8. Dickinson Hall


Dickinson Hall, built in 1870 as part of President McCosh’s physical and academic expansion plan, was the first Princeton building solely devoted to classroom and lecture space.  On the top floor of Dickinson, which was named for the College’s first president, Reverend Jonathan Dickinson, was a large examination hall that came to be dreaded by students for many generations.  The Victorian-style architecture was at first greatly admired, but then disregarded in favor of the Romanesque and Collegiate Gothic styles of other new campus buildings. In the spring of 1920, a suspicious fire broke out in Dickinson Hall and quickly spread to the Marquand Chapel.  Students dressed in tuxedos for the Freshman Formal and the eating clubs’ Houseparties joined with Princeton and Trenton firefighters to battle the blaze, but both buildings were reduced to cinders.  Few mourned the loss of the 50-year-old Dickinson, though the Chapel was sorely missed.