Contents and Arrangement

Series 3, Housing and Real Estate, 1870-1988

5 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Series 3, Housing and Real Estate (circa 1870-1988) contains information related to various real estate ventures and land acquisitions involving the University. Within these files, documents are separated into general sections.

The first of these sections, Faculty and Staff Housing, concerns several well-defined estates of individual houses built or subsidized by the University for faculty and staff members. The second, Real Estate, describes the piecemeal, mixed-use land acquisitions by the University in Princeton, principally of property contiguous to the campus. Researchers interested in the history of Prospect Avenue, William Street, Nassau Street, and the area now contained by University Place, Alexander Road, Mercer Street, and Nassau Street, would be well advised to consult the "General" files in this section. Additionally, several private realty companies later absorbed by the University are grouped separately under the heading of "Real Estate."

"Graduate Realty Company," was founded in April 1927 by a group of Princeton alumni with the aim of buying property on the west side of University Place and on both sides of Dickinson Street. The men involved in this undertaking intended to later donate the purchased real estate to the University. The Graduate Realty Company was signed over to the University in 1938.

"The Nassau Realty Company," included some men with University connections, and owned the old Nassau Inn and a parcel of land on the present-day Palmer Square. Related to the Nassau Realty Co. is the "Princeton Municipal Improvement Company." Both played a role in the development of the Palmer Square area, between 1922 and 1936.

"The 20 Nassau Street" corporation, originally a speculative venture, was acquired by the University in the 1920s. The documents in the file deal with the property while it was under University control, although reference to the property can also be found in the "Real Estate - General" files.

"The Pretty Brook Corporation" owned a tract of land along Pretty Brook Road in Princeton Township. Divided into allotments, the land was developed for suburban housing.

The file on "44 Washington Road" deals with the fate of a now-demolished house built by local architect Charles Steadman in 1832. It was variously used as a professor's house, an eating club (Arch Club), and for other University purposes.


No arrangement action taken or arrangement information not recorded at the time of processing.

Collection History


Appraisal information was not recorded at time of acquisition.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Sara Bush and Janet Temos in Spring 1995. Finding aid written by Sara Bush and Janet Temos in Spring 1995.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. The Trustees of Princeton University hold copyright to all materials generated by Princeton University employees in the course of their work. For instances beyond Fair Use, if copyright is held by Princeton University, researchers do not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with use of materials from the Princeton University Archives.

For instances beyond Fair Use where the copyright is not held by the University, while permission from the Library is not required, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Series 3, Housing and Real Estate; Department of Grounds and Buildings Technical Correspondence Records, AC035, Princeton University Archives, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 20-24

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Related Materials

Researchers are advised to consult the Historical Subject Files – Grounds and Buildings Subject Files as well as the following:

Historical Subject Files, Grounds and Buildings Subject Files

Princeton University Trustees Minutes, Committee on Grounds and Buildings

Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings

Historical Subject Files (especially the files on student housing and the Princeton Borough)

Oversize Architectural Drawings

Alexander Leitch, A Princeton Companion (1978)

Thomas Wertenbaker, Princeton, 1746-1896 (1946)

Constance Grieff, Princeton Architecture (1967)

Gerald Breese, Princeton University Land, 1756-1984 (1986)

Library Records (especially those related to Firestone building projects)

Princeton University
Princeton University. Library