Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 47
 
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
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Historical Society of Princeton Recognizes Donors, Hosts, Planners of Its Fundraisers

John H. Dumont,
Board of Trustees President
Erin Dougherty,
HSP Executive Director

Win-Win Opportunities Suggested for Arts District, Dinky Terminus

Bill Moody
Jefferson Road


Historical Society of Princeton Recognizes Donors, Hosts, Planners of Its Fundraisers

To the editor:

The Historical Society of Princeton (HSP) would like to thank all those in the community who helped to make possible our two major fundraisers, the 6th annual Princeton Fall Antiques and Fine Arts Show and House Tour 2010. Both events have become staples of Princeton’s fall calendar and are vital to funding HSP’s educational programs, exhibitions, and library resources that are so central to our mission.

The Antiques Show would not have been possible without our major funders including: Baxter Construction, Honda of Princeton, Masterminds Advertising, The Shepherd Foundation and Bovenizer Family, Henderson Sotheby’s Real Estate, Jack Morton Exhibits, PNC Wealth Management, Rago Arts and Auction Center, US Trust / Bank of America Wealth Management, Wilmington Trust, Biltmore Capital Advisors, Dumont & Watson Attorneys, Farewell Mills Gatsch, Glenmede, Lear & Pannepacker, Mercadien Group, Princeton Orthopaedic Associates, Antiques and Fine Art Magazine, BUCKS Life Magazine, Design NJ, The Magazine Antiques, Packet Publications, and Princeton Magazine. And, of course, the Nierenberg Family and Princeton Airport, our generous hosts for the past six years.

The planning and execution of the Antiques Show was led by our Steering Committee whose leaders include Kary Clancy, Meghan Donaldson, Jody Erdman, Midge Fleming, Milly King, Jennifer McGuirk, Dorothy Plohn, and Anita Trullinger. We are very grateful for their energetic leadership, and to the meticulous work of our entire Show Committee in helping to make this year’s Show so successful.

HSP would also like to thank those involved with making House Tour 2010 possible. First to our five homeowners — Dr. Alan J. Bilanin, Avril and Diana Moore, Tomasina P. and James J. Schiro, Dorothy Shepard and Deborah Walson, and Erik Jan, who generously opened their beautiful and historic homes to the public. We would also like to thank our sponsors, including our lead sponsor for the fifth straight year, N. T. Callaway Real Estate. Other House Tour 2010 funders include US Trust/Bank of America Wealth Management, Knight Architects, Viburnum Flowers & Design, Mrs. G T.V. and Appliances, SavATree, T. Jeffrey Clarke Architect, Van Note-Harvey Associates, Candice Walsh, Woodwinds Associates, and Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty. With the generosity of all of these individuals and businesses, along with our hardworking House Tour Committee and Docents led by our House Captains Jeff Clarke, Meghan Donaldson, Colleen Hall, Julie Fulper Hardt, Maggie Hill, Laurie Lincoln, Judy Matthies, David Schure, Willa Stackpole, John Tucker, Merlene Tucker, and Candy Walsh, this year’s Tour was a brilliant success.

Many thanks to everyone in the community who participated as a volunteer, purchased a ticket, bought an antique, or supported us in any way. We are very grateful and look forward to having you join us for all our activities in 2011.

John H. Dumont,
Board of Trustees President
Erin Dougherty,
HSP Executive Director

Win-Win Opportunities Suggested for Arts District, Dinky Terminus

To the Editor:

A recent visit to the Dinky site suggests possibilities for a win-win outcome to the Dinky and Arts/Transit Neighborhood discussions. Walking the site, I realized how the University could have the complex it seeks and still keep the Dinky terminus where it is — or, better yet, extend the tracks to the north edge of the passenger station building.

On the east side of the Dinky tracks, the adjoining land around garage number 7 is between 6 to 10 feet lower than the tracks; on the west (Alexander) side of the tracks at the south end of the parking area, the terrain immediately slopes down in southerly and westerly directions. This topographical reality would simplify leaving the Dinky tracks and terminus where they are while “Baker Road” emerges at a reasonable cost through an underpass under the tracks connecting garage number 7 to Alexander Road.

The “below ground” Kornhauser proposal is also a viable and appealing choice for reaching garage number 7 and keeping the Dinky terminus where it is while eliminating the grade crossing at Faculty Road. Yet another approach that does not interfere with the current terminus is Ron Nielsen’s decking over the tracks.

As I peeked in the windows of the existing passenger station, I asked myself: “Who needs a new station?” I saw ample room for the proposed café in the University plans as well as ticket machines and other train station facilities, such as rest rooms — which already exist. There could also be maps and other welcoming information for visitors to Princeton in keeping with the “gateway” theme. The architecture and charm of the existing passenger station gives the “gateway” entrance to Princeton special warmth and identity for our historic community. Moreover, the existing freight station could become a full-scale restaurant, as the University proposes, as well as the site for drop-offs, pick-ups, cabs and buses — in place of a new station farther south.

Experience both in Canada and the United States shows that moving train terminals farther away from town centers reduces ridership, as people opt for their cars. Also, once terminals are moved farther away, it is difficult to move them back for further rail expansion, such as light rail continuing to Nassau Street. Experience in Schenectady, N.Y. and elsewhere reveals that the return of train terminals to or near downtown increases ridership.

Emerging ideas for access to garage number 7 and for addressing other issues suggest a potential win-win outcome to the discussions about the Arts/Transit Neighborhood, with Princeton University being able to construct all of the new buildings, provide ample pedestrian space, plus easy access to garage number 7 — the whole complex — and with the Dinky passenger station remaining where it is and, hopefully, the tracks returned to the northerly edge of the passenger station.

Please walk the site and see for yourself how innovative concepts benefit us all.

Bill Moody
Jefferson Road

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