#ThrowbackThursday: Dorm Living, 1890 to 1930

A Princeton dorm room, circa 1895. (PAW Archives)

A Princeton dorm room, circa 1895. (PAW Archives)

An 1890s room in East College, which was razed to make way for East Pyne. (PAW Archives)

An 1890s room in East College, which was razed to make way for East Pyne. (PAW Archives)

In PAW’s July 2, 1929, issue, Frederick Pleasants ’30 penned an enthusiastic essay about dorm-room décor, highlighting a Patton Hall suite “done over in the Colonial manner,” below, as a signal that students were putting aside “the rah-rah collegiate stuff of yesteryear,” above and right.

“Princeton is growing out and growing up,” he wrote, “and from under the veil of Collegism is beginning to give the individual a chance to reflect its real environment.”

Pleasants’ declaration may have been a bit premature: Today’s students certainly have their share of collegiate touches on their dorm-room walls. But the author’s attention to aesthetics paid off after graduation. He served as one of the U.S. Army’s “Monuments Men” in World War II, worked as a curator at the Brooklyn Museum, and lectured in the art departments of several colleges.

Pleasants described this view as “a corner in a modern Patton Hall suite, done over in the Colonial manner.” (PAW Archives)

Pleasants described this view as “a corner in a modern Patton Hall suite, done over in the Colonial manner.” (PAW Archives)

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