Author Archives: Brett Tomlinson

#ThrowbackThursday: Aerial Views of Princeton, 1967

From 1958 to 1968, Princeton added an astonishing 2.7 million square feet of building space to the campus — increasing the physical plant by 70 percent in the most significant expansion in the University’s history, according to the 2008 Princeton Campus Plan. PAW showcased parts of the construction boom, as captured by photographer Robert Matthews, in a January 1967 photo essay titled “Aerial Princeton.”

Gifts from a $53 million capital campaign funded parts of the growing campus, and Cold War-era funding for scientific research played a prominent role as well. Click the images in the gallery below for a closer look at the additions, which included Robertson Hall, Jadwin Gymnasium, the E-Quad, and New South.

Tiger of the Week: Architect Tod Williams ’65 *67

National Medal of Art recipient Tod Williams ’65 *67, left, looks on as President Barack Obama congratulates Williams’ wife and fellow honoree Billie Tsien. (WhiteHouse.gov)

National Medal of Arts recipient Tod Williams ’65 *67, left, looks on as President Barack Obama congratulates Williams’ wife and fellow honoree Billie Tsien. (WhiteHouse.gov)

Architect Tod Williams ’65 *67 and his wife and professional partner Billie Tsien have made their mark on American urban landscapes with award-winning projects such as the David Rubenstein Atrium at New York’s Lincoln Center, the Barnes Foundation museum in Philadelphia, and Skirkanich Hall at the University of Pennsylvania. Their firm, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, also designed Princeton’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, currently under construction next to the Engineering Quadrangle.

On Monday, Williams and Tsien visited the White House to receive the latest honor in their distinguished careers: the National Medal of Arts. Joining them on the list of 2013 honorees were dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones, singer Linda Ronstadt, visual artist James Turrell, and a handful of other notable names from the fields of literature, music, and film.

The National Endowment for the Arts citation for Tsien and Williams hailed their contributions to their field, both as practitioners and educators: “Whether public or private, their deliberate and inspired designs have a profound effect on the lives of those who interact with them, and their teaching and spirit of service have inspired young people to pursue their passions.”

While Williams and Tsien often make headlines for their innovative designs or their creative use of materials, the last year has also seen them in the news as defenders of one of their most memorable creations, the Folk Art Museum in New York City, which was demolished by its new owner, the Museum of Modern Art, just 13 years after its completion. “Yes, all buildings one day will turn to dust, but this building could have been reused,” Williams told The New York Times. “Unfortunately, the imagination and the will were not there.”

Video: Take a look inside the New York office of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects in a 2013 video produced by the American Institute of Architects. Continue reading

#ThrowbackThursday: Freshmen in Service, 1992

(PAW Archives, Oct. 14, 1992)

(PAW Archives, Oct. 14, 1992)

Tricia Cortez ’96, left, and Leonard Marquez ’96 were among the Princeton freshmen who worked to rehabilitate homes in Trenton during the week before orientation in 1992. They were part of the University’s Urban Action initiative, now known as Community Action. Last year, the program drew 202 participants from the Class of 2017, and this fall, it expects an additional boost, thanks to the University’s increasing support for civic-engagement, highlighted in the July 9 issue of PAW.

 

Tiger of the Week: John Sawin ’07, Amateur Golf Standout

John Sawin ’07, at the U.S. Amateur qualifier in Elverson, Pa., July 16. (Courtesy the Golf Association of Philadelphia)

John Sawin ’07, at the U.S. Amateur qualifier in Elverson, Pa., July 16. (Courtesy the Golf Association of Philadelphia)

Last year, John Sawin ’07 was working 80 to 90 hours a week in an investment banking job in California, using whatever free time he had to play golf, a sport he’s loved since childhood and excelled in at Princeton. He managed to play well enough to earn a spot in the U.S. Amateur Championship — his first USGA qualification after a dozen years of trying — and later won the Stocker Cup Invitational, a top amateur tournament in Northern California.

With his game reaching a new peak, Sawin made the bold decision to leave his job as a vice president at Barclays Capital and spend a year competing in amateur golf events around the country.

