Two British military heritage organizations have joined the fight to prevent the development of a privately owned portion of a Revolutionary War battlefield in New Jersey.
The UK Battlefields Trust and the Royal Leicestershire Regiment Association have joined forces with the Save Princeton Coalition. They’re fighting the Institute for Advanced Study’s plans to build faculty housing on land adjacent to Princeton Battlefield State Park.
The prominent academic institute — where Albert Einstein worked — has said the housing would allow faculty members to spend more time on campus and encourage collaboration between them and visiting scholars. They also note their plans provide a 200-foot buffer that will be permanently preserved as open space and have cited a letter from the state’s Department of Environmental Protection that stated the project wasn’t “encroaching on or otherwise disturbing any regulated wetlands or transition areas.”
Some excavation work started in December at the seven-acre tract on Maxwell Field, which is seen by scholars and preservationists as hallowed ground. The site is where historians believe George Washington’s charge first struck British lines during the Battle of Princeton in January 1777.
The Civil War Trust, a Washington-based nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation of America’s battlegrounds, has put out a standing offer of $4.5 million to buy the land.
The Save Princeton Coalition was formed earlier this year. Its members include national and regional conservation and historic preservation groups.