The colonial-style square, with its long wooden benches, is a symbol of New Jersey’s colonial past.
But as state lawmakers consider a bill to rename it, the debate is playing out across the nation.
As of Wednesday, some 1,300 people had signed a petition calling on the state to rename the colonial-era building.
The New Jersey Historical Society, which is working with the state Historical Commission to draft a resolution, had collected more than 1.3 million signatures by Wednesday evening.
The bill would change the name of the historic property to a new space called Colonial Square.
The New Jersey Civil War Museum in Newark and the state’s other state historic sites would get new names, too, including Colonial Park in Trenton, Colonial Place in Jersey City, the Great Newark Bridge, and the new state museum, said state Rep. Brian Morris, a Democrat from Newark.
New Jersey’s historical buildings would also be moved from their state-owned naming rights, and would instead have the names Colonial, State, and Colonies.
The state would be able to rename historic properties that were donated to the state and would no longer be designated as historic sites, such as the historic New York City building, Morris said.