Is this your first time here?

Each day, Clio connects thousands of people to nearby culture and history. Our website and mobile app are free for everyone and designed to make it easy to discover cultural and historical sites throughout the United States. You can search for nearby sites, take a walking tour, create your own itinerary, or simply go for a walk or drive and let Clio show you nearby sites using our mobile app. Clio is non-profit and free for everyone thanks to the support of people like you. Donations are tax- deductible! Click here to learn more!

Nassau Hall

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art (National Historic Landmark)


Nassau Hall is the oldest and most historic building on Princeton's campus. A National Historic Landmark, it was built in 1756 and designed by Robert Smith, a prominent architect who specialized in the Georgian style. The hall played a prominent role during the Revolutionary War, suffering from occupation of both American and British forces, and at the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777, when the Americans attacked the British soldiers inside. Furthermore, it became the country's capitol when the Continental Congress met here from June to November 1783. During this time, the Congress learned that the British accepted the terms of the peace treaty to end war and subsequently accepted George Washington's resignation as commander of the Continental Army. Nassau Hall today houses administrative offices, including that of the university's president.

Built in 1756, Nassau Hall is Princeton's most historic building and a National Historic Landmark.


Nassau Hall has been used for numerous purposes over its history including classrooms, residences, a natural history museum, faculty offices, a chapel, and a library. It was twice gutted by fire, in 1802 and 1855, and remodeled after each time. As such, its appearance shifted from Georgian to Federal, and then to its present Italianate appearance. Two towers were added to either end of the building during the second renovation but were removed in 1905. 


Greenwood, Richard. "Nassau Hall." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. October 15, 1966.

"Nassau Hall." Princetoniana. Accessed June 14, 2017.

Photo: Smallbones, via Wikimedia Commons

Nassau Hall
Princeton, NJ
  • Architecture and Historical Buildings
  • Colonial History
  • History of Public and Higher Education
  • Political and Diplomatic History
This location was created on 2017-06-14 by Ben M. .   It was last updated on 2018-01-08 by Abby Klionsky .

This entry has been viewed 2550 times within the past year


  • No comments found.

Join The Discussion

Only registered users can comment. Registration is completely free!

Login / Register

ResponsiveVoice used under Non-Commercial License