Princeton is applying for Planning Board approval for a new 15-acre engineering campus (ES-SEAS) that will sit between the eating clubs and Princeton Stadium. The plans include building a modern pavilion on Prospect Avenue, a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. To do this, the architects want to pick up the former Court Club, move it across the street, and demolish three Victorian houses. The disruption and destruction this will cause to a historic residential neighborhood is shocking.
There has been so much protest from the local community that the University application will carry forward to a third Planning Board meeting in September. The Princeton Historic Preservation Commission unanimously recommended that the Planning Board deny the application. The University’s plan violates National Park Service Guidelines for the Treatment of Historic Properties. The University has refused to consider any of the concerns or suggestions from the community. See much more information at princetonprospectfoundation.org.
Princeton is where I discovered my love and respect for history. As one of the first women at Princeton, the historic campus made me feel I was part of history. I live in a local historic house and was chair of the Montgomery Township Landmarks Commission. I’m shocked and saddened to witness Princeton’s disregard for the Princeton Historic District. I urge the architects of this plan to reflect on what they’ve heard from the community. Princeton’s values will be reflected in the final execution of this project. Princeton has the talent and the resources to meet its objectives and also follow the guidelines for the preservation of national historic properties.