The university celebrates the state’s oldest, intact higher education buildingNEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Today individuals within the vicinity of Rutgers’ New Brunswick Campus could hear the university’s bell toll 200 times, marking the bicentennial of Old Queens, the state’s oldest intact higher education building.
Rutgers’ administration, faculty, alumni and students paused outside of the national landmark to celebrate. A ceremony included remarks by Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick and historian Paul Clemens and performances by the Rutgers University Glee Club.
The cornerstone of Old Queens was laid April 27, 1809. The building originally housed the university’s preparatory school, college and theological seminary as well as residential units for faculty. Old Queens is now occupied by Rutgers’ central administrative offices.
“Old Queens and the other historic buildings on campus give us a glimpse of 19th-century culture at Rutgers,” said Carla Yanni, professor of art history and assistant vice president of undergraduate academic affairs. “The buildings on campus are just as historically and sentimentally significant as our most cherished archives.”
Old Queens was designed by John McComb Jr., one of the best known architects of his era. His achievements also include such landmarks as New York’s City Hall and Hamilton Grange, the home of Alexander Hamilton.
The name Queens dates back to 1766, when the college was chartered in honor of Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg, wife of King George III. The school was the eighth institution of higher education founded in the colonies.
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