A photographic tour of Princeton's 81-year-old chemistry lab, soon to be vacated

The chemistry department has begun moving from Frick Lab, built in 1929, down Washington Road to the gleaming new Frick Chemistry Lab. Most fall-term classes are still being held in the old collegiate-gothic structure, but a full load of classes will be held in the new building starting in February.  

Professor Robert Cava, former chairman of the chemistry department, said that while the old building is "beautiful on the outside," it is hard to work in. “It is a labyrinth of renovation upon renovation, designed in a complex and inefficient way for a science building,” he said.

Both chemistry labs were named for industrialist and art patron Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919), a benefactor of the University. The old Frick lab, one of the oldest functioning academic chemistry facilities in the United States, has been renamed 20 Washington Road. 

Hoyt Lab, built in 1979, also housed chemistry facilities and will be emptied as the new lab is occupied. The University says that Hoyt and the former Frick lab will remain vacant until renovation funds become available for their use for the humanities, social sciences, and engineering.

Photos by Zachary Ruchman '10