Palmer Hall

Palmer Hall was given by and named for Stephen S. Palmer, trustee of the University from 1908 to 1913. At its dedication in 1909 he said he had made this gift in recognition of the ``absolute necessity of extending Princeton's usefulness in the field of science and of placing her in a position where she can respond to the demands that will be made upon her.''

The facilities thus provided for instruction and research (three floors with a total area of about two acres) enabled the Department of Physics to respond to the demands made upon it for its first thirty years. But the accelerating demands in the next three decades were such that facilities three times the size of Palmer were needed, and when Jadwin Hall was completed in 1969, the eastern portion of Palmer was given over to underclass instruction in physics, and other subjects, the western portion to East Asian Studies and the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science.

Statues of Benjamin Franklin and Joseph Henry, by Daniel Chester French, flank the front entrance of Palmer Laboratory, and high up on the rear wall of the west wing -- to remind posterity that Palmer was built during the tenure of the twenty-sixth president of the United States -- an energetic figure shakes a big stick.


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

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