In focus: East Pyne

East Pyne, which recently underwent renovations including an new auditorium, is home to Princeton scholars engaged in studies of classics, comparative literature and languages.

Originally called Pyne Library, the collegiate Gothic building was constructed in 1897 and was used with Chancellor Green as the University Library until the completion of Firestone Library in 1948. It then housed various administrative offices until 1965, when, with the completion of New South, it assumed its present name and was renovated to accommodate offices and classrooms.

An underground addition and other construction work on East Pyne was completed this past August as part of broader renovations of the University's humanities buildings. The addition to East Pyne, constructed under the inner courtyard, accommodates a new 71-seat auditorium, classrooms and the language laboratory previously located in Jones Hall. Various language departments, which have been scattered around the campus during the two-year construction period, have returned to renovated space in East Pyne.

The building now houses the Department of Classics, which includes the study of the literature, history, philosophy and culture of Greece and Rome, and the Department of Comparative Literature, which welcomes students interested in the study of more than one national literature. East Pyne also is home to the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, as well as the Department of French and Italian and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures, which formerly had been combined as the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.

A new wood-frame house built next door to East Pyne contains three seminar rooms and 15 offices for the Program in Hellenic Studies, the Program in Judaic Studies and other humanities programs.

The majestic statue of John Witherspoon, Princeton's sixth president, resides on the east side of East Pyne, facing the University Chapel.

Sources: A Princeton Companion, Weekly Bulletin


East Pyne courtThe court in the center of East Pyne is dedicated to the memory of Henry B. Thompson, a member of Princeton's class of 1877 and a former University trustee. As an undergraduate, Thompson lived in East College, which was razed to make way for Pyne Library, now known as East Pyne.

photo: Denise Applewhite


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