In Response to: Let’s Hit the Road!

Published online Oct. 25, 2017

The Museum of History in Granite (cover story, Sept. 13), designed to last 4,000 years, has been praised by distinguished visitors as well as Princeton University presidents. You have a perfect right to express your opinion by stating that it is “quirky” (weird, wacky, freakish). Here is what others have said:

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote: “the engravings are wonderful.”

Two presidents of Princeton wrote complimentary letters, immediate past president Shirley Tilghman and current President Chris Eisgruber ’83.  

Among alumni, John C. Bogle ’51, founder of the Vanguard Group, stated: “... an extraordinary monument for all humankind and done so with class and thoroughness.” Martin Hoffman ’54, former secretary of the Army: “One is simply staggered by the imagination and dedication behind this incredible structure.”

From President Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California: “... an amazing site with the Museum of History in Granite ... every reason to take great pride in it.”

And from publications: “Meticulously researched” (Los Angeles Times); “Design worth the trip” (TIME magazine).

Your damaging allegation of “purports” (i.e. profess or claim, often falsely) regarding the thoroughly researched text of the granite History of Humanity is shocking, particularly since this History of Humanity is used for teaching by Northern Arizona University.

Have you thought about the process involved in engraving history in granite? Two states – New Hampshire and Arizona – have, since they passed resolutions requesting that the Museum of History in Granite become a World Heritage Site.

The Princeton community deserves an explanation of your opinion, singularly different from others. Upon sending the photo that you requested, you were asked to read (which I recommend to all Princetonians). If you did not, you failed to perform the research expected from a serious publication.

Jacques-Andre Istel ’49
Founder/Editor, Museum of History in Granite, Felicity, Calif.