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The Snyder Academy of Elizabethtown



CLICK HERE to read more about the signage program at Snyder Academy 

Snyder Academy traces its roots to the founding of the city of Elizabeth in 1664 as one of the oldest and most historic sites in New Jersey, serving the city of Elizabeth and Union County for over 350 years. Today, Snyder Academy operates in a newly renovated, 20,000 square foot building adjacent to the First Presbyterian Church and offers a truly unique mix of historic treasures and state of the art facilities. The site consists of an extraordinary collection of resources and facilities in the heart of midtown Elizabeth just two blocks from the Amtrak northeast corridor train station and ten minutes from Newark Liberty Airport. Cultural Arts Snyder Academy’s historic auditorium features a breathtaking 1917 Classical Revival event and performance space with outstanding acoustics, 24 ft. ceilings, a full stage, and seating for up to 250, all restored in 2014. Stunning light suffused art studios are also available for use. Education Snyder Academy has been home to a dynamic and diverse community of pioneers, thinkers, and leaders since 1664.

Today, Snyder Academy welcomes the next generation of leaders with state of the art meeting and classroom space for functions and educational programs of up to 150 people as well as turnkey office space ideal for nonprofits and small businesses. History Snyder Academy seeks to enhance the public’s understanding of America’s past by telling the story of the people of New Jersey from 1664 through the American Revolution. In addition to tours of the most historic Burial Grounds in New Jersey, the Academy showcases a variety of noteworthy artifacts in a permanent exhibition on-site and is developing educational programs available for both children and adults. Engaging the Community Snyder Academy seeks to embrace the present needs of the surrounding community and enhance the economic opportunities and quality of life for the people of Elizabeth and New Jersey. Snyder Academy offers a range of services to the community including a full-service commercial kitchen, meeting space and educational space.

The Perfect Venue Snyder Academy event spaces are designed to fit your needs, with a range of sizes that accommodate small group meetings with as few as four participants to receptions or weddings for as many as 250 guests. The beautifully restored Classical Revival auditorium is ideal for weddings, cocktail receptions, and private dinners.

For more information or to plan an event please contact us at 908-353-2131 or Learn about The Snyder Academy Tours!

Historical Significance 
The Old Academy School was attended by Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Burr attended the school several years before Hamilton. However, Burr spent time in Elizabethtown during 1773 while Hamilton was a student here, so it is possible, but uncertain, that they may have met at that time. Both men would go on to the important military and political roles in the Revolutionary War era: Hamilton served as a colonel and aide-de-camp to General Washington in the War, and he later served as the country’s first secretary of the treasury.

Burr also served as a colonel in the war, and he later was the country’s third Vice President. In 1804, the two men would meet in Weehawken for the famous duel that ended the life of Alexander Hamilton.
The Academy’s principal at the beginning of the Revolution was Francis Barber. Barber served as a lieutenant colonel in the Revolutionary War. Barber lost his life in an unusual accident that occurred in 1783. He was riding on horseback to dine with General Washington, who was headquartered in Newburgh, New York. He passed by some men who were cutting down trees, and he was hit and killed by one of the trees.  Upon receiving the news of Barber’s death, Washington is reported to have said, “Men of higher rank and more wealth may die, but there is but one Francis Barber.”

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