The Exceptional Jim Hamilton

Jim Hamilton
Jim Hamilton, visionary, philanthropist, designer, restaurateur and beloved member of the Lambertville community. Photo: Benoit Cortet

Thank you, Jim!

Jim Hamilton, visionary, philanthropist, designer, restaurateur and beloved member of the Lambertville community, passed away on February 2, 2018, leaving behind a remarkable legacy of achievement, and a dream yet to be fully realized.

Jim’s contributions to his hometown are unparalleled.  In 1979, he developed a master plan, restoring vitality to a city that had fallen into economic distress. having lost its manufacturing base.   Committed to retaining Lambertville’s small river town ambience, Jim salvaged and restored its historic buildings, attracting new businesses and restaurants and creating a now-thriving “Main Street.”  Jim later created Shad Fest, the event that now draws tens of thousands of visitors to Lambertville each Spring.  A consummate showman, he orchestrated dinner for 1,000 down North Union Street to benefit the Fire Department. Read the full obituary.

Local artist Robert Beck wrote, “He was an advocate for the kind of progress that worked for everybody, and he backed it up with hard work.  Jim understood community and believed there was an ‘us.’ He gave so much …. And he pulled everyone with him in his dreams for better things.”  Read the full tribute.

In recent years, as a capstone to his original master plan, Jim developed a design to revitalize Ely Park, the largest open space in Lambertville.  He imagined a beautiful, vibrant green space that would beckon people of all ages to gather, relax, play and connect as a community.  The plan for Ely Park was Jim’s last civic project, and it held a special place in his heart.

As the ultimate “thank you” to the man who did so much for Lambertville, won’t you please help us make Jim’s final vision for our community a reality?

Help us thank Jim