A message from
Shirley M. Tilghman,
President of the University.

Since its establishment in 1756, the Princeton University campus has been a work in progress, constantly evolving to meet the University's academic, residential, and extracurricular needs. As we prepare to introduce a four-year residential college system, increase the size of the undergraduate student body, and construct new buildings in the decade ahead for engineering, neuroscience, psychology, chemistry, and the creative and performing arts, we need a plan that allows us to grow while preserving the unique and beloved qualities of the campus. This is why we began a planning process last fall that will allow us to spend two years thinking about the campus as a whole and how it should evolve in a thoughtful and coherent way.

We began by looking at the core campus and concluding that it has reached an optimal density, offering few opportunities for that part of the campus to grow. We then looked at other parts of the campus on this side of Lake Carnegie and at our lands on the other side of the lake.

We concluded that it would be difficult to maintain the feeling of a single community if the campus grew across the lake and so we decided to focus our planning on University lands on this side of the lake. In order to ensure that the campus expands in a way that preserves and extends its distinctive characteristics, we developed the following key guiding principles:

  • to maintain a pedestrian-oriented campus;
  • to preserve the park-like setting of the campus;
  • to maintain existing campus neighborhoods while promoting a sense of campus community;
  • to develop in an environmentally sustainable manner; and
  • to sustain strong community relations.

Last fall, Princeton selected the award-winning firm of Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners to turn those principles into a plan for growth. They will generate a comprehensive, flexible, and long-term master plan for our campus, ensuring that it will be distinctive and harmonious, as well as fully functional, in years to come. We will use the plan as a framework for guiding and implementing the University's development over the next 10-plus years, so that we make informed decisions that will leave open opportunities for future generations. One year into the plan, we are finding that it is enormously helpful, and it should serve us well for the next 10 years and beyond.

Photos: Courtesy of the Princeton University Office of Communications and Campus Plan consultants.

© 2006 The Trustees of Princeton University. Last update: December 20, 2006