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Historic Prospect Garden in on Princeton's Campus/A Gorgeous Floral Display

Updated on April 1, 2015

Flowers in Prospect Gardens


Prospect Gardens

This summer, when searching for a picnic spot my husband and I found a beautiful garden tucked away in the center of the Princeton University Campus in New Jersey . If you are not looking you will miss it but if you see it you will never forget it. Better known as Prospect Gardens the garden was built behind the most historic architecture on the campus, Prospect House. The first person to own the the land Prospect House was built on was Col. George Morgan. He had a farmhouse buiilt and called it Prospect because of the beautiful view from his home. It was the mid18th century.Later the farmhouse was purchased by John Potter, a wealthy merchant from Charleston SC. He commissioned the American architect John Notman to build a beautiful Italianate Victorian Mansion in place of the farmhouse in1849.

Prospect House is the only building that was not originally built for the University. In 1878 Robert L. and Alexander Stuart of New York bought the mansion and deeded it to then the College of New Jersey. Later the college name was changed to Princeton University.

Soon it became the home for the president's of the University and was often used as a walk through by campus students. Then president of the university, Woodrow Wilson, built an iron fence around the 5 acres of grounds to keep the students from walking across the land. President Wilson's wife Ellen designed the walkway to appear in the shape of the school shield when seen from above. It was then 1904.

Plants in the garden range from the simple to the exotic. They are changed seasonally through funding of an anonymous donor. In 1968 the president's resident was moved and the home was converted to a dining hall.

There are other secret gardens throughout the beautiful sprawling campus but Prospect is the most famous. The beauty of the campus is seen in all it's splendor in all seasons be it the schools architecture,. Ivy covered walls, magnolia trees, sculptures or gardens.

Today the area in and around Prospect House can also be used for all kinds of events, including weddings, bar mitzvah..

Prospect House


Submit a Comment

  • nancynurse profile imageAUTHOR

    Nancy McClintock 

    6 years ago from Southeast USA

    so glad you enjoyed this. Thank you for taking the time to comment!!!!

  • nancynurse profile imageAUTHOR

    Nancy McClintock 

    6 years ago from Southeast USA

    Thank you for reading and your kind comments

  • carcro profile image

    Paul Cronin 

    6 years ago from Winnipeg

    Absolutely beautiful garden pics. There is nothing better than a walk in the park, especially where there is a breathtaking garden. Thanks for sharing this! Voted


  • tsmog profile image

    Tim Mitchell 

    6 years ago from Escondido, CA

    WOW! I loved the walk. Thanks. So, many butterfly pads too! All the pictures have fantastic clarity. I was also mesmerized by the statue in the 4th pic down. Is that 'Pan?' Or, maybe it is just late.

    I'll be back for another walk.


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