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Sculptures Commemorating Albert Hinds Installed on Plaza Next to the Princeton Public Library

Tom Nussbaum polishes the newly installed stainless steel gates on Hinds Plaza Wednesday.

Tom Nussbaum polishes the newly installed stainless steel gates on Hinds Plaza Wednesday.

It’s always the right time to do the right thing.

That was a favorite quote of Albert E. Hinds, a Princeton icon who died in 2006 at the age of 104. Hinds attended the Witherspoon Elementary School during a time of school segregation, helped pave Nassau Street, drove a horse-drawn carriage to pick up passengers arriving at Princeton Junction, and served on various nonprofit and government boards in the Princeton community over his lifetime.

Now Hinds Plaza commemorates its namesake with stainless steel gates that include his favorite quote and several cut-out designs, including  a shape similar to the hubcap of the last car Hinds drove, a 1988 Mercury Sable. Two plaques will be embedded in the plaza surface detailing salient features of the life of Hinds, and people will be directed to a telephone number they can call to access an audio guide about Hinds and the project.

The gates were installed yesterday by Montclair artist Tom Nussbaum. The project was several years in the making. A volunteer committee worked to come up with a fitting tribute to Hinds and raised the money for the project, and the group has raised almost $100,000 for the project so far. A public dedication of the gates will take place in the fall.

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