The Clubhouse

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A History of the Terrace Clubhouse


First Years

Terrace first operated out of the Incubator, then on Olden Street. It remained there from 1904 to 1906.

In 1906, the club acquired the Washington Road residence of Professor John Grier Hibben (who would succeed Woodrow Wilson as president of the university in 1910). The house, located on Washington Road, had been constructed during the Colonial Revival wave that washed through Princeton in the 1870s and 1880s. Its most prominent feature was a large sprawling porch that faced south.

In 1916, Terrace began to think about remodeling this structure or building a new clubhouse, and commissioned Frederick Stone (assisted by Rolf Bauhan, Class of 1914) to do the work. Early plans for this structure called for a spacious, Tudor style structure with an entrance court flanked by half-timbered wings. Stone’s choice of the Tudor style was no doubt influenced by Tiger Inn, but also by the residences then being built for the preceptors in the Broadmead development half a mile down Prospect and by other buildings in Princeton.

This proposal, however, was shelved until after World War I, and it was not until 1920 that Terrace set about overhauling the Colonial Revival-style Hibben House. As seen in the rendering submitted to the Class of 1921 Bric-a-Brac, Stone scaled back his plans considerably from the pre-war proposal. The entrance court vanishes, as does the asymmetrical facade of the earlier design.

(Click on the photos below to advance the slideshow)

Stone was restricted in his design by having to maintain the foundations and infrastructure of the Hibben house. As a result, the interior spaces were proportioned more like a private residence than a clubhouse. Nevertheless, Stone succeeded in providing the club with a new appearance and character.

A tea party at Terrace in 1936 is creditedas the birthplace of the idea for the short-lived Veterans for Future Wars, an organization that satirized the acceleration of bonus payments to World War I veterans by demanding that its young members be similarly paid for the services they would render their country in conflicts to come.

(by David Williamson III – reprinted from

Recent History

For the second half of the century, Terrace has been a center of progress and open-mindedness in the social life of the campus community. Terrace was the first club to switch from the exclusionary bicker system for accepting new members to an open sign-in one during the politically turbulent 1960s. Furthermore, Terrace was the first club to accept Jewish, African-American, and female members. Currently, it is the only club to accept graduate students and the only one to proudly display its rainbow flag 365 days a year.

From 1977 until 1984, while many of the sign-in clubs faltered amid low membership numbers, Terrace was kept alive by the late Chef Larry Frazer. As an attempt to attract new members Chef Frazer began cooking vegetarian meals. Now vegan and vegetarian friendly choices are available on all of the eating club menus, but at the time this was an entirely new concept at Princeton. Students can thank Chef Frazer and Terrace Club for starting vegetarianism as an accepted alternative dining choice. Chef Frazer was actually married in Terrace Club in 1982 with the officers acting as attendants and guitarist extraordinaire Stanley Jordan as the musical performer. When Frazer decided to transfer to Campus Club as chef, he hired an old friend, Barton Rouse, to take his place as head chef at Terrace.

In his ten years as head chef Barton Rouse molded the culture of love, freedom and appreciation of food that persists until today. In 1987 the club burnt down as a result of a fire, whose causes are still unsolved. Chef Rouse played an instrumental role in keeping the Terrace spirit alive through this difficult period and managing to, eventually, rebuild the house. The motto “FOOD=LOVE”, which he created continues to persist as the unifying mantra for all Terrace members, regardless of age. Even today, many Terrace members rise to the club’s challenge calling them to insert the phrase “FOOD=LOVE” into their Senior thesis projects. Ever since the 1980s Terrace is called the Terrace F. Club (or TFC). The meaning of the F remains a secret, though many varying interpretations exist.

Currently, Terrace F. Club is beginning a capital campaign with the goal of raising 3.5 million dollars to be used to renovate the house. These renovations will allow this unique haven of diversity to continue existing on campus for many years in the Future.