It’s always nice to take a leisurely stroll around our campus, particularly in the company of W. Barksdale Maynard, a Fellow of Mathey College and expert in the architectural history of Princeton’s Campus. Professor Maynard is a Princeton alum and author of Princeton: America’s Campus. He is here as a Lecturer in the Department of Art & Archaeology, and will be teaching a course in the Spring 2015 semester about our university’s architecture. In early October he agreed to take a few of us on a private tour of Princeton: showing us his favorite buildings, sharing his favorite stories about them, and asking us to look at our campus in an entirely different way. For an hour and a half Chancellor Green Rotunda wasn’t a favorite study spot, but the University’s first library. The Chapel wasn’t just a pretty building people take wedding pictures in front of, but one of the last handmade buildings in America, every stone bearing traces of a carver’s chisel. And McCosh Green wasn’t just a demure little plot of grass, it was a carpet over the buried remains of one of Princeton’s former chapels, burned to the ground years ago. It felt like walking around in an outdoor museum, and that feeling comes back every time I notice the iron gate that once encircled Prospect House, the view from the back of Nassau Hall, or solid rock foundation of our very own Edwards Hall.
-Kelly Rafey, ’16