Prospect House, Princeton University
A National Historic Landmark, Prospect House was the home of future governor and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. Wilson lived at the home during his tenure as the university's president from 1902 to 1911. The building itself was constructed in 1851 and designed by prominent architect John Notman in the Italianate style. Today, the building is a private dining club for faculty and staff. It is also available for weddings and other private events.
Backstory and Context
Prospect House was built for John Potter, who was a wealthy merchant from South Carolina. In 1878, a couple from New York City bought the building and then deeded the house and the surrounding 35 acres to the College of New Jersey, the predecessor of Princeton. University presidents lived in the house until 1968, when another home designed by Notman was chosen to be the official residence. Prospect House became the dinner club at this time.
Interestingly, as the university expanded, students began to walk across the grounds surrounding the house. In 1905, a particularly bad event occurred when football fans walked across it, prompting Wilson to have a fence erected around five acres surrounding the house.
Diann L. Jacox & Henry J. Magaziner. "Prospect House." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. February 4, 1985. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/74fa85a5-fcf8-4cd1-972c-fb75d70058de.
Photo: Prospect House