In 1958, at the request of the Graduate InterClub Council, the Graduate Board of Tower Club, of which James Newman ’26 was Chairman, made a study of ways to “strengthen the community of interests between the Prospect Avenue eating clubs and Princeton University”, and issued a report containing the Tower proposals. The goals emanating from the study were “(1) to help the University achieve its education and financial objectives, and (2) to help Prospect Avenue solve its own increasingly critical social and economic problems, which, if unsolved, will tend inevitably to become the University’s problems, perhaps within the near future”.
The report emphasized the point that “economic considerations for Prospect Avenue as a whole cannot be separated from the social and educational aspects of the Princeton college community. Consequently, a key proposal is to add to Prospect Avenue activities a new and wholesome function–the carrying out of certain educational programs–while continuing to strengthen existing social, eating, and rooming functions.”
With the persistence of Newman and the assistance of others, several of the basic recommendations were implemented which led to the creation of The Princeton Tower Foundation whose board of directors included members of Tower Club as well as other clubs. The Foundation was able to assist Tower Club in creating study and seminar facilities, expanding its educational library, providing scholarships to some of its members, and annually appointing a number of faculty fellows who were encouraged to dine at the club from time to time.
By 1966, the benefits that were accruing to Tower Club had been observed by the officers of the other clubs, a few of whom were belatedly wondering whether they should affiliate with this successful enterprise. To encourage such affiliation, the name officially was changed to Princeton Prospect Foundation. It was over a decade later, however, before other clubs joined Tower Club and shared in the benefits of this Foundation.
By the early 1980s, eight clubs officially were associated with the Foundation: Campus Club, Cap and Gown Club, Cloister Inn, Colonial Club, Elm Club (now part of Cannon Dial Elm Club), Quadrangle Club, Terrace Club , and Tower Club. Since then, Charter Club, Cottage Club, and Ivy Club joined, bringing to eleven the number of Princeton’s eating clubs associated with the Foundation. In the spring of 2000, Tiger Inn joined the Foundation, allowing Princeton Prospect Foundation to be of use to all of Princeton’s Eating Clubs. However, Cottage Club subsequently withdrew from the Foundation for reasons related to its individual listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Also, when Campus Club closed its doors in 2005, it too was no longer an active part of the Foundation. All of the eating clubs are included within the Princeton Historic District which is on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places. They also are included within the Prospect Avenue Historic District in the Municipality of Princeton.
In more recent years, the mission of Princeton Prospect Foundation has evolved to emphasize the preservation and improvement of the historically significant clubhouses in addition to encouraging the educational and charitable pursuits of eating club members.
Chronology of Locations of Eating Clubs and Construction/Renovation of Clubhouses
(As of July 13, 2023)
There have been 20 eating clubs in total over time, all private and independent except Prospect Club. Only three clubs (just one current one – Cap & Gown Club) have been at the same location. Only one club (Prospect Club) has been in just one clubhouse; Tower Club has been located in five clubhouses. Eight clubs have occupied The Incubator. Many former or current clubhouses were designed or redesigned by alumni architects. Three clubhouses were designed by the same architect, Raleigh C. Gildersleeve. [This summary reflects certain dates included in a 1995 Princeton Borough Historic Preservation Commission report that conflict with those shown in The Princeton Eating Clubs book. Underlined dates are when the current permanent clubhouses were erected.]
4 short-term clubs:
Arch Club: Chamberlain house (on Colonial property, future site of Dial Lodge), 1911-1913. Olden House on Washington Rd. (on current site of fountain at Princeton School of Public and International Affairs), 1914-1917.
Gateway Club: The Incubator at 67 Olden St., 1913-21. Relocated 1897 Cap & Gown clubhouse at 111 Prospect Ave., 1921-27. House at 70 Washington Rd. (on current site of Center for Jewish Life), 1927-1937.
Arbor Inn: Relocated Key & Seal clubhouse at 110 Prospect Ave., 1924-28. New clubhouse (J. Eugene Carroll) at 5 Ivy Ln., 1928-39 (demolished in 2022 to make room for new ES/SEAS building complex).
Prospect Club: Former Gateway clubhouse at 70 Washington Rd. (on current site of Center for Jewish Life); 1939-59. Only club owned by University.
