Wander up the steps preceding Blair Arch and you'll be rewarded with an iconic view of Alexander Hall. Many on campus know the building as a beautifully designed performance hall that hosts the Princeton University Orchestra and Princeton University Concerts series, along with events throughout the year, such as Alumni Day lectures, Princeton Preview and Orientation assemblies, performances by student groups and renowned artists like Wynton Marsalis, and talks by world leaders, Supreme Court justices, scholars and artists.
Constructed between 1891 and 1894, Alexander Hall was originally built as a congregation hall for large events, including the annual Commencement ceremony, the first of which was held in the auditorium on June 13, 1894. The building was funded by a gift of $350,000 (roughly $9 million in 2016 dollars) from Harriet Crocker Alexander in honor of her husband, Charles Alexander, Class of 1870, his father Henry Alexander, Class of 1840, and his grandfather Archibald Alexander.
While Alexander Hall has seen many changes in its 122-year existence, the original Richardsonian Romanesqe design developed by architect William A. Potter has remained largely unaltered.
We hope the photos that follow instill a sense of the building's grandeur as they outline the intricacies of the interior and exterior architectural design, as well as the one-of-a-kind artwork that has been integrated into the façade and stage.