Upper Campus

When Princeton was first founded in 1746 as the College Of New Jersey, classes were held in Elizabeth, New Jersey, before Nassau Hall, the oldest building on our campus, was completed in 1756. Over Princeton’s history, new buildings have been erected and old ones torn down to make space for new ones or renovations, but it is the campus that gives life to the experience of students here. If you have the chance to visit our campus, I definitely encourage you to go on an Orange Key campus tour. Here are some other spots that I love, which you may not get a chance to explore on your tour. 

Feel free to follow along on a campus map! Starting from the top of campus at Firestone and heading towards Poe Field at the bottom of campus, here are some of my favorite spots around campus and some things that you should do and see while you're here: 
Please, oh please, visit Firestone Library and Chancellor Green. Who knows? Maybe you’ll fall in love with the libraries and decide you never want to leave (I know I did)! Firestone is the largest library on campus and Chancellor Green is non-circulating but absolutely beautiful. Here’s a post describing why I love them both! 
  • On your way down campus, stop in Murray Dodge Café, located in the basement of Murray Dodge Hall to pick up some free cookies or tea! Murray Dodge Café offers free cookies and tea every day from 3 p.m. to midnight—it is a  much-loved spot on campus!
  • After you’ve stopped in Murray Dodge Café, head into the Princeton University Art Museum (PUAM). PUAM is an encyclopedic museum, including modern and contemporary art, prints and drawings, Asian art, African art, Ancient, Byzantine and Islamic art; American art, photography and art of the Ancient Americas. I enjoy taking time to relax by walking through the museum or reading a book in one of the back rooms where a cozy spot overlooks Prospect Gardens. 
Behind PUAM are Prospect Gardens and Prospect House, a faculty dining and social space. 
  • Spend a couple of minutes reading a book in Prospect Gardens.
  • It is an absolutely beautiful spot where flowers seem to bloom year-round and dozens of students move throughout the space.
Walk through Prospect Gardens, passing by the Woolworth Center for Musical Studies, home to the Department of Music, to get to Frist Campus Center.
  • Sit in Frist Campus Center for a few hours. People play pool, buy tickets to student events, pick up mail and packages, buy candy from the C-Store, watch football games, attend Princeton Student Events Committee (PSEC) events and advertise for student events here. They also grab coffee, visit the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning to receive tutoring, attend events in the Women*s Center or LGBT Center, chat with Undergraduate Student Government (USG) representatives and attend classes. It is one of the busiest hubs of student motion on campus—it’s kind of our campus living room. 
  • While you’re in Frist, visit the East Asian Library on the third floor. I didn’t discover the Jones section of the library and the fourth floor stacks until my second year; when I finally made my way there, it felt like I’d found Narnia. 
When you have had your fill of people-watching in Frist, head out through the back to get to Guyot Hall. 
  • Guyot Hall was once home to the E. M. Museum of Geology and Archaeology. Nowadays you can visit several fossils on display in the atrium including the Antrodemus, a dinosaur excavated in 1941 during a dig led by Professor Glenn Jepson ’27.
  • While you're heading down campus, visit the outdoor amphitheater in Butler College. When I lived in Butler as a sophomore, I spent many spring afternoons working in the amphitheater. It's a beautiful and quiet spot and feels like an escape from the hustle and bustle on campus.
  • Walk down to Poe Field! Weather is hard to predict, but if it is sunny and warm you are likely to find students playing frisbee, soccer or relaxing and working on Poe Field at the bottom of campus. I love to spend warm afternoons relaxing or reading on Poe, but it's also the easiest way to get down to the Princeton Towpath, which is a popular spot for students to run. Personally, I don't like running, but it's nice to be able to go for a walk and immediately feel like you are miles away from campus.
  • From Poe, you can also check out the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, the Carl C. Icahn Laboratory, head across Streicker Bridge to visit the Frick Chemistry Laboratory or cross campus to visit the beautiful, new Lewis Center for the Arts by the Princeton "Dinky" Station. 
From the earliest Georgian, Ruskian and Tudor Gothic buildings at the top of campus to the brand new Lewis Center for the Arts, it is, in part, the beautiful spaces and places on our campus that help make Princeton feel like a home.

Meet Our Bloggers