Prospect House was designed by the Philadelphia architect John Notman in 1851. The Italianate design was a dramatic departure from the traditions of Georgian and Classical architecture that defined the early campus.
The house was not part of Princeton until it was donated to the University by Thomas Potter and used as the official residence of the president, beginning with McCosh in 1879.
In 1968 the house was converted into the faculty club. Warren Platner, perhaps best known for his beautiful mid-century modern furniture, designed the elegant glass pavilion facing the garden in 1969.
The gardens of Prospect are one of the most unique and beautiful settings on campus. In 1904, President Wilson built the iron fence around the grounds in order to protect them from students crossing on their way between the eating clubs and the dorms. The formal design of semicircular garden and diagonal paths was created in the late nineteenth century.
Over time, there have been many iterations of the garden design. The current garden is the work of the New York designer Lyndon Miller.
At the west end of the gardens is a beautiful setting of specimen trees. This landscape is a result of the collaboration between Beatrix Farrand, the university’s landscape architect from 1912 to 1943, and James Clark, the horticulturalist who directed the landscaping efforts on campus from 1928 to 1962.