16 long-term clubs:
Tiger Inn: University Cottage on Railroad Ave., 1892-93. House on William St.,1893-95. Current clubhouse (G. H. Chamberlain; Tudor Revival style) at 48 Prospect Ave., 1895-present. Renovation of clubhouse (Aymar Embury II 1900), 1926. Expansion of clubhouse (Steven Cohen), 2011. [Original imported furniture remains.]
Ivy Club: Ivy Hall (John Notman, who also designed Prospect House; still extant) at 43 Mercer St., 1877-1884. New clubhouse (Frederick B. White 1883) at 40 Prospect Ave. (current location of Colonial Club), 1884-97. Expansion of clubhouse (Alfred E. Barlow), 1888. Current clubhouse (Walter Cope, who also designed Blair Hall and Little Hall; Jacobean Revival style) at 43 Prospect Ave., 1898-present. Expansion of clubhouse (Demetri Porphyrios), 2009. [Most ornate interior of the clubhouses.]
Elm Club: House at 46 Bayard Lane (still extant), 1895-1901. Current clubhouse (Raleigh C. Gildersleeve; Italianate Revival style) at 58 Prospect Ave., 1901-99. Redesign of clubhouse (Aymar Embury II 1900; Regency Georgian style), 1930. Renovation and expansion of clubhouse by University (Ann Beha Architects), 2009. Now Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding. [Original Italianate Revival architectural style was unique among the clubhouses. / Clubhouse was occupied by School of Public and International Affairs during an apparent dormant period that included the early 1970s.]
Cottage Club: University Cottage on Railroad Ave., 1886-92. New clubhouse at 51 Prospect Ave., 1892-1903. Relocated 1892 clubhouse at 89 Prospect Ave., 1903-04. Current clubhouse (Charles Follen McKim; Georgian Revival style) at 51 Prospect Ave., 1905-present. Renovation of clubhouse (Michael Mills 1973), 1993. [Most architecturally distinguished clubhouse.]
Colonial Club: House at 306 Nassau St., 1892-93. House at 186 Nassau St., 1893-97. Renovated former Ivy clubhouse (Frank G. Stewart 1896) at 40 Prospect Ave., 1897-1906. Current clubhouse (Frank G. Stewart 1896; Colonial Revival style) at 40 Prospect Ave., 1907-present. Renovation of clubhouse (Jeremiah Ford), 1990. [Colonial columns were adopted to reflect name of club.]
Cap & Gown Club: The Incubator (Thomas O. Speir 1887) at 61 Prospect Ave., 1892-1896. New clubhouse (William Ralph Emerson) at 61 Prospect Ave., 1897-1907. Current clubhouse (Raleigh C. Gildersleeve; Norman Revival style) at 61 Prospect Ave., 1908-present. Expansion of clubhouse (Michael Farewell), 2011. [Most ornate exterior of the clubhouses.]
Campus Club: The Incubator at 67 Olden St., 1900-01. Andrew Fleming West House at 5 Prospect Ave., 1901-09. Current clubhouse (Raleigh C. Gildersleeve; Tudor Revival style) at 5 Prospect Ave., 1910-2005. Renovation of clubhouse by University (Nalls Architecture), 2009. Now owned by University for student use. [Nearest clubhouse to main campus.]
Cannon Club (Cannon Dial Elm Club): University Cottage on Railroad Ave., 1895-97. The Incubator at 67 Olden St., 1897-99. Henry Osborn House at 21 Prospect Ave., 1899-1910 (clubhouse demolished in 1910). Current clubhouse (Edgar V. Seeler; Colonial and Tudor Revival influences) at 21 Prospect Ave., 1911-1973. Renovation and reopening of clubhouse (Ned Gaunt 1962) at 21 Prospect Ave., 2011-present. [A cannon was installed on front lawn to reflect name of club.]
Charter Club: The Incubator at 67 Olden St., 1901-03. Renovated and expanded house (David Adler 1904; Georgian Revival style) at 79 Prospect Ave., 1903-12. Current clubhouse (Arthur Meigs 1903; Georgian Revival style) at 79 Prospect Ave., 1913-present. [Classically symmetrical; built with Wissahickon schist from near Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia.]
