Efforts are ongoing to upgrade and modernize Drumthwacket, the official residence of the New Jersey governor in Princeton.

First Lady Tammy Murphy, who has taken over as president of the Drumthwacket Foundation, is focused on rehabilitating the residence inside and out.

She said in the areas surrounding the house, students from the Rutgers School of Horticulture are developing a garden master plan, while “we’re trying to work with Stockton and Fairleigh Dickinson Universities on hospitality and event planning.”

“I have raised money (through the foundation) and refurbished the kitchen, and when students come for a historical tour of the house, the chef is giving them lessons on farm-to-table, on nutrition and different dishes that would have been made in the house back in the 1800s," she said."

Murphy also said she has written to all of New Jersey's publishing companies, and is reaching out to New Jersey authors, asking them to contribute hardbound books.

“Everything about this house should ooze New Jersey -- and so the library, I would really like it to be stocked full of only New Jersey authors,” Murphy said.

At receptions, only New Jersey wines and beers will be served, she said. Drumthwacket is moving toward a farm-to-table experience. It's working with a collective to bring seafood from Jersey's shore.

Murphy said the foundation is also working with an organization that helps New Jerseyans living on the streets learn about farming and specifically flowers -- "we are working and displaying those cut flowers in the house as often as we can.”

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Murphy also said all art that is displayed in Drumthwacket is created by New Jersey residents.

“We have a couple of art receptions a year where we will focus on one aspect of New Jersey, whether it’s a single artist or it’s style or a genre.”

Additionally, all collections put on display in Drumthwacket will come from New Jersey museums.

She stressed “every single thing we are doing, everything we are touching, we’re trying to make this all New Jersey all the time, and I can tell you I am all in on that front.”

“Literally everything we touch must be beneficial to some segment of our population in New Jersey," Murphy said.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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