March 20, 2024

Sharing Concerns About Proposed New Development in Jugtown Historic District

To the Editor:

As I read Clifford Zink’s recently published history on the Jugtown Historic District that Anne Levin highlighted in last week’s edition [“Booklet Considers the History of Jugtown as Development Pressures are Looming,” March 13, page 1], I was struck with the fact that although nearly 300 years have passed since its original settlement dating to 1730, the area still retains much of its historic character. Heading south on Route 27, the King’s Highway, towards Princeton, there is a distinction in the surroundings that one observes as you approach the area that constitutes this 18th century crossroads village. Quaint Colonial structures convey a sense of history from days gone past. It’s unmistakable — something seems irreplaceable about this part of town.

That is why I, like many neighbors and residents, am so concerned about the application submitted to the Planning Board for a massive, approximately 16,000-square-foot, four-story addition to 344 Nassau Street, on the NE corner of Harrison Street. Despite significant neighborhood concerns raised in public meetings, written in letters to local publications, and conveying concerns directly to the developer and public officials, the application, with an encroaching design, is preceding through the Planning Department process. The proposed four-story addition will overwhelm the 18th century original home on that corner, significantly harm the Jugtown Historic District by not conforming to the Historic Preservation Ordinance, worsen the already dangerous traffic and pedestrian conditions at the Nassau-Harrison intersection, and set the precedent for future four-story additions on all corners of the historic crossroads.

I urge my neighbors and other Princeton residents to affirm Princeton’s commitment to preserving its famous historic character by maintaining the historical integrity of the Jugtown Historic District and 344 Nassau, which the National Register identifies as “the single and most pivotal building at the Jugtown crossroads.”

We need your help! Please plan to attend the in-person-only Historic Preservation Committee meeting on April 15 at 4 p.m., at which this application will be reviewed, and the subsequent Planning Board hearing on May 2 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Urge both bodies to follow the standards set forth in the Historic Preservation Ordinance by recommending a reduction in size of the proposed building to three stories, a design to be compatible with the historic district, and an appropriate setback from Harrison Street.

Join the Save Jugtown Coalition’s efforts to preserve Princeton history by visiting, where a link to sign the “Save Jugtown” petition can be found. Let’s make sure that all new development in Jugtown complies with Princeton’s Historic Preservation Ordinance, and balances public safety.

Maggie Depenbrock
Nassau Street