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Paths to Historic Rutgers: A Self-Guided Tour


Old Queen's

Old Queen's, the home of the administrative officers of Rutgers University, was originally known as the Queens College building. Designed in 1808-09 by the noted architect, John McComb, who also designed City Hall in New York, the building is one of the finest examples of Federal architecture in the United States. When first occupied in 1811, Old Queens housed the academic work of the College, the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, and the Rutgers Preparatory School, then known as the Grammar School. Constructed of brownstone and adorned by colossal pilasters, the building included recitation rooms on the first floor, the Chapel and the library on the second floor, and wings on each side that served as living quarters for the faculty of the College. The building was finally completed in 1825 and included a cupola, the gift of Stephen Van Rensellaer, and a college bell, purchased by Colonel Henry Rutgers, that originally signalled the change of classes. In 1976 Old Queen's was designated a historic landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior.



Van Nest Hall

The second instructional building at Rutgers, Van Nest Hall was erected in 1845 and named for Abraham Van Nest, a New York City merchant and devoted trustee of Rutgers College, 1823 to 1865. Built by Nicholas Wyckoff, the building was originally two stories. The two nineteenth century literary societies, Philoclean and Peitessophian, occupied the first floor and a museum and the chemical laboratory of Professor Lewis C. Beck filled the remainder of the building. In 1893 Van Nest Hall was remodeled and a third floor and porch were added through the generosity of Mrs. Ann Van Nest Bussing, the daughter of Abraham Van Nest.



Daniel S. Schanck Observatory

The Schanck Observatory, a small octagonal building and one of the last major Greek Revival structures in New Brunswick, was erected in 1865 to accommodate the study of astronomy in the Rutgers Scientific School. It was designed by Willard Smith and dedicated on June 18, 1866, by Joseph P. Bradley (Class of 1836). The two-story edifice includes a revolving roof and a rear wing connected by a passageway. Its design is patterned after the Tower of the Winds in Athens. The Observatory is named in honor of its donor, Daniel S. Schanck.



Geology Hall

Situated between Old Queen's and Van Nest Hall, Geology Hall was completed in 1872. Designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, great-great grandson of Rutgers's first president, this Gothic brownstone structure was former home to the departments of Geology, physics, and military science. On the second floor resides the Rutgers Geology Museum, nationally recognized for its outstanding collection of minerals, fossils, Indian relics, and modern shells. A 10,000 year old mastodon has dominated the Museum for over a century. Also on display is an Egyptian sarcophagus, replete with mummy, jewels, and relics.



Kirkpatrick Chapel

Kirkpatrick Chapel, a Gothic Revival church designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, was built in 1873. The chapel is named for Mrs. Sophia Astley Kirkpatrick of New Brunswick, who bequeathed her residuary estate of approximately $65,000 to Rutgers. In addition to religious services, the Chapel formerly housed the College library on the second floor until 1903, when Voorhees Hall was completed. In 1916 all partitions were removed in Kirkpatrick, increasing the seating capacity from 300 to 800 persons and leaving the entire building for use as a chapel. The Chapel contains a collection of portraits of prominent officers and benefactors of Rutgers. Kirkpatrick Chapel is a striking combination of 14th century German and English architecture.



New Jersey Hall

In 1888 the New Jersey Legislature passed a bill providing for state funds to construct an "Agricultural Hall" to accommodate the recently established State Experiment Station. Situated on land deeded to Rutgers by James Neilson, the building, which became known as New Jersey Hall, was completed in the spring of 1889. It originally housed the State Agricultural Experiment Station as well as the college's chemistry and biology departments, all which had been previously located in Van Nest and Geology halls. Designed by George K. Parsell, New Jersey Hall was partially destroyed by fire in 1903 but was restored without essential changes to its original composition. It currently houses classrooms and offices for the Department of Economics and the Bureau of Economic Research.



