Corwin Hall

Corwin Hall at one time stood on Washington Road near Prospect Avenue, where it was erected in 1951 to house the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and international Affairs. The architect, Stephen F. Voorhees '00, used red brick with limestone trim to blend with Seventy-Nine Hall across the street. To preserve a handsome old copper beech tree he started the building farther from the corner than he otherwise would have done and to keep out traffic noises he restricted windows to the north and east sides. On the west, the long unbroken expanse of brick wall to the right of the main entrance which confronted one approaching from McCosh Walk troubled many people. Soon after its completion there appeared on it in foot-high white letters, so well executed it was suspected they were done by a student of architecture, these words from Shelley's Ozymandias: ``Look on my work, ye mighty, and despair!''

The building was moved almost a hundred yards northeast to its present site on May 20, 1963. This engineering feat was accomplished by the New York firm of Spencer, White, and Prentiss, using hydraulic jacks to push the building along twelve steel tracks. The actual moving took only twelve hours but two months were needed to prepare for it and another three months to secure the building to its new foundation.

When the new Woodrow Wilson building was completed in 1965, the old one was assigned to one of the School's chief allies, the Department of Politics, and to the Center of International Studies, and its name changed from Wilson Hall to Corwin Hall in honor of Edward S. Corwin, Wilson's successor as McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and the first chairman of the Department of Politics.


From Alexander Leitch, A Princeton Companion, copyright Princeton University Press (1978).

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