The Lewis Center offers over 120 public performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings, concerts and lectures each year, most of them free, and seeks to make these opportunities available to all audiences. Events are held in venues throughout the University campus, but primarily at the Lewis Arts complex, 185 Nassau Street and the Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center.
Audience members with disabilities who have questions about accessibility are encouraged to contact the Lewis Center in advance of their visit. If you are in need of accommodations, we invite you to contact the Lewis Center at least two weeks in advance of an event date at LewisCenter@princeton.edu.
An assistive listening FM system is available in the Lewis Arts complex’s Hearst Dance Theater, Wallace Theater, Donald G. Drapkin Studio, and Roberts Dance Studio. Please visit the Front Desk in the Forum before the start of the event to request a headset.
Princeton offers free Aira minutes within the geosphere of the Princeton campus. Aira is a subscribed service to connect people who are blind or have low vision with real, highly-trained professionals who provide visual information on demand using a purchased mobile device app.
NJ Transit Northeast Corridor trains stop at Princeton Junction Station with rail connection via the “Dinky” train from Princeton Junction to the Princeton Station at the University. NJ Transit buses also stop at multiple locations adjacent to the campus. For more information on public transportation visit https://transportation.princeton.edu/options/public-transit
University TigerTransit wheelchair-accessible shuttle buses run regularly from the train station and other locations to stops around the campus.
The A, D, E, F, H, S and W lines stop at Princeton Station or the West Garage, both adjacent to the Arts Complex and Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center. The D, E and H lines stop at 201 Nassau St., next door to 185 Nassau St. For schedule and routes of shuttle buses visit http://www.princeton.edu/parking/tigertransit.html. TigerTransit On-demand Service is available by calling 609.258.RIDE (7433) / Seven days a week, 10 pm–3 am (academic year only). Taxis are also available from the train station.
The new Lewis Arts complex, which opened in fall 2017, includes the Wallace Dance Building and Theater, which houses the Wallace Black Box Theater, the Hearst Dance Theater, and several other theater and dance studios, some of which are also used for public performances; the Arts Tower, which houses the Hurley Gallery, the CoLab, a dance studio, a seminar room, the Dance & Theater Library, and administrative offices; and the Effron Music Building, which houses the Lee Music Room, the Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk) studio, the Lee Jazz Studio, and two floors of instrumental studios and practice rooms.
Transportation/Parking for the Lewis Arts complex
The arts complex is across the drive from the NJ Transit Princeton Station, the metered transit parking lot, and the West Garage. The Garage is open and free to the public evenings and weekends with accessible spaces on each level, served by an elevator. Parking is also available at meters on University Place and Alexander Street, including disability-designated spaces available on a first-come, first-served basis for vehicles with handicapped placards and/or license plates.
Access into the Lewis Arts complex
From the train station, West Garage and transit parking lot, sidewalks with curb cuts lead to the Forum level entrance. A gently sloping walkway leads from the sidewalk to the Forum’s entrance, which has power doors. The Forum functions as a lobby for the main venues and as a gathering and informal performance space.
The complex is also accessible from the Plaza level, on the same elevation as McCarter Theatre Center’s Berlind Theater and the nearby restaurants, Cargot Brasserie and the Dinky Bar & Kitchen. From campus walkways, sidewalks and metered parking on University Place and Alexander Street, curb cuts provide access to the Plaza level. From the Plaza one can enter at the base of the Arts Tower (this is also the location of the exterior Roth Box Office); into the main entrance to the New Music Building; and into the Wallace Dance Building and Theater on flat walkways.
Once inside the Forum, gently sloping ramps that are part of the architectural design provide direct access (no steps or obstacles) into the Wallace Theater, the Hearst Dance Theater, the Lee Music Room, the CoLab, and the interior day-of box office and concession counter, one section of which is lowered.
Two elevators in the Forum go to all other floors in the Wallace Dance Building and Theater and the Arts Tower. One level up on the mezzanine level is the Hurley Gallery. To access the Gallery from the elevator, go to the double doors ahead and to the left.
Another elevator in the Forum provides access to all other floors in the New Music Building.
The seating in all venues is flexible and can accommodate wheelchair and wheelchair-companion seating. Patrons are encouraged to call in advance to inquire about the seating set-up, reserve a floor-level seat or wheelchair space (with companion seating) or let the house staff know of your need when you arrive (please try to arrive at least 15 minutes before curtain time).
Exhibitions in the Hurley Gallery may sometimes include three-dimensional works on the floor of the gallery, however effort is made to assure full access around and through the exhibition and to provide markers of work that may extend out from the walls.
Elevators are nearby the other entrances to the arts complex buildings, which serve all floors of the complex’s buildings.
All public restrooms in the arts complex are accessible. The complex features hard floor surfaces – wood and concrete – throughout. The complex is equipped with audio and visual fire alarm systems. Designated disability refuge spaces are positioned in various areas of the buildings.
Assistive listening device headsets are available in the Hearst Dance Theater, Wallace Theater, and Roberts Dance Studio. Please see the house manager at the event to request a headset.
Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center
The Lewis Center for the Arts shares the Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center with the Tony Award-winning McCarter Theatre.
