In 1756, upon the completion of Nassau Hall, the College of New Jersey relocated from Newark to Princeton, at which time this historic Georgian-style home was built to serve as the residence of the president.
Throughout its history, Maclean House was home to ten presidents (it is named after the University’s tenth president, John Maclean Jr., in office 1854–68) as well as seven deans of faculty, before it took on its present function as the home of the Alumni Association of Princeton University. Between 1756 and 1822 Maclean house was not only home to Princeton’s presidents but also home to enslaved people, the first nine presidents of Princeton were all slave owners at some point in their lives. Five of these presidents brought their slaves with them to Maclean House. It was Maclean himself who was the first president to live in the house without slaves.
Maclean House was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1971.