Category Archives: Throwback Thursday

#ThrowbackThursday: Chancellor Green, Espresso Bar

Dave Lee ’86, left, and Steve Fein ’86 show off Chancellor Green’s coffee bar in 1985. (Larry Wolfen ’87/PAW Archives)

Dave Lee ’86, left, and Steve Fein ’86 show off Chancellor Green’s coffee bar in 1985. (Larry Wolfen ’87/PAW Archives)

With its beautiful stained glass windows, wood-paneled walls, and the occasional bird fluttering by, today’s Chancellor Green is a peaceful haven for studying. But it wasn’t always so quiet.

“On a Thursday night, you couldn’t move,” Duncan MacNichol ’81 told the Daily Princetonian in 2009.

MacNichol was describing the Chancellor Green pub, which opened after New Jersey lowered the drinking age from 21 to 18 in 1973. For about 10 years, students socialized at the pub over beers and snacks. The pub closed in 1984, after the drinking age was raised back to 21. In 1985, Chancellor Green reopened as a coffee bar, above, featuring espressos, cappuccinos, teas, and pastries.

There have been efforts in the last few years to reopen a campus pub, but plans were shelved recently because an ideal location couldn’t be found. For now, Chancellor Green, which began its life as a library, will continue to be a silent space, but for the turning of pages and the tapping of a keyboard.

#ThrowbackThursday: Buckminster Fuller at Princeton

(PAW Archives)

(PAW Archives)


(PAW Archives)

R. Buckminster Fuller, an architect and inventor best known for promoting the use of geodesic domes, taught as a visiting lecturer at Princeton in the 1950s and made his mark with experimental structures such as the “discontinuous compression sphere,” a towering, self-supported globe composed of aluminum pipes and cables. (The photo above shows the work in progress, with an assist from the local fire department.) Popular Science, in its brief description of the sphere, noted that Fuller had a “reputation for unusual designs … that appear to be held up only by equations.” Continue reading

#ThrowbackThursday: Engineers in the 1920s and ’30s

(PAW Archives, June 7, 1935)

(PAW Archives, June 7, 1935)

In the summer of 1933, Princeton professor George E. Beggs, above, and Elmer K. Timby made and tested a celluloid scale model of a tower of the Golden Gate Bridge, using a technique that Beggs had invented to test the stress resistance of bridges and other structures. (In the photo, he’s working with a model of the proposed Camden-Philadelphia Tunnel.) Their work attracted nationwide attention, and Beggs’ method has since been used by engineers worldwide.

Engineering, however, did not always take center stage at Princeton. In fact, engineering did not come to Princeton until 1875 — more than a century after the University’s founding in 1746. Until the 1920s, course offerings were limited to civil engineering for undergrads and electrical engineering for graduate students. In a predominantly liberal-arts campus, it seemed, engineering remained on the sidelines.

To bridge the gap between technical training and a liberal-arts education, the University created an “engineering plus” program in 1921. In essence, engineering education was to be liberalized: Undergraduate engineers would be trained in both technical fundamentals as well as cultural and humanistic studies. Fourteen years later, Carlton S. Proctor 1915, a future president of the American Society of Engineers, penned an enthusiastic overview of the program in PAW, calling it “a distinctly Princeton education.”

#ThrowbackThursday: Princeton at Lincoln Center

(John H.W. Simpson ’66/PAW Archives, January 12, 1983)

(John H.W. Simpson ’66/PAW Archives, January 12, 1983)

“Princeton’s young singers and musicians did very well.” So declared a New York Times reviewer in a December 1982 recap of the Princeton University Opera Theater’s sold-out performance of Beethoven’s Fidelio at Lincoln Center.

Fidelio had started out as a campus production the previous spring. The performance so impressed the Beethoven Society that it sponsored the Princeton University Opera Theater performance at Lincoln Center. Michael Pratt, who conducted the opera — and who still conducts the University Orchestra and directs the program in musical performance — was hailed by the Times as a “real hero,” displaying a “sense of just the right tempo … careful phrasing and well-planned dynamics.”

More than 30 years later, the Princeton University Opera Theater is still singing strong. In January 2014, it staged a performance of Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea in Richardson Auditorium, and next January, it is slated to perform Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Jonathan Dove’s Tobias and the Angel.

#ThrowbackThursday: Princeton Rugby, 1964

rugby-coverSaturday marks the final opening day of Princeton’s fall sports season as the Tiger football team kicks off its 2014 schedule at San Diego. On campus, a pair of varsity teams will be competing (men’s tennis, field hockey), along with club sports, including men’s and women’s rugby.

Rugby is among the University’s longest-running club teams, with more than 80 consecutive years of competition on the men’s side. PAW’s May 19, 1964, cover featured this action shot of the Princeton ruggers, left, in action against the New York Rugby Club, which won the match, 8-6. Later that year, a Daily Princetonian article described the ethos of the Tiger team:

“Rugby at Princeton is a sport for gentlemen,” wrote Chris Jones ’67. “It has to be. If it didn’t have a fairly high level of sportsmanship, nobody would be able to even crawl away from this bruising game. It is rather ungentlemanly cruelty to beat the brains out of a man you’re going to be drinking with in the beer party that the home team always gives for its opponents right after the game.”

#ThrowbackThursday: Artist Toshiko Takaezu

Toshiko Takaezu in 1967. (PAW Archives)

Toshiko Takaezu in 1967, her first year at Princeton. (PAW Archives)

A simple, solemn bronze bell hangs from a wooden post at the entrance to Princeton’s Sept. 11 memorial garden outside Chancellor Green. Titled “Remembrance,” the bell was created by Toshiko Takaezu, a longtime faculty member in Princeton’s visual-arts program.

Takaezu, who died in 2011, first arrived on campus in 1967, two years before the beginning of coeducation. She was among a handful of artists who breathed new life into creative-arts instruction during an expansion led by then-President Robert Goheen ’40 *48. Takaezu also earned acclaim for her innovative work as a ceramicist, painter, and weaver.

In 1996, four years after retiring from teaching, Takaezu received an honorary doctor of fine arts degree at Princeton’s commencement. The citation credited her for encouraging “generations of Princeton students to use their creative powers to shape and center their lives.”