“I wanted to see how good I could get,” Sawin told PAW. “What would happen if I spent all my time playing, and preparing to play, competitive golf?”

What has been a rewarding experience got even better last week as Sawin qualified for two national championships in the span of six days: He shared medalist honors at the U.S. Amateur qualifier at Stonewall in Elverson, Pa., July 16, and gained entry to the U.S. Mid-Amateur, for players age 25 and older, in a July 21 qualifier at Huntingdon Valley (Pa.) Country Club. (Michael Davis, an incoming Princeton freshman, caddied for Sawin in the latter event.) Continue reading

#ThrowbackThursday: Bill Clarke and the Nassau Nine

(PAW Archives, June 11, 1937)

(PAW Archives, June 11, 1937)

As major league baseball completes its annual All-Star break, PAW takes a brief look at Princeton’s rich baseball history, which dates back to the team’s first game in 1860. The Nassau Nine traveled to Orange, N.J., to play the local baseball club, and the game ended in a tie — 42-42 — after darkness made it impossible to continue playing.

The photo above shows Bill Clarke, left, the longtime Tiger coach and namesake of Clarke Field, in 1937 with assistant coach Amos Eno ’32, center, and captain Dean Hill Jr. ’37. Clarke coached nearly 900 games at the University and won 564 of them — a record that still stands. He also sent 15 former players to the major leagues.

In June, two graduating Tigers were drafted by major-league teams — pitcher Michael Fagan ’14 and outfielder Alec Keller ’14 — and three alumni have played in the big leagues this season. Chris Young ’02 has been a valuable starting pitcher for the Seattle Mariners. Will Venable ’05 is an everyday outfielder for the San Diego Padres. David Hale ’11, who made his big-league debut last September, is vying to return to the Atlanta Braves’ starting rotation. (A fourth major-leaguer, Ross Ohlendorf ’05, suffered an injury in spring training and has been working to rejoin the Washington Nationals.)

In all, 26 Princetonians have played in the majors, but only one has appeared in the All-Star Game: Young, who pitched an inning in relief for the National League in 2007.

Tiger of the Week: Danielle Allen ’93, Up Close and Personal With the Declaration of Independence

Danielle Allen ’93 (Laura Rose)

Danielle Allen ’93 (Laura Rose)

Can a single period change the way we think about one of the United States’ founding documents? Danielle Allen ’93 thinks so. Allen, a professor and political theorist at the Institute for Advanced Study, notes in her new book, Our Declaration, that there is a discrepancy between the parchment version of the Declaration of Independence and the official transcript in the National Archives: In the latter, a period appears after the phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” reshaping the meaning of a section that discusses both individual rights and the government’s role in protecting those rights.

“The logic of the sentence moves from the value of individual rights to the importance of government as a tool for protecting those rights,” Allen explained in The New York Times. “You lose that connection when the period gets added.”

The historical detail was big news on the eve of Independence Day, receiving coverage from the Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, PBS NewsHour, and dozens of other media outlets. But it was just one example extracted from a remarkably detailed examination of the Declaration of Independence. As Washington Post reviewer Thane Rosenbaum noted, relatively few Americans have read the full 1,337-word document or can recall much about the group of five men who drafted it — no, it was not Thomas Jefferson’s work alone. But Allen, applying a “geek’s gaze” and her experiences as a teacher and scholar, brings the full story to life, Rosenbaum wrote, with a book that is “not just an invaluable civics lesson but also a poignant personal memoir.”

Allen, a classics major at Princeton, completed Ph.D. studies in classics and government at Cambridge and Harvard, respectively, before joining the faculty at the University of Chicago. She joined the Institute for Advanced Study in 2007, and in a PAW feature published the following year, she talked about her book about the Declaration of Independence, then it its early stages: “People have a very clear narrative about liberty, and they’re very confused about equality. You need both to have a successful democracy. It seems to me it’s time to go to work on rebuilding our understanding of what the concept of equality means, why it’s important, and what it takes in order to secure its value through democratic politics.”