The University Cottage Club is one of the ten eating clubs at Princeton University, in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. It is also one of the five bicker clubs, along with The Ivy Club, Tiger Inn, Cap and Gown Club, and Tower Club.
As time passed, the cottage that gave the Club its name and which seemed so commodious to its founding members, proved to be inadequate as the Sections grew. In 1890, a lot on Prospect Avenue (upon which today’s clubhouse stands) was purchased and a shingled Victorian clubhouse was built in 1892. The enrollment continued to grow and this structure was moved to Library Place when plans were made for a larger building. The current two and a half story Georgian Revival clubhouse was designed by Charles Follen McKim of the New York architectural firm McKim, Mead and White in 1903 and built in 1906.
The library on the second floor is modeled on the fourteenth century library in Merton College, Oxford University. Many rooms are paneled in English oak, with carved ceilings and cornices. Great marble fireplaces grace several areas with mottoes over the mantels. In the Dining Room, one such carving reads “Ubi Amici Ibidem Sunt Opes” (“Where there are friends there are riches”) which has become over the years a motto of the Club.
In 1979, the Cottage Club was one of three all-male eating clubs sued by 1980 Princeton graduate Sally Frank for sex discrimination. Ms. Frank prevailed in 1985. Following the suit, the Club voted to admit women in early 1986.
On September 14, 1999, the Club was entered onto the New Jersey Register of Historic Places. On November 15, 1999, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places based on the architectural structure of the building, high degree of historic integrity, and significant cultural contributions to the community.
The Club is currently embroiled in a dispute with the Borough of Princeton and state legislators regarding its request for tax exemption based on its inclusion in the Register of Historic Places. The dispute hinges on whether or not the Club is open to the public, as is required for tax exemption.