Transportation/Parking for Berlind Theatre
The same transportation and parking for the arts complex are available for the Berlind Theatre. Additional access information about the Berlind Theatre can be found on the McCarter website: https://www.mccarter.org/plan-your-visit/accessibility/ . Assistive listening device headsets are available from house staff/ushers.
185 Nassau Street
The Lewis Center for the Arts location at 185 Nassau St. was converted from an elementary school many years ago and houses the Marie and Edward Matthews ’53 Acting Studio for theater performances and other presentations, Hagan Studio for exhibitions, and James Stewart Film Theater for film screenings, lectures and panel discussions, all on the first floor, and the Lucas Gallery on the second floor. In addition, larger classrooms are sometimes used for small public lectures, and the annual Open Studios event provides a behind-the-scenes look at the art studios of junior and senior visual arts students.
Accessible parking, as well as medical permit parking, is available on a first-come, first-served basis for vehicles with handicapped placards and/or license plates in Lot 10 off Williams Street, directly behind 185 Nassau St. The lot is open and free to the public after 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, and at all times on weekends. During weekday hours, parking is available at meters in front of 185 Nassau St. For other campus visitor parking options visit https://transportation.princeton.edu/guests_visitors/parking. To arrange for special parking during weekday hours, contact Princeton’s Transportation & Parking Services at 609-258-3157 or firstname.lastname@example.org during office hours, Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Access into 185 Nassau St.
Access into the building from the parking lot or sidewalk adjacent to street parking is level with no incline or steps. A curb cut is located on Nassau St. to the right of the building (near Thomas Sweet Ice Cream). The primary public entrance is from the parking lot; the Nassau Street/front door is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and usually for events scheduled in the building after regular business hours.
A large elevator is available to access the 2nd and 3rd floors of the building. Elevator access to the 4th floor (housing juniors’ studios) requires a special security code. There is one portion of the second floor that can only be reached by a short set of steps, including some classrooms and some seniors’ studios. If you plan to attend a public event in this part of the building, please contact the Lewis Center in advance so that we can plan to make the event accessible to you.
The building has accessible restrooms on the first floor including both a Men’s Room and Ladies’ Room with accessible stalls, and a large single user/non-gender-specific restroom, also equipped for accessibility. The building has accessible floor surfaces – wood, low pile carpeting and tile – throughout. The building is equipped with audio and visual fire alarm systems.
Marie and Edward Matthews ’53 Acting Studio at 185 Nassau St., 1st floor
This black box studio, which can seat up to 99, is configured in different ways for different productions with chairs that can be moved by house staff. The chairs are most often arrayed on risers with steps, but chairs or spaces for wheelchairs are also usually available on the floor. Patrons are encouraged to call in advance to inquire about the seating set-up, reserve a floor-level seat or wheelchair space (with companion seating), or let the house staff know of your need when you arrive (please try to arrive at least 15 minutes before curtain time).
The ticket counter serving the Acting Studio is somewhat high. If the counter height is not convenient, box office staff will come out to the lobby to serve you.
James Stewart Film Theater at 185 Nassau St., 1st floor
This 180-seat film theater is used for screenings, lectures and panel discussions. Entrance is from the back of the theater. The theater has raked fixed-chair seating. A lift, operated by venue staff, is available to provide access to seating for wheelchairs and companions at levels throughout the theater, along with spaces for wheelchair and companion seating in the top row.
Hagan Studio at 185 Nassau St., 1st floor
This exhibition space on the first floor has double doors opening from the corridor into the space. Exhibitions may sometimes include three-dimensional works on the floor of the studio, however efforts are made to assure full access around and through the exhibition and to provide markers of work that may extend out from the walls.
Lucas Gallery at 185 Nassau St., 2nd floor
The Gallery can be reached via elevator from the 1st floor. Exhibitions may sometimes include three-dimensional works on the floor of the gallery, however efforts are made to assure full access around and through the exhibition and to provide markers of work that may extend out from the walls.
Katzenbach Room (Room 207) at 185 Nassau St., 2nd floor
This large seminar room is sometimes used for informal presentations and talks. It can be reached via elevator from the 1st floor and through the Lucas Gallery. Moveable furniture makes it easy to arrange space in this room to accommodate visitors with mobility disabilities, however it may be helpful to call in advance to alert the staff.
Other Spaces and Campus Venues
Creative Writing Seminar Rooms, New South
The Lewis Center’s Program in Creative Writing is housed on the 6th floor of New South, adjacent to the Lewis Arts complex. Parking and access are the same as for the arts complex. From the train station, West Garage and transit parking lot, sidewalks with curb cuts lead to an entrance on the East side of the building that has a wheelchair ramp. Once inside, two elevators serve all floors in the building.
Richardson Auditorium and Frist Campus Center Theater
Please see University Ticketing for accessibility details.
Princeton University campus
Proceed to the access kiosk on Elm Drive for permission to drop off or pick up a passenger at locations on the main campus. On weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., parking for visitors with handicapped placards or license plates is available only in the designated spaces in Lot 16. Frequent visitors who use these spaces must obtain a permit from Transportation and Parking Services. To review an accessibility map, visit www.princeton.edu/ada-map