University to Remove Grad College Arch
Sustaining serious structural damage after being hit by a tractor-trailer, Eisenhart Arch will be removed, repaired, and placed in a more safe location, according to Princeton University officials.
The arch, which was built in 1951, marks the western approach to the Graduate College from Springdale Road. It has long stood as the gateway to the University's Graduate College. However, in recent years, as trucks have taken to driving on the narrow throughways that surround the area, it has been nicked and bumped as drivers have attempted to make the tight turn on to College Road.
"It's not the first time it's been hit," said Pamela Hersh, director of the Department of Community and State Affairs. "However, it is the first time it has sustained significant structural damage."
She said the University would remove the arch to "preserve its longevity" and would look for possible locations that may prove safer for the Gothic gateway.
University officials said that the arch's current location is still a possibility, but cannot rule out alternate spots.
College Road has been closed since the stone arch was hit earlier this month. The road is slated to be open for through traffic later this week.
Michael McKay, of the Office of the Vice President of Facilities, said the upper part of the arch, which suffered the most damage, would be preserved piece by piece by numbering each component carefully.
Beyond that, Mr. McKay said, the University's plans for the arch are not yet finalized.
"We need to think about the best way to make sure it does not get damaged again," he said. However, he added that the arch will "definitely be preserved."
Eisenhart Arch was given by an anonymous donor in 1951 in honor of Luther Phaler Eisenhart, lauded in his roles as mathematician, teacher, chairman of the mathematics department, chairman of the Committee on Scientific Research, dean of the faculty, and dean of the Graduate School.
He is also recognized in devising the "four-course plan," which placed emphasis on independent study for undergraduate students. Over the course of his career, he maintained that grades achieved as underclassman did not completely reflect the nature of the student, and the student's ability to qualify for honors and the capacity for intellectual achievement.
Mr. Eisenhart went on to serve as president of the American Mathematical Society and of the American Association of Colleges. He also served as vice presidents of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
He became the executive officer of the American Philosophical Society in 1942 and, at age 84, continued to oversee its affairs, commuting to Philadelphia twice a week.
Mr. Eisenhart died at the age of 89 in 1965.