Alexander Johnston Hall

Alexander Johnston Hall was built by Nicholas Wyckoff in 1830 to provide a home for the Rutgers Preparatory School, which had shared space in Old Queens with the College and New Brunswick Theological Seminary since 1811. Founded in 1768 by six prominent residents of the Raritan Valley to prepare students for Rutgers, the "Grammar School," as it was initially called, occupied the first floor of the two-story building; the college literary societies resided on the second floor until 1845, when Van Nest Hall was erected. In 1870 Rutgers celebrated its centennial and funds collected during that year were allocated for an addition to the building. Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, the architect of Kirkpatrick Chapel and Geology Hall, designed a two story wing to the north side of the building. A third story over the entire structure was also added to serve as a gymnasium. In 1964 the Rutgers Board of Governors named the building in honor of Alexander Johnston, an 1870 graduate of Rutgers College who taught classics in the Rutgers Preparatory School for ten years. Johnston became professor of jurisprudence and political economy at Princeton in 1883 and served in that capacity until his death in 1889. He was succeeded by Woodrow Wilson. Alexander Johnston Hall is the second oldest building at Rutgers. The Rutgers Preparatory School remained in the building until 1957, when it moved to its current campus ten miles north on Easton Avenue. Alexander Johnston Hall currently houses the University Publications and Public Relations offices.



Milledoler Hall

Milledoler Hall, designed by architects Franklin and Ayres, and constructed in 1910, was originally the Chemistry Building. Situated on the east side of Voorhees Mall, the building is named after the Rev. Philip Milledoler, professor of didactic theology in the Theological Seminary, trustee of Queen's College, and president of Rutgers, 1825-1840. The building, remodelled in 1964-65 following the departure of the Chemistry department to the Busch campus, is currently home to various student service offices for Rutgers College, including the Office of the Dean.



Murray Hall

The former home of the College of Engineering, Murray Hall opened in 1909, at the time of the centennial of Old Queen's. Designed by Douwe D. Williamson (Class of 1870) and Frederick P. Hill (Class of 1883), the building was partially supported by a gift of $25,000 from Andrew Carnegie. Renovated in 1964 to house the departments of Regional Planning and Electrical Engineering, it presently is used for classrooms and office space for the English department. The building is named for David Murray, professor of mathematics and astronomy at Rutgers College, 1863-1876, and college trustee, 1892-1905. Murray was instrumental in assisting George C. Cook with establishing the Rutgers Scientific School and with securing land-grant status for the college in 1864. From 1873 to 1879 he served as advisor to the Japanese Imperial Minister of Education and received the Order of the Rising Sun from the Emperor of Japan



Winants Hall

Designed by New York City architect Van Campen Taylor (Class of 1867), Winants Hall was Rutgers first dormitory, constructed in 1890. It is named for Garret E. Winants, a wealthy philanthropist from Bayonne who in 1889 joined the Board of Trustees and a year later presented a sketch of a proposed dormitory building and a gift $75,000 to pay for its construction. Winants Hall served as the sole dormitory for Rutgers until 1915, when John Ford Hall was constructed. In the late 1940's the building was converted for use by departments and administrative offices of the University. On November 9, 1990, a century after its construction, Winants Hall was rededicated following a two-year, $9.4 million restoration. It currently serves the Offices of Alumni Relations, the Rutgers University Foundation, and the Office of University Counsel.



William The Silent

The bronze statue of William the Silent (1533-1584), Count of Nassau, Prince of Orange, and national hero of the Netherlands, was unveiled on the present Voorhees Mall on June 9, 1928, an appropriate reminder of the university's Dutch origins. The 2,000-pound statue was the gift of Fenton B. Turck, a prominent physician and biologist, who had acquired the statue in the Netherlands shortly after World War I. Dr. Turck stored William in the basement of his laboratory at 428 Lafayette Street in Manhattan for eight years and together with Leonor F. Loree (Class of 1877), Rutgers trustee, conspired to anonymously present the statue to the University, selecting the Holland Society as the agent to perform the deed. Known affectionately to the students of Rutgers as "Willie the Silent" and "Still Bill," the Prince of Orange has kept a watchful eye on the University scene for over a sixty years.



