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Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series
The Historical Photographs Collection -- Grounds and Buildings Photographs documents the enormous growth and change of the face of Princeton University's campus from the late 1850s to the present. Even the face of college campuses is fluid--buildings do not always stand permanently, nor remain in the same location. During this time a great number of buildings at Princeton were razed or destroyed by fire and replaced by new buildings; some of these buildings were subsequently demolished or moved to make way for even newer ones.Buildings which were razed include: Philosophical Hall (1803-1873), the first Chapel (1847-1896), Bonner-Marquand Gymnasium (1869-1907), Carpenter Hall/House (undated-1909), East College (1833-1896), Halsted Observatory (1869-1932), Reunion Hall (1870-1965), University Hall (1876-1916), and Upper Pyne Building (1896-1963).Buildings that were moved to other locations include Corwin Hall (originally called Wilson Hall), and the Joseph Henry House (which was moved three times, first in 1870, then in 1925, and again in 1946). A series of houses which served as faculty homes or rooming houses on Nassau St. (numbering 31 and 39, and 45, 49, and 51) were all moved in 1909 when the construction for Holder Hall was begun. Carpenter House/Hall (37 Nassau St.) was demolished at this time. President McCosh's post-presidency residence was moved from 103 Prospect St. to 391 Nassau St. in 1916.Buildings lost to fires include: Dickinson Hall (1870) and Marquand Chapel (1882) both went up in flames in 1920; in 1924 the Casino (1895) burned; in 1928 the John C. Green School of Science (1873) and the Dynamo Building (1889) burned down; and in 1944 the University Gymnasium (1903) and the Brokaw Memorial (1892) caught on fire while U.S. soldiers were being housed in the gymnasium. Nassau Hall has also been a victim of fire several times since it was built in 1756.A number of the grounds on campus are no longer in existence. The University Field was eliminated when the Engineering Quadrangle was built in 1962. The only remaining evidence of the field and its buildings and stands are the Ferris Thompson Gates on Prospect St., and the Third World Center which was built as the Osborn Field House. The area where Brokaw Field used to be is now the site of 27 tennis courts and the Mathey Tennis Pavilion (1961). The locations of several athletic fields have been changed: currently Clarke Field, Strubing Field, Finney Field, Campbell Field, and Sexton Field now stands where Laughlin Field once stood. Bedford Field moved from its original location to its present location in 1986, and Lourie-Love Field took its place.Many other elements of the campus have changed. The Drinking Fountain no longer exists on campus; the Bulletin Elm was cut down in 1888. The Princeton Student Monument (a.k.a., the Christian Student, c1880), is now inside Jadwin Gymnasium. The first Boat House was probably destroyed when the Class of 1877 Boat House was built in 1912, and the vast areas of open land that can be seen in the campus views of the 1860 and 1870s stretching out beyond Prospect House are now filled with residential subdivisions, corporate buildings and roadways.Over the years both the name and function of many buildings on campus changed. An important distinction is to be made between the name of a building and its function. It is the name of a building and the date(s) of construction and alteration that are the key aspects for this collection. Photographs relating to the function of buildings, including photographs of students engaged in activities connected to or relevant to a specific building have been removed to the Campus Life series of the Historical Photograph Collection. Photographs which were removed include photographs of dormitory rooms, dedication ceremonies of buildings, and student activities including sports, clubs, and social events.Duplicates of photographs post-dating 1880 have been discarded, unless the quality of different photographs necessitated keeping more than one copy. Multiple copies of photographs pre-dating 1880 have been retained. Copy negatives have been discarded as well, unless no original photograph exists.Photographs relating to Princeton Borough have been removed and given to the Historical Society of Princeton. Researchers interested in photographs of the Princeton Borough and surrounding areas not owned by Princeton University should contact the Historical Society of Princeton.
Princeton University Archives