund-raising galas, training, graduation ceremonies, family reunions, and wedding receptions.
Part of the plan is to install a state-of-the art, fully licensed commercial kitchen. This will support each of the three legs of the business model, while providing a platform for culinary arts job-training, and a facility for use by neighborhood food-related businesses.
The plan establishes new outdoor spaces to enhance the site, including a roof terrace that can be set up for dining or events, and pedestrian friendly outdoor terraces and pathways.