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Nassau Hall Iconography

The first is a rendering of Nassau Hall by Dawkins, from New American Magazine, published in 1760, four years after the building was completed. This building was later seriously damaged during the American Revolution. Paintings by Peale, Polk and Trumbull depicting George Washington and the Battle of Princeton have Nassau Hall in the backdrop, thus reminding the viewer of Princeton's contribution to the Revolutionary cause and its subsequent sufferings.Nassau Hall was severely damaged by fire several times in the course of the nineteenth century. Latrobe's sketch and floor plan were intended for reconstruction of the building after one such disaster of 1802. This remodeled building lasted and remained a favorite subject of painters' and engravers' until another fire in 1855 required yet another reconstruction. Drawings and engravings from the nineteenth century show the differences of these two designs.The collection includes paintings and drawings of a few other buildings at Princeton. Stanhope Hall and Philosophical Hall were both built in 1803. While the former has housed the college library, class rooms and various administrative offices over time, the latter, where mathematics and natural philosophy classes were conducted, was razed in 1873 to make room for Chancellor Green Library. East College, an exact duplicate of West College, served exclusively as a dormitory for over ninety years before it was demolished in 1896. The plans of Nassau Hall and all these buildings reflect the nineteenth-century preference for a symmetrical quadrangle.The folder labeled “Twentieth Century Renderings” contains several original items such as a pen drawing, a water color painting and a few prints, all of Nassau Hall. Also included are a blueprint of the first floor, Nassau Hall, (1936) and its reproductions.Except for the folder labeled “Twentieth Century Renderings,” most of the items in this collection are listed within chapter seven of Nassau Hall: 1756-1956. This volume was commissioned by the Board of Trustees of Princeton University to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Nassau Hall. The information on the iconography included in Nassau Hall is based on research done by Varnum Lansing Collins. The commentary on each image listed in the book has been included with the respective image.