Princeton’s Eating Clubs

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Members of Princeton’s Ivy Club from 1902-1903

Princeton University has taken an unconventional approach to fraternities and sororities: there are none. Instead the school has eleven “Eating Clubs”. If you have ever had the good fortune to drive down Prospect Avenue as you approach the center of Princeton, you will no doubt be impressed. The collection of buildings are individually architecturally significant, but taken together, each designed in a unique style, they are quite a collection.  The eleven eating clubs are:

Cannon Dial Elm Club
Cap and Gown
Charter Club
Cloister Inn
Colonial Club
Cottage Club
Ivy Club
Quadrangle Club
Terrace Club
Tiger Inn
Tower Club

The clubs are open to upperclassman (and women) only. Some have a selective approach, others a more open approach. The students take their meals at the club and they also contain recreation facilities (game rooms, billiards, libraries) and places to socialize.

DSCF9280-001Princeton’s Tower Club

The first eating club was established in 1879 (The Ivy Club). The club’s have various history books they have published that include insights into their formation and inner workings. A history of the Tower Club published in 1928 shows the approach the club took. They state that the design of the building was such that it takes care of “Service” which may be kept segregated or not. “The house was designed first to be practical, then comfortable, then artistic without ostentation.”

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The Cottage Club

Pictured above is the Cottage Club, whose most well-known member was F. Scott Fitzgerald. Jimmy Stewart was a member of the Charter Club. The books offer interesting and historic insights into the organization and running of the unique clubs over the years.

DSCF9278-001The cozy interior of the Ivy Club

We offer several vintage eating club books on our website and other Princeton memorabilia:

Website of Collectableivy.com

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