History

Campus History


1. Gatehouse -- was the grand entrance for the Stevens Castle.

2. William Hall Walker Gymnasium -- this unusual circular building became a reality in 1916 as a result of a $100,000 gift by Mr. Walker. At the dedication, the Stevens Football team clobbered Rensselaer 19-0.

3. Stevens steam locomotive -- In 1825, the first American built steam locomotive, incorporating John Stevens' invention of a mulitubular boiler, ran on a circular railroad track on the Stevens estate. (Located where the Davis Athletic field is today.)

4. "American Spread-Wing Eagle" -- created by the internationally renowned sculptor Pierre Bourdelle '70, and donated to Stevens in honor of the 125th anniversary of the university by John R. and Phyllis Taylor, aided by gifts from Friends of the Library. It joins another large work by the artist-"SAFARI,"-Safari-a large mural on the west wall of the library's Great Hall.

5. The Stevens Mobile -- also located in the library, the mobile was created by Stevens alumnus and world renowned artist Alexander Calder '19.

6. "The Torch Bearers" -- presented to the university in April 1964, it is believed to be the largest cast-aluminium sculpture in the world. It was a gift to Stevens by the noted American sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington. The statue, 16 feet high, stands on the lawn outside the Williams library.

7. Anchor -- In 1968, the "S.S. Stevens" a former attack transport and cruise liner began serving as a one-of-a-kind floating dormitory on the banks of the Hudson River. It housed 150 Stevens students and featured six student lounges, a laundry room and game rooms. One of its anchors remains today on display along Wittpenn Walk.

8. Castle Point lookout -- the highest elevation in Hoboken at 100 feet. The green-veined, serpentine rock overlook was actually mentioned in the logbook of the navigator of Henry Hudson's ship Half Moon in 1609 as Hudson explored the river.

9. Cannon -- a pavilion was erected in Elysian Fields by Col. John Stevens and later converted into a hotel facing the Hudson River. In 1888 when the hotel was demolished by the Stevens family, a cannon was excavated whose legend dated back to the Revolutionary War. It was believed to be brought to America from France during the Revolution. The cannon was placed on Castle Point where the Stevens Family resided, and still symbolically protects the Point today.

10. Stevens Castle -- the 40 room Victorian mansion knows as "the Castle" was built by Robert Stevens in 1853 and later purchased by the University for use as administrative offices, student residences and social functions. The Howe Center replaced the Castle in 1959; all that remains of it today is the gatehouse at the top of the Stevens stairs (stop#1), now home to the Stevens Police and security force.

11. Ghost -- A ghost known as Jan of Rotterdam was once said to be a resident of Hoboken; his life, it was said, was cut short by an Indian raid. He is still reputed to roam Castle Point on windy March nights looking for his missing scalp.

12. Underground Tunnels -- Three tunnels once ran beneath Castle Point. One was used to carry supplies from the riverside without disturbing the Stevens family. Another connected the Castle to the southern side of the Point, where a greenhouse and boiler room were located. Pipes brought heat through the tunnel, and flowers could be carried from the greenhouse to the home without exposing them to the elements. The third tunnel ended at a root cellar. The passages have since caved in, and their entrances are now bricked for safety.

13. Sybil's Cave -- Sybil's Cave was located at the base of the rock outcropping between Eight and Ninth Streets alongside the Hudson River. The cave was major tourist attraction featuring a large room and a natural spring whose mineral water was sold as a curative beverage for a penny per glass. A murder near the cave later provided material for Edgar Allen Poe's short story "The Mystery of Marie Rogêet," although Poe transplanted the murder to Paris' Seine River.

14. Hoxie House -- In 1929, William D. Hoxie, of the Class of 1889, bequeathed $50,000 for the construction of a residence for presidents of Stevens. At the laying of the cornerstone for Hoxie House, President Herbert Hoover sent his congratulations.

15. Seal -- The University was founded in 1870 as America's first college of mechanical engineering, with a bequest from Edwin Augustus Stevens. On the Stevens seal is the Latin motto: Per aspera ad astra, or Through adversity to the stars.

16. Elysian Fields -- Once owned by the Stevens family and located just north of campus, this park is believed to have been the site of the first modern-day baseball game on September 23, 1845. Two New York City baseball clubs crossed the Hudson to play The New York Game, the modern form of baseball as we know it, because there were no parks in lower Manhattan at the time.

17. Wealthy New Yorkers' summer resort -- In the 1800s, Hoboken was a popular summer resort for wealthy New Yorkers. They would take advantage of the ferry service initiated by Col. John Stevens and spend afternoons walking in Elysian Fields.

18. Davidson Laboratory -- houses the largest wave tank complex at a U.S. university. Davidson is one of the world's most important hydrodynamic and ocean engineering research centers; it has played a role in virtually every major U.S. maritime and coastal engineering advance in the modern era, from the development of the modern submarine to the re-engineering of aspects of the Apollo mission space capsules.

19. Carnegie Building -- Millionaire industrialist Andrew Carnegie donated $225,000 in the early 1900s for the building of the Engineering Laboratory at Stevens, because the University has trained many talented engineers for his companies. The building is home to the Design & Manufacturing Institute.

20. Edwin A. Stevens Building (EAS Building) -- constructed in 1870 as the main building on campus. A federally registered landmark, the EAS Building was designed by Richard Upjohn, whose other work includes Trinity Church in Manhattan. The building known as the Administration Building or "A" building until 1987, when it was rededicated as the Edwin A. Stevens Building. In celebration of Stevens' 125th anniversary, a 40-foot spire was placed atop the building and dedicated to Dr. Leo C. Cunniff '50. Today the building is home to the Schaefer School of Engineering.

21. Freshmen -- Before the practice of freshman hazing ended in the 1970s, Stevens freshmen would sometimes wear beanies,  red bow ties, and one black and one white shoe each to class - as well as perform various other indignities sometimes for as long as eight weeks.

22. Frank Sinatra Drive -- this scenic road runs, originally known as River Road, runs along the Hudson River and was renamed to honor "Old Blue Eyes"(a Hoboken native) after the singer received an honorary degree from Stevens in 1985.

23. Building Technology Laboratory -- This laboratory was built to evaluate a mechanical system that was part of a government program to reduce installation cost. One of the systems evaluated in the lab is now used for most hotel construction projects in the United States. An early experiment in the facility involved more than 20 bathrooms.