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Courtesy of Rebecca Han ’22.

By Rebecca Han


The courtyard between Henry, Foulke, and 1901-Laughlin halls will be named the Beatrix Farrand Courtyard after famed landscape architect Beatrix Farrand, who worked at the University from 1912-1943 as its first consulting landscape architect.

Farrand was one of the 11 founding members and the only female member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. She designed and influenced many elements of campus, including the Graduate College, Henry and Foulke halls, McCosh Health Center, and the Dinky station.

During her tenure as the University’s consulting landscape architect, Farrand incorporated native plants that bloomed during the academic year and emphasized architecture, creating designs known for their simplicity and practicality. 

According to professor Angela Creager, chair of the Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC) Committee on Naming, Farrand’s name was suggested to the CPUC Committee on Naming last year during their discussion on the namings of the easternmost East Pyne arch and the public garden at Firestone Library.

Creager said that several people recommended Farrand’s name for the garden due to her position as a historic landscape architect. 

“The nominations we got on her were very good and very persuasive,” Creager said. “She was a real leader in landscape architecture, and it was unusual to have such a prominent landscape architect be a woman in the time that she worked.” 

Creager said that Farrand was responsible for much of the look of campus, including the layouts of courtyards and walkways. 

Instead of naming the arch or garden after Farrand, however, the CPUC Committee on Naming decided to honor Farrand with the naming of a space she had designed. Their recommendation was approved by the Board of Trustees, and other names were chosen for the arch and the garden.

Coordinating Architect from the Office of the University Architect Daniel Casey said that Farrand’s influence on the University continues today. 

“She designed the landscapes between buildings, and that in some ways is what makes campus so memorable,” he said. “Her landscapes were notable for being very simple and appropriate for campus life.”

Casey said that Farrand understood the importance of keeping space open for recreational activities. She also established a nursery for growing plants that is still in use today. 

“We use a lot of native plants, which is something that she advocated,” he said. “She was in tune with sustainability a long time ago.”

Committee member Devin Kilpatrick ’19 said it was entirely fitting that the courtyard be named after Farrand, given how striking the courtyards and landscaping are at the University.

“I am really happy that the University and the University community has continued to contribute names to the naming committee,” he said. “I hope that as future spaces and places come forward, the community will continue to give their input, which is very much appreciated.”  

Currently, the naming committee is taking suggestions for the roadway running along the Betsy Stockton Garden towards East Pyne. 

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