One of the best-kept secrets at Princeton is Cleveland Tower at the Graduate School.
Before my parents departed, we decided to climb to the top of it. The tower is closed during examination periods to prevent students from committing suicide by jumping off. It had recently reopened, with the end of exams, when I returned to campus. In order to gain access, I had to receive a key from the porter’s lodge.
Getting to the top requires some determination. It is a long upwards climb. The stairwell is rather narrow. It reminded me of climbing into a castle’s tower. This trek is not for students with claustrophobia. After spinning around a few times, I finally reached the top. The view was breathtaking!
There was a dramatic 360º panoramic view of the entire region. I believe that the vista was even better than that of Fine Hall. While we were at the top, the carillons (fancy name for big bells) began to chime. They are some of the largest in the world.
A memorial to President Grover Cleveland is in the base of the tower. He joined Princeton’s faculty after serving as the president.
Very few students know that they can ascend Cleveland Tower. Normally, I would suggest that they put this on their bucket list of things to do before graduating, but this would imply that they should wait until their senior year to do it. Don’t wait. Go to Cleveland Tower today. It is worth the walk.