Architect: Louis S. Kaplan
After the death New Jersey native son Woodrow Wilson in 1924, Trenton Mayor Frederick W. Donnelly appointed a citizen committee to plan a memorial to the 200 men and women from Trenton that has given their lives in the first World War. In 1927, the committee recommended not just a monument, but a large public building as "a memorial that would combine beauty, dignity and civic utility."
The memorial was designed in Italian Renaissance Revival style. Groundbreaking for the Soldiers and Sailors War Memorial occurred on July 17, 1930 with an opening in 1932. The facility was operated by the city and county until being taken over by the state in 1988. The facility underwent an extensive renovation and modernization beginning in 1994 and reopened on January 12, 1999 with a rededication "in honor of all those from this state who served with courage, dignity and patriotism in the Armed Forces of the United States of America."
Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of? (William Shakespeare)