Elm, founded in 1895, is a rarity on Prospect Avenue: a club that only moved
once in its history. It rented a shingle house
on Bayard Lane until 1901, when it moved to its new, purpose-built clubhouse on the corner of Olden and Prospect.
Elm was designed by Raleigh Gildersleeve, whose other Princeton buildings
included Upper and Lower Pyne, McCosh Hall, Cap & Gown Club, and Campus
Club. But neither Gildersleeve's rendering for Elm
nor the finished building
resembles these buildings, which were all modeled on English precedents. Elm has more of an Italianate Revival flair, although without the asymmetrical massings characteristic of John Notman's work in that vein.
When the clubs along Prospect began to take on more formal exteriors, Elm
decided to remodel. In 1930, Elm thoroughly renovated its building, adding a
rectangular living room to the east end of the club and eliminating many of its
Italianate Revival elements.
The overhanging roof was removed, and the old stone balustrades along the second-floor sun porch and balcony were replaced with a wrought- iron railing. The Ionic pillars in the first level under the sun porch also vanished and dark green exterior shutters were added to all the windows.