- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
- Access & Use
- Collection History
- Find Related Materials
- Princeton University. Office of Physical Planning.
- Princeton University. Library. Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
- Office of Physical Planning Records
- Princeton University Archives
- Permanent URL:
- 1869-1994 (mostly 1946-1994)
- 107 boxes, 3 folders, and 160 items
- Storage Note:
- This is stored in multiple locations. Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Boxes 1-86; 98-107 review: Box 97 ReCAP (rcpph): Box 87-96
The Office of Physical Planning was the division of Princeton University's Department of Facilities charged with oversight of the construction of new buildings on campus and alterations to existing structures. The records consist of office files and architectural drawings in a variety of formats.
Collection Description & Creator Information
The Office of Physical Planning Records document the activities of Physical Planning, one division of Princeton University's Department of Facilities, and are primarily related to the construction and modification of buildings and other structures on Princeton's campus. The records contain a variety of documents, including correspondence between Physical Planning and contractors/designers, interoffice memoranda describing potential projects, invoices for work completed, and studies and reports pertaining to the campus. Additionally, as the Office of Physical Planning was at one point the central repository for all architectural drawings and maps of campus, this type of material (in oversized and microform formats) constitutes a significant portion of the records.
Please see series descriptions in contents list for additional information about individual series.
- Collection Creator Biography:
Princeton University. Office of Physical Planning.
The Office of Physical Planning was the division of Princeton University's Department of Facilities charged with oversight of the construction of new buildings on campus and alterations to existing structures. The primary responsibility of Physical Planning was the management of construction of major structures and alterations to existing structures on the Princeton campus. Physical Planning also arranged for interior design, furniture planning, and landscape design in and around campus buildings. Its other duties included providing long-range planning support for campus building projects, particularly in regards to land use and zoning considerations as well as the maintenance of campus graphics including building plans and maps.
The antecedent to the Office of Physical Planning can be found in the Grounds and Buildings Committee of the Trustees, established in 1876. At the time of its formation the committee appointed a single individual to act as the Curator of Grounds and Buildings, later known as the Superintendent of Grounds and Buildings. As the campus grew in size so too did the level of staffing required for its management and maintenance. In 1964 the title of the position was changed accordingly to Manager of the Division of Physical Planning, and once again in 1986 to Director of Physical Planning. These changes in title were often spurred by the frequent arrival of new personnel, and the most singularly consistent figure in the administration of the Office of Physical Planning was Jon D. Hlafter *61, who served as its director from 1969-2004.
The title of the larger administrative department of which the Office of Physical Planning was a part also changed frequently throughout the University's history. At various times it was known as Grounds and Buildings; Property and Physical Facilities; Physical Planning and Facilities; and Planning, Plant and Properties. Since 1983, the department has simply been known as the Department of Facilities. Headed by the University Vice-President for Facilities, the Department of Facilities and its subsidiary units are located in the MacMillan Building.
Jon Hlafter's acceptance of the position of University Architect in 2004 came amid a reorganization of the Department of Facilities which resulted in the end of the Office of Physical Planning as it had been known. The tasks that had been overseen by Physical Planning were distributed among several newly created Facilities divisions, with the Office of Design and Construction being most analogous to the old Physical Planning office.
The Office of Physical Planning Records were transferred to the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library in several accessions. The files which comprise Series 1: Building Project Records were transferred between 1996 and 2002, Series 2: Architectural Drawings (Microform) were transferred in 1986, and the bulk of the documents which comprise Series 3: Architectural Drawings (Oversized) were transferred to the library between 1972 and 1980. An small selection of maps were acquired in 2017 and added to Series 3.
Though the Office of Physical Planning has deactivated, transfers of similar records from the Office of Design and Construction and other divisions in the Department of Facilities are expected in the future.
- Archival Appraisal Information:
Appraisal has been conducted according to Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library guidelines. Nothing was removed from the records during 2007 processing.
The Fire Files Series, which consisted of a numbered set of oversized architectural drawings, were returned to the Office of Physical Planning in 2016.
- Processing Information:
This collection was processed by Daniel Brennan with assistance from Joshua Muketha '10 in March 2007. Finding aid written by Daniel Brennan in March 2007. Additions were made by Christie Peterson with assistance from Suchi Mandavilli '14 between December 2010 and January 2011. 2017 Series 3 accession processed and finding aid updated by Annalise Berdini in March 2018.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
All architectural drawings transferred by the Office of Physical Planning to the University Archives are open for research use. Other records are closed for a period of ten years from the date the record's creation.
- Conditions for Reproduction and Use:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. The Trustees of Princeton University hold copyright to all materials generated by Princeton University employees in the course of their work. If copyright is held by Princeton University, researchers will not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with non-commercial use of materials from the Mudd Library. For materials where the copyright is not held by the University, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. If you have a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting us through the Ask Us! form.
- Special Requirements for Access:
Series 2: Architectural Drawings (Microform) consists of microform aperture cards.
- Credit this material:
Office of Physical Planning Records; Princeton University Archives, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Permanent URL:
- Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript LibrarySeeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library65 Olden StreetPrinceton, NJ 08540, USA(609) 258-6345
- Subject Terms:
- Buildings -- New Jersey -- Princeton.
Buildings -- Repair and Construction -- New Jersey -- Princeton.
Campus planning -- New Jersey -- Princeton.
College Buildings -- Remodeling.
College buildings -- New Jersey -- Princeton.
- Princeton university
Princeton University. Dept. of Facilities.