Support for the Institute for Advanced Study From Princeton President Emeritus, Others
To the Editor:
I am writing in support of the Institute for Advanced Studys plans to build housing for its faculty on a six-acre parcel of its private land. The Institute is not only fulfilling its longstanding intention to build this housing originally expressed in an agreement with the State in the 1970s but it is also addressing a critical need to maintain its residential community of scholars. The Institutes most recent Decadal Review, in which I took part, made this point abundantly clear and spoke to the ongoing importance of having an adequate and affordable stock of faculty housing. As a long-time resident of Princeton, I value the Institutes role for more than 80 years as a center for the fundamental pursuit of knowledge, and its ability to bring the worlds leading thinkers to Princeton. I also value the abundant natural resources of the Institute Woods and surrounding preserved lands, including the Princeton Battlefield State Park, which the Institute helped to create and expand. The Institutes plans for housing address its need to continue to attract the best scholars while respecting the park, providing a 2DD-foot buffer zone and the permanent conservation of more than 13 acres of land surrounding the housing site. I believe that the Institute has developed a very sensitive and diligently thought-out plan that will benefit it and the community alike. I encourage the Princeton Regional Planning Board to approve the Institutes housing plans on December 1.
Harold T. Shapiro
President Emeritus, Princeton University
To the Editor:
The Princeton Regional Planning Board meets on December 1 to review the request of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) to build a cluster of 8 townhouses and 7 low-profile single family homes on 7 acres of the Institutes campus. As Princeton residents since the 1950s we support the Institutes request for this much needed faculty housing.
The IAS has always been an outstanding citizen and neighbor. In the early years it was a quiet and unobtrusive presence a peaceful and welcoming place to walk dogs and visit the swinging bridge. In recent years the Institute has reached out more to the community and encouraged Princeton residents to attend public lectures and become members. It has always been concerned with preserving open space and making that space available to the community. Seventy-five percent of the Institutes lands which include the Institute woods and farmland are conserved in perpetuity. The proposed housing plan calls for a 200-foot buffer zone which will be additional preserved open space. Thirty-eighty percent of the Battlefield is land which the Institute sold to the State of New Jersey in 1973 for preservation, increasing its size by 60 percent. The IAS donated the Mercer Manor portico commemorating the common grave of American and British soldiers killed in 1777 at the Battle of Princeton.
In return for this land the State agreed that the field east of the Battlefield Park (the land now under consideration) could be used for faculty housing. All serious historians agree that the major portions of the Battle of Princeton were fought on the Battlefield Park. Those opposing the construction now claim that the Battle of Princeton was fought where the Institute wants to build housing.
It is well known that there actually was troop movement across most of the land from the Battlefield Park to Nassau Hall. The Institute has hired a reputable historical research firm that concluded that although there was troop movement across the area in question, major activity on that site was very limited, and any major engagements were outside the project area.
The planned construction site has been surveyed for archeological artifacts and those found have been placed with the New Jersey State Museum.
The Institute is an internationally respected educational institution, and its residential character is basic to its function. Its plan for faculty housing was refined, based on the commitment to use the land set aside for this particular purpose. It has worked with the community to ensure that its plans are within all required guidelines, and we strongly recommend that the IAS be allowed to build this much needed housing.
Susan Anable, Jack McCarthy
To the Editor:
My wife and I Princeton residents since 1968 would like to express our support of the Institute for Advanced Studys permanent faculty housing plan, which was unanimously recommended by the Site Plan Review Advisory Board on October 12 and by the Township Historic Planning Commission on October 17 for approval by the Princeton Township Regional Planning Board.
The Institute is, in our opinion, a true jewel for Princeton, and we believe it is so regarded by the Princeton community, including the more than 200 Friends who provide generous annual financial support to the Institute. An important element in the Institutes ability to attract and retain preeminent faculty and to preserve its role as a community of leading scholars is its ability to provide appropriate housing within walking distance of the Institute. The available houses in the vicinity of the Institute have become scarcer and, more significant, the prices have increased to a point where they are no longer affordable by most academics.
With respect to the preservation of the Princeton Battlefield (much of the land of which was initially acquired from the Institute), the Institute has done everything asked of it by members of the unanimously recommending Township committees, including the preservation and screening of a 200 foot buffer zone between the site and the Battlefield.
We therefore support the Institutes plan to construct permanent faculty housing.
To the Editor:
This letter supports the application of the Institute For Advanced Study to build faculty housing on its campus in Princeton. The Institute needs this housing so its faculty can live on Institute grounds. By living close to existing Institute facilities, the faculty will be better able to meet with each other on an informal as well as a formal basis. Homes in the immediate vicinity of the Institute are unaffordable for its faculty. The solution is for the Institute to build housing on its land. Its plan to build eight townhouses and seven single-family dwellings will not adversely impact the Institutes woods, farmland, campus or the Princeton Battlefield State Park.
The Institute is a long-standing supporter of the Battlefield Park, which it helped create and expand. In fact 38 percent of the Park today is comprised of land which the Institute sold to the State of New Jersey for the purpose of Battlefield preservation. The Institutes plan provides for an additional 200 foot buffer zone along the Battlefield Park which along with other areas of the site comprise 13 acres of land that will be permanently preserved. The Institute believes it is important to enhance the interpretative materials provided for visitors to the Battlefield Park and is ready to be a partner in doing so.
The Institute needs the housing for its faculty and wants to enhance the Battlefield Park. Therefore its application to build housing on its property should be approved by the Princeton Regional Planning Board.
John C. Wellemeyer