Princeton Prospect Foundation (PPF) continues to strongly urge the Princeton community and University alumni to oppose the University’s heavy-handed and unnecessary plan to move the former Court Clubhouse out of the Princeton Historic District and across Prospect Avenue, and demolish three historic Victorian-era houses in the process, as part of the proposed new Environmental Studies and School of Engineering and Applied Science building complex to be located adjacent to the eating clubs. PPF is joined by over 1,350 town residents and alumni who have signed this petition in opposition to this portion of the University’s plans, which ignore National Park Service guidelines and would cause irreparable harm to the aesthetic and historic continuity of Prospect Avenue, and also set a disturbing precedent for the future. This Historic Preservation Documentation provides a comprehensive background on this issue.
There has been abundant media coverage on this pressing issue, the latest being in Town Topics. A third meeting of the Princeton Planning Board to discuss this “Court Clubhouse Controversy” will be held on September 23rd, 2021. PPF urges the public to continue to make comments in opposition at this meeting.
Open Houses at Princeton University’s Eating Clubs
Princeton Prospect Foundation provides for periodic public access to Princeton University’s iconic eating clubs where generations of students have taken meals and socialized in historic and architecturally significant clubhouses that date as far back as 1895. There is no fee to visit the clubs during open houses, nor are reservations required. The open houses scheduled for all of 2020 and the spring semester of 2021 were cancelled because the eating clubs have been closed since mid-March of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. As of June, 2021, it is expected that the eating clubs will reopen for student member use in the fall semester of 2021. However, the open houses will resume only after it is deemed safe and prudent to allow public access to the clubs, which might not be until some time in 2022.
The fascinating origins and evolution of the clubs, along with many archival images and spectacular photos, can be found in The Princeton Eating Clubs, written by award-winning author Clifford W. Zink in 2017. This beautiful book is available at Labyrinth Books and the Princeton University Store, and on Amazon: