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Princeton University Receives $15 Million Gift for Dance Building and Theater in Arts and Transit Neighborhood

This architect’s model of the arts complex shows the Wallace Dance Building and Theater at left. Image courtesy of Steven Holl Architects.

Two Princeton University alumni who are brothers have contributed $15 million for a dance building and theater that will be part of Princeton University’s proposed arts and transit neighborhood, university officials announced today.

The Wallace Dance Building and Theater will be named for Monte J. Wallace and Neil W. Wallace. Monte is a member of the Class of 1953. Neil is a member of the Class of 1955. The building will house performance spaces, including a black box theater, rehearsal and teaching spaces, and faculty offices.

“We have made great strides in establishing Princeton as a leader in integrating the creative and performing arts into the broader curriculum,” University President Shirley M. Tilghman said in a news release about the donation. “Thanks to the Wallaces’ generosity, our students will soon have much-needed spaces in which to pursue their artistic visions, both in rehearsal and performance. I am grateful to Monte and Neil for giving them such a beautiful ‘stage’ on which to perfect and demonstrate their talents.”

The arts complex is intended to relieve competition for classroom, rehearsal and performance space, allowing more students to take classes in dance, act on the stage or play in an orchestra, university officials said. Performance spaces will include a dance theater in the new building with flexible seating for 120 and a theater with flexible seating for 150. The 58,000-square-foot, multi-story Wallace Dance Building and Theater will be one of three structures in the arts complex near University Place and Alexander Street that are designed by architect Steven Holl. The other two are a music building and a building designated primarily to house offices for the Lewis Center for the Arts and the fellows in the school’s creative and performing arts program. The structures will be part of a larger arts and transit neighborhood that also includes a new train station and a new restaurant and café.

The Regional Planning Board of Princeton will begin public hearings on the project tomorrow night. While residents are supportive of the arts portion of the project, some are unhappy with the transit plan because it involves moving the Dinky station. If the plan is approved, infrastructure work (moving the Dinky station tracks, for example) could begin in the spring of 2013, with groundbreaking in 2014 and completion in 2017.

The Wallace gift is part of Aspire, the University’s five-year fundraising campaign that concluded on June 30.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

  • krystalknapp

    Even though many of the comments on the site are anonymous, the comments are still civil. You are smart, and we think you can find a way to criticize politicians, lawyers others without attacking their weight or using the word “whore”. That is the part that crosses the line. You can attack a politician all you want in terms of policy here, but without those kinds of comments.

  • John Street Resident

    What you deemed personal attacks would, in any most other forums, be considered legitimate criticisms of personal motivations of public figures.

    As for anonymous handles, more than 3/4 of your commenters are anonymous. You allow the comments you approve of, the nice ones, the civil ones; but the ones that are truly critical of personal-cum-political motivation, you censor.
    Censorship is censorship no matter how many ribbons and bows you put on it.
    We may now consider this matter closed. Or you can have the last word. Whatever.

  • krystalknapp

    Yes, we did remove some comments that were personal attacks and that violate our comment policy, and we reached out to you via email to explain why. Our readers appreciate that we promote civil dialogue and don’t allow personal attacks from people who hide behind anonymous handles. Our full comment policy is here: http://princeplanet.wpengine.com/planet-princeton-comment-policy/.

  • John Street Resident

    For the record, Krystal Knapp did, in fact, censor my comments on this issue. Be forewarned, that Planet Princeton censors comments that Ms. Knapp believes “crosses” some line that only she can see. Debate in Princeton, limited. Draw your own conclusions.

  • An anonymous post was removed. Please avoid personal attacks. Read our full comment policy here: http://princeplanet.wpengine.com/planet-princeton-comment-policy/

  • An anonymous post was removed. Please avoid personal attacks. People who comment on PlanetPrinceton.com are civil in their dialogue. Let’s keep it that way. Read our full comment policy here: http://princeplanet.wpengine.com/planet-princeton-comment-policy/

  • John Street Resident

    I withdraw this comment. It was apparently technical error, not censorship. Apologies to Ms. Knapp.

  • John Street Resident

    Why did you censor my comment? Please answer publicly.

  • Yes, it is likely to get approved although many residents oppose the Dinky move.

  • SFB

    Is this likely to be approved? I thought there was a lot of opposition to moving the Dinky?

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