Henry Rutgers Baldwin Gateway

This gateway commands the entrance to the Queen's campus from College Avenue. It was erected in 1901, in honor of the benefactors of Queen's and Rutgers College. The posts bear the inscription Bene Meritis De Collegio R., the final letter standing for both of the names which the college has borne--Reginae and Rutgersensi. The wrought-iron gates, made by W. H. Jackson & Company of New York, were given in honor of the memory of Henry Rutgers Baldwin (Class of 1849), physician and surgeon, and loyal Rutgers trustee, 1884-1902.



Class of 1883 Memorial Gates

Placed at the principal entrance to the Queen's campus on the corner of George and Somerset streets, the Gates were erected in 1904 by the Class of 1883, in commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of its graduation. The gates were designed by architect Frederick P. Hill, a member of the class, and built at the cost of $2000. In 1929 the gates were redesigned under Hill's supervision to adapt to modern taste and traffic conditions.



Class of 1902 Memorial Gateway

Erected in 1904 by the Class of 1902, the Gateway is located on Hamilton Street behind Old Queen's. Each year the graduates of Rutgers College gather on the Queen's campus and march their procession through the 1902 Gateway onto the Voorhees campus for commencement ceremonies.



Class of 1882 Gates

The Class of 1882 Gates, located on the corner of Somerset Street and College Avenue, were erected in 1907 and presented to Rutgers during the class reunion of that year.



Bishop House

Bishop House, a 42 room mansion that constitutes a fine representation of the Italianate style of architecture, was erected in 1852 for James Bishop. Bishop had inherited large interests in the shipping and rubber industries. He also served as a member of the New Jersey Assembly (1849) and the U.S. Congress (1855-1857). Active in the Republican Party in New Jersey, Bishop later became the first director of the State Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Panic of 1873 created financial troubles for Bishop and he was obligated to sell his mansion and property to Mahlon Martin in 1874. Rutgers University acquired the property from the Martin estate in 1925. Over the years Bishop house has served as the home for the Dean of Men, the History department, and other offices. Presently it houses the Offices of the Dean of Students for Rutgers College.



Sage Library (New Brunswick Theological Seminary)

Constructed in 1873, the Gardner A. Sage Library is the original library of the New Brunswick Theological Library, one of the oldest seminaries in the United States. European-trained architect Dietlef Lienau designed the building in the Romanesque, basilica style that was popular in Central Europe in the mid-nineteenth century. The Sage Library houses the Seminary's special collections including bibles from every country in the world, written in every language, and includes a room devoted to books of religious art.



Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum

The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum opened on February 20, 1983 with an internationally acclaimed exhibition of 17th century Dutch painting. One of the major showcases at Rutgers, the Zimmerli was originally known as the University Art Gallery, and located in Voorhees Hall. It has become distinguished for its comprehensive overview of the major artistic areas, with emphasis on graphic arts, print making, and children's book illustrations. It is named in honor of Jane Voorhees Zimmerli, a long time resident of Highland Park. The 9,000-foot addition situated between Voorhees and the Ballantine building on George Street was made possible through the generosity of Alan and Natalie Voorhees, who donated $1.5 million, a $250,000 Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and other private sources.



542 George Street

This Victorian brownstone was built in the 1860's and became known as the Demarest House, named in honor of William Henry Steele Demarest, the only graduate of Rutgers to have served as president, 1906-1924. For ten years following his resignation Demarest was president of the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, at which time he lived in this home. The house was once the old Raritan Club, the Phi Gamma Delta House, the Partisan Review, a Women's graduate student residence, the Rutgers Religious Ministry and the Career Services offices. It currently is home for the Student Information Assistance Center.



Voorhees Hall

Voorhees Hall was built in 1903 to house the Rutgers College library, previously located first in Old Queens and then on the second floor of Kirkpatrick Chapel. The building in named in honor its principal benefactor, Ralph Voorhees, who together with his wife, Elizabeth Rodman Voorhees, devoted their life to philanthropic activities. In 1956 Voorhees Library was converted into offices following the completion of the Archibald S. Alexander Library. In 1967 it became the University Art Gallery, which expanded into the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum in 1983. Voorhees Hall is home to the Art History department and the Art Library.