Joseph Henry House

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Joseph Henry House
Joseph Henry House-072.jpg
Joseph Henry House is located in Mercer County, New Jersey
Joseph Henry House
Joseph Henry House is located in New Jersey
Joseph Henry House
Joseph Henry House is located in the United States
Joseph Henry House
LocationPrinceton University campus, Princeton, New Jersey
Coordinates40°20′57.73″N 74°39′31.96″W / 40.3493694°N 74.6588778°W / 40.3493694; -74.6588778Coordinates: 40°20′57.73″N 74°39′31.96″W / 40.3493694°N 74.6588778°W / 40.3493694; -74.6588778
Arealess than one acre
Built1836 (1836)
Part ofPrinceton Historic District (ID75001143)
NRHP reference No.66000464
NJRHP No.1735[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPOctober 15, 1966[2]
Designated NHLJanuary 12, 1965
Designated NJRHPMay 27, 1971

The Joseph Henry House is a historic building located on the campus of Princeton University in Princeton, Mercer County, New Jersey, United States. Joseph Henry, a prominent American physicist who worked in electromagnetics, designed the house in 1836 and lived there from its completion in 1838 until taking a position as the first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1848.[3][4] The construction of the house was offered to the young physicist as part of the University's attempt to hire him away from the Albany Academy in an attempt to raise Princeton's profile.[5] After Henry's departure, the house served as the official housing of the Dean of the College, the University's senior undergraduate academic officer, from 1909 to 1961.

The Henry house has been moved repeatedly throughout its history, first in 1870 to a site behind East College, again in 1925 to the corner of Washington Road and Nassau Street to accommodate the construction of the Princeton University Chapel, and finally in 1946 to its present location.[4] The Henry house now stands along the northern edge of the University's campus adjacent to Chancellor Green and serves the home of Princeton's Adlinger Center for the Humanities.[6] The house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965.[7][8]

The house is a 2-1/2 story brick building with a gabled roof. It has an asymmetrical five-bay facade, with a single-story open porch extending across the front and single-story wings extending to the sides. The roof is pierced by several irregularly placed chimneys. The main entrance is roughly centered on the facade, with a three-light transom window above.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places — Mercer County" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection — Historic Preservation Office. April 5, 2013. p. 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 16, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  3. ^ "Joseph Henry House" in Alexander Leitch, A Princeton Companion (1978).
  4. ^ a b Princeton Campus Building Profile
  5. ^ "Joseph Henry" in Alexander Leitch, A Princeton Companion (1978).
  6. ^ Council of the Humanities
  7. ^ National Historic Landmarks Program Archived 2009-02-25 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Historical Marker Database
  9. ^ "NHL nomination for Joseph Henry House". National Park Service. Retrieved 2020-04-15.

External links[edit]