Skip to main content

Kean University

Kean University Takes Ownership of Michael Graves’ The Warehouse

Kean also to purchase Graves’ personal belongings in the home

Union, N.J. – Kean University today took ownership of The Warehouse, the iconic home of the late post-modernist architect Michael Graves, and two other Graves’ properties in Princeton. The Graves properties, assessed at $3.1 million, were a gift to the University from the estate of Michael Graves and were transferred to Kean for a sum of $1. The University also has reached an agreement with the Graves estate to purchase his personal belongings in The Warehouse for no more than $73,000.

“It is an honor to bring The Warehouse under the Kean University umbrella,” said Dr. Dawood Farahi, president of Kean University. “Michael Graves was instrumental in the development of our School of Public Architecture in the Michael Graves College, and now Kean’s architecture and design students will be able to work and learn in the place that Michael called his sanctuary, where he was inspired in his life and career.”

Kean University plans to develop an education center for architecture and design students at the 7,000-square-foot residence, with seminars for advanced students, salons for key academic leaders and professionals, small conferences and, in the future, brief residential fellowships for leading architects, designers and artists.

“It will be a place of inspiration for our students, but also a place to see the interplay of architecture and design philosophies from one of the greatest practitioners of our time in a real-life setting,” said David Mohney, FAIA, dean of the Michael Graves College at Kean University. “The Warehouse is an invaluable resource to our university and its students.”

In addition to accepting the deeds and assuming ownership of the Graves’ properties, the University will purchase most of Michael Graves’ personal belongings in The Warehouse. The Kean University Board of Trustees voted unanimously September 12 to authorize the expenditure after a separate agreement was reached with the Graves estate.

The Warehouse is filled with an eclectic mix of furniture, ceramics, decorative pieces and artwork, some more than 100 years old, that Graves collected over 50 years. Items include a large collection of Biedermeier furniture, decorative arts from the Vienna Secession, cast metal and bronze sculptures from the Grand Tour and basalt vases. There is also a large library of books, including rare books, on architecture, decorative arts and other subjects.

Graves, a world-renowned architect who died in 2015, designed more than 350 buildings around the world and was a guiding force in the development of the Michael Graves College at Kean University and its School of Public Architecture. He established an advisory board in 2013 to develop the curriculum for the school that is now housed in the college that bears his name.

Margaret McCory