Tourism kiosk connects Revolutionary roots to the Rutgers area

PISCATAWAY – Officials are celebrating the unveiling of a new three-sided kiosk at the Rutgers Visitor Center in Piscataway that highlights the historical significance of Middlesex County, a gateway to the Crossroads of the American Revolution.

In doing so, the kiosk will educate and potentially bring tens of thousands of visitors to the area’s many historic sites.

The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders partnered with the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area and Rutgers University to promote the region’s diverse history. This unique partnership has the ability to reach over 75,000 visitors and draw them into the plethora of history and arts opportunities available in the county.

The Rutgers Visitor Center is located at 100 Sutphen Rd. in Piscataway on the Busch Campus. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and select weekends.

“New Jersey’s Revolutionary heritage is an enormous and largely untapped asset that has the potential to drive civic pride and economic growth,” said Noreen Bodman, executive director of Crossroads of the American Revolution, about the Feb. 18 unveiling. “We’re grateful to Middlesex County, Rutgers and the New Brunswick Development Corporation for taking a leadership stance in driving that potential here in the heart of the Crossroads region through this kiosk.”

“Middlesex County is proud to partner with the Crossroads of the American Revolution and Rutgers University to shed light on this region’s place in the American story,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Our rich history should be celebrated, preserved and shared, and this kiosk helps us do that.”                                                                                            

The kiosk will feature information about the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area, which includes Middlesex County. It will also highlight the 250th Anniversary of Rutgers University’s founding.

“It is terrific that the kiosk project has been initiated during 2016 and during our 250th anniversary year” said Matt Weismantel, senior director of Rutgers 250. “It allows Rutgers to present our early history within the context of Middlesex County and the Crossroads of the American Revolution, while also building on our anniversary theme of ‘Revolutionary for 250 Years.’”

Middlesex County’s side of the kiosk includes a touch screen monitor with a short video highlighting the Revolutionary War history of the historic Low House and East Jersey Old Town Village, which are in close proximity to the Rutgers Visitor Center.

This side also introduces onlookers to Middlesex County’s new mobile app. By texting “culture” to 56512, users can access information on arts, history and cultural events, historic sites, podcasts, and so much more.

“Middlesex County knows how important it is to keep its residents and visitors connected to history and culture,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the county’s Business Development and Education Committee. “With the new kiosk and our mobile app, we are using the latest technology to bring our past – our heritage – to life.”

This kiosk is to be the first installation in Crossroads’ statewide heritage signage program designed to attract visitors to Revolutionary-era historic sites, increase tourism and drive civic engagement. Additional interpretive and way-finding signage is planned for locations across the state, directing visitors to explore 14 storylines that explain the war’s impact on everyday New Jerseyans.

Middlesex County, through the Department of Business Development and Education, Office of Culture & Heritage, contributed $5,000 toward the kiosk. Rutgers donated the space at the Visitors Center to house it. The kiosk was also made possible by funding from the New Brunswick Development Corporation.

For more information on the Visitor Center, call 732-445-1000.

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