Peyton Hall

Architect: Minoru Yamasaki

Date of Construction: 1965-1966

Materials: Princeton Stone (Lockatong arrgillite)

Floors: 2

Use: Library, science building, laboratory spaces

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Peyton Hall is Minoru Yamasaki’s second venture on the Princeton University Campus after Robertson Hall. Both built around the same time, Peyton Hall demonstrates a much more restrained and local aesthetic. There are some gothic notes in Peyton Hall along with the its more demure colors, scale and the use of local stone which contrasts with Robertson Hall’s  very white Greek-style temple.

Peyton Hall houses the Department of Astrophysical Sciences and contains two telescopes on the roof. One telescope is 9-inches and the other is 4-inches and belonged to William  Charles Peyton, an amateur astronomer and provider of the largest personal endowment for the building.(1) The Hall also received grants from the National Science and Ford Foundations.(2)

The ground floor is encircled with thin, tall arches that are set within beige limestone niches. The slender arches harkens to the delicate tracery of gothic windows. The second story sits recessed and is made of darker local Princeton stone, tieing into the University’s gothic tradition. The main entrance features a double height barrel vault that is made primarily of glass, providing for natural light in the atrium. The south portion of the building has the basement exposed. There are large windows that take advantage of the southern position and combine both the beige limestone and the local grey Princeton stone.

(1) “Peyton Hall”. Princeton University, An Interactive Campus History 1746-1996. Princeton University. n.d. Web. 27 April, 2011.

(2) “Peyton Hall”.


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