Assemblyman’s Efforts to Draw Attention to Demise of Historic Site Leads to Agreement to Expand Park, Preserve Battlefield
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) released the following statement Monday afternoon following a joint announcement by the Institute of Advanced Studies and the Civil War Trust that a deal had been reached to preserve the historically significant Princeton Battlefield:
“I am overjoyed that the Institute of Advanced Study and the Civil War Trust were able to discover a mutually beneficial solution to the ongoing question of how to manage Princeton Battlefield.
“The initial proposal – which involved destroying large swaths of the battlefield in order to construct faculty housing – had left members of the community, academics, and history enthusiasts up in arms. It was decried as the wanton destruction of the site of one of the most important turning points of the American Revolution.
“When we visited the site, we saw that its destruction was already underway. The images of bulldozers displacing the battlefield thankfully drew the attention of the Civil War Trust, which has graciously offered to purchase 14.85 acres of the 15 acres in question for $4 million, in order to ensure its long-term preservation. As part of this agreement, management of this acreage will gradually be transferred to the State Park, and a new section of land – which historians have recently identified as being part of the battlefield – will be added.
“While some townhomes will still be built, this is an unmitigated victory. Through engaging the community, and working with relevant stakeholders, we were able to save an irreplaceable piece of our past, so that we can preserve it for our future.”