The University’s committee on naming is seeking suggestions for naming meeting rooms and event spaces in Prospect House as part of plans to renovate the historic campus building.
The Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC) Committee on Naming is seeking input regarding the naming of a dozen spaces in Prospect House, including: meeting rooms on the second floor; dining, library and meeting rooms on the first floor; the terrace; and the lower-level dining area known as the tap room. Advice and suggestions may be submitted through the committee’s website.
Prospect House — which serves as a dining and events venue for faculty, staff and other members of the University community — will be closed for renovations from approximately May 2023 to August 2024. The project will include renovations to the existing spaces and mechanical systems to upgrade accessibility and functionality, providing contemporary spaces that connect with the building’s historic architecture.
“Building on the excellent work to update and diversify the artwork throughout the building, the renovation project presents an important opportunity to advance ongoing efforts to diversify our institutional narratives,” President Christopher L. Eisgruber wrote in referring to the spaces to the naming committee. The renovation also “provide[s] an unprecedented opportunity for the committee to consider how a suite of honorific names for spaces in close proximity together might collectively help to recount multiple dimensions of our history in a single location.”
Prospect House was erected in 1849 and has been part of the University campus since 1878, serving various functions. It has been a private University dining and event facility since 2009.
Prospect Gardens, located behind the house, is expected to remain open during the building renovation.
The CPUC Committee on Naming was established in the fall of 2016 to provide advice to the Board of Trustees “for naming buildings or other spaces not already named for historical figures or donors to recognize individuals who would bring a more diverse presence to the campus.”
Since 2016, the University has named the following spaces on campus with input from the committee on naming.
- The former Marx Hall was named Laura Wooten Hall in honor of Laura Wooten, who was recognized as the longest-serving election poll worker in the United States.
- The Lockhart Hall archway was named for Kentaro Ikeda, Class of 1944, the University’s sole Japanese student during World War II.
- The former West College was named Morrison Hall in honor of Nobel laureate and former Princeton faculty member Toni Morrison.
- The auditorium in Robertson Hall was named Arthur Lewis Auditorium in honor of Nobel laureate and former Princeton faculty member Sir Arthur Lewis.
- The publicly accessible garden between Firestone Library and Nassau Street was named for Betsey Stockton, a formerly enslaved woman, educator and leader in Princeton’s African American community in the 19th century.
- The easternmost arch in East Pyne Hall was named for James Collins Johnson, a formerly enslaved man who worked on campus for more than 60 years before his death in 1902.
- The roadway that enters the campus from Nassau Street between Firestone Library and the buildings of the Andlinger Center for the Humanities was named for pioneering African American alumnus and longtime Princeton resident Robert J. Rivers Jr.