Henry, Joseph, House, The, was built in 1837 to the design of the eminent physicist of that name, and occupied by him until he left in 1848 to become the first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. It was to this house that Professor Henry sent telegraphic messages (sometimes to order lunch) from his laboratory in Philosophical Hall, which stood where Chancellor Green Student Center now stands. The Joseph Henry House was made the official residence of the dean of the College soon after that office was created in 1909 and was so used through the incumbencies of Deans Elliott, McClenahan, Gauss, Godolphin, and Finch. In 1961 it became the home of William D'O. Lippincott, dean of students from 1954 to 1968, and executive director of the Alumni Council from 1968 to 1972. In 1973 it became the home of Aaron Lemonick, dean of the faculty and professor of physics.
In a community where well-traveled buildings are no rarity, the Joseph Henry House has made more journeys than any other. Three times since it came into being on the south side of Stanhope Hall it has had to move to make way for other buildings: in 1879 for Reunion Hall (which was razed in 1966), in 1925 for the University Chapel, in 1946 for Firestone Library. It now stands just north of Chancellor Green, across the Front Campus from the John Maclean House.
From Alexander Leitch, A Princeton Companion, copyright Princeton
University Press (1978).
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