Friday, November 12, 2010

Obscure Building Series: Stanhope Hall

By Jilly Chen '13

Quick, which is Stanhope Hall and which is Nassau Hall?

Many students would probably have difficulty correctly distinguishing the two, but this obscure building deserves some recognition. (By the way, Nassau is pictured on the left and Stanhope on the right.)

Built in 1803 and resembling the offspring of the more infamous Nassau Hall, Stanhope Hall currently houses the Center for African American Studies. Its humble appearance reveals a rich history and a variety of uses.

It is the third oldest building on campus, erected after University President Samuel Stanhope Smith grew weary of bombs and fires damaging Old Nassau and displacing students. Under different names, Stanhope Hall has served as a library, University offices and congregation grounds for the American Whig and the Cliosophic societies, the Almuni Council, Orange Key, and other student groups.

If all this history sounds scintillating, perhaps read the brilliantly titled book, The Center for African American Studies in Stanhope Hall. Otherwise, pay a visit to the historic structure or sign up for an AAS class to increase your chances of wandering inside.


Anonymous said...

why did you refer to nassau hall as "infamous"?

and it seems to me that the first picture is nassau and the second is stanhope. the left picture is labeled nass.jpeg, and the right one is stanhope.jpeg

Anonymous said...

Did you know Smith was the son in law to John Witherspoon? It's TRUE! John Edwards (3rd President of the College) was the Father in Law to Aaron Burr Sr.

The courageous efforts of those initial Presidents are astounding!

Great article!