Under the Ivy
by Gregg Lange '70
January 24, 2007:
When new buildings and names replace the old, something's lost
By Gregg Lange '70
When it happened to the Palmers, no one seemed to notice too much.
To be honest, most Princetonians were probably too busy dodging the falling
chunks of concrete or worrying about the football team's impending Road Warrior
season of 1997 to be concerned about the demise of the name of Palmer Stadium.
All credit to the folks who made sure to rescue its granite nameplate, which
still resides under the stands of the current Princeton Stadium, whose horseshoe
shape recalls the days of the Louries and Bonthrons and Kazmaiers and Iacavazzis,
although its name no longer does.
That made it all the more poignant when the Frist Campus Center took over
the Palmer Physics Lab. With the advent of the slightly overdue (by a century
or so) community social nexus, the name of father-and-son trustees Stephen and
Edgar Palmer 1903 almost vanished from campus maps. Palmer Square and Palmer
House remain, but only across the great divide of Nassau Street.
Now it's happening to Don Lourie and Cupe Love.
Roommates at Exeter and then at Princeton, Donold Bradford Lourie '22 and
George Hutchinson Love '22 (see a feature in PAW's May 4, 1983, issue on the
pair) were even closer than their alphabetical contiguity. Lourie was the All-American
quarterback of Princeton's great undefeated 1920 football team in Palmer Stadium,
Love was the manager; they served together on the Senior Council. They were the
subjects of a legendary Class Day prank, when their classmates handcuffed them
together at the ceremony, then "lost" the key. After the local constabulary
literally chiseled them apart, they went their separate notable ways: Lourie
as an undersecretary of state and chairman of the board of Quaker Oats, Love
as board chairman of Consolidated Coal and then of Chrysler Corp., which he saved
from imminent extinction.
Both served back at Princeton as trustees. "Cupe" Love (we really
must do a listing of painfully cute student nicknames sometime) put some money
aside for recognition of Don Lourie on campus; when Lourie heard about it, he
insisted on doing the same, but only to honor Love. The resulting compromise
was Lourie-Love Hall. When it was dedicated in 1964, the 42-year-old handcuffs
were encased in its cornerstone.
The new construction around Princeton in the '60s was often problematic, given
pent-up space demands and limited budgets, and then-president Bob Goheen '40
*48 forthrightly concedes that much was done "the cheap way" under
pressure. (This should comfort those who might be concerned New South was intentional.)
Lourie-Love Hall was the bellwether of the new New New Quad, whose chocolate
brick and Stonehenge-like qualities put it at variance with its surroundings,
although its Spartan interiors were perfectly serviceable. When the day arrived
to rehab the five dorms following coeducation and 40 years of use, the University
decided to face the music and replace them completely. And the music was highly
discordant, to say the least: Three of the donating classes, 1942, 1941 and Goheen's
own 1940, are still around to see their namesakes plowed under. Of course, there
will be a memorial of some sort to the quad - if there's justice, including Don
and Cupe's handcuffs - but it's certainly a comedown.
After Lourie died, Cupe Love in 1985 filled another need by donating a new
soccer field to Princeton, and named it Lourie-Love as well. Thereafter the successful
site of many a contest up to and including an NCAA tournament victory, after
next summer it will be the lone bearer of the dynamic duo's names - possibly.
Now it turns out that a new soccer stadium is in the offing as well, with nice
permanent stands and a place to go to the bathroom, and the plans include excavating
Lourie-Love and realigning the whole area. Will the field within the new facility
carry on the memory of the mutual loyalty and generosity of Donold Lourie '22
and George Love '22? No one seems to have decided yet.
Now, nothing is forever, as every good English lit preceptor knows:
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Awaits alike the inevitable hour.
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Thomas Gray, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"
1751 (when the College of New Jersey was five years old)
Stadia, dorms, and labs come and go or become campus centers, and that is
the way of the world, but the honor of a son for his generous father, or the
lifelong camaraderie of two classmates each dedicated more to the other than
to himself - these are things we need to avoid allowing to just pass away.
Lange '70 is a member of the Princetoniana Committee and the Alumni
Council Committee on Reunions, an Alumni Schools Committee volunteer,
and a trustee of WPRB radio.