Quadrangle Club: Henry Burchard Fine House at north side of Prospect Ave., 1901-02. Relocated and renovated Henry Burchard Fine House at 13 Prospect Ave., 1903-10. James McCosh House at 33 Prospect Ave., 1910-16. Current clubhouse (Henry O. Milliken 1905; Georgian Revival style) at 33 Prospect Ave., 1916-present. Expansion of clubhouse (J. Robert Hillier 1959), 1995. [Most prominent feature is a Chippendale front doorway, modeled after a c1750 Massachusetts doorway now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.]
Tower Club: The Monastery on Railroad Ave., 1902-03. The Incubator at 67 Olden St., 1903-04. Relocated 1892 Cottage clubhouse at 89 Prospect Ave., 1904-11. Renovated Quadrangle Henry Burchard Fine House at 13 Prospect Ave., 1911-16. Current clubhouse (Robert B. Barnes 1903; Tudor Revival style) at 13 Prospect Ave., 1917-present. Expansion of clubhouse (James Archibald Kerr 1932), 1965. Further expansions of clubhouse (John D. S. Hatch 1984), 2003 and 2014. [A tower was incorporated to reflect name of club.]
Dial Lodge: Relocated 1897 Cap & Gown clubhouse at 111 Prospect Ave., 1907-17. Current clubhouse (Henry O. Milliken 1905; Collegiate Gothic style) at 26 Prospect Ave., 1917-99. Renovation of clubhouse by University (Michael Landau), 2009. Now Center for Statistics and Machine Learning since 2017 (formerly location of Bendheim Center for Finance). [Made of local Lockatong argillite, similar to Cannon and Cloister clubhouses.]
Terrace Club: The Incubator at 67 Olden St., 1904-06. John Hibben House (Colonial Revival style) at 62 Washington Rd., 1906-20. Current restyled and expanded clubhouse (Rolf W. Bauhan 1914 & Frederick S. Stone; Tudor Revival style) at 62 Washington Rd., 1920-present. [Only current clubhouse which is a former house.]
Cloister Inn: Relocated 1892 Cottage clubhouse at 89 Prospect Ave., 1912-23. Current clubhouse (R. H. Scannell 1915 & Charles Lewis Bowman; Collegiate Gothic style) at 65 Prospect Ave., 1924-present. Expansion of clubhouse (R. H. Scannell 1915), 1959. Further expansion of clubhouse (Fred Travisano & Michael Mostoller), 1990. [Least square footage of any clubhouse.]
Key & Seal Club: J. Eugene Carroll House at 83 Prospect Ave., 1904-13. Enlarged clubhouse (built by William Mathews Construction) at 83 Prospect Ave., 1914-24. Current clubhouse (Walter H. Jackson; Tudor Revival style) at 83 Prospect Ave., 1925-68. Renovation of clubhouse by University, 2001. Now Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice. [Clubhouse operated by University as Stevenson Hall for student dining from 1969-1992]
Court Club: The Incubator at 67 Olden St., 1922-24. Relocated 1892 Cottage clubhouse at 89 Prospect Ave., 1924-27. Current clubhouse (Grosvenor White; Tudor Revival style) at 89 Prospect Ave., 1928-64. Addition of east wing, 1956. Renovation of clubhouse by University, 2001. Now Office of the Dean for Research with 91 Prospect Avenue address (was moved across the street in 2023). [Clubhouse operated by University as Stevenson Hall for student dining from 1969-1992.]
Relocated extant houses that once served as clubhouses:
Andrew Fleming West House (second Campus clubhouse) Relocated from 5 Prospect Ave. to 301 Nassau St., 1909.
James McCosh House (second Quadrangle clubhouse): Relocated from 33 Prospect Ave. to 391 Nassau St., 1916.
Henry Burchard Fine House (first Quadrangle clubhouse, fourth Tower clubhouse): Relocated from 13 Prospect Ave. to 291-293 Nassau St., 1916.
University Cottage (first Cottage clubhouse, first Tiger clubhouse, first Cannon clubhouse): Relocated from Railroad Ave. to 144 Library Place, 1908.
The Monastery (first Tower clubhouse): Relocated from Railroad Ave. to Library Place.
J. Eugene Carroll House (first/second Key & Seal clubhouse): Relocated from 83 Prospect Ave. to 110 Prospect Ave., 1924.