News

Official Statements and News on Faculty Housing

December 12, 2016: IAS and Civil War Trust Announce Agreement to Expand the Princeton Battlefield State Park While Meeting Institute Housing Needs

Access the full release at www.ias.edu/press-releases/2016/ias-cwt-agreement.

 The Institute for Advanced Study and the Civil War Trust today jointly announced a plan to significantly expand the land that will be preserved adjacent to the current Princeton Battlefield State Park while enabling the Institute to construct new housing for its faculty on its campus.

Under the plan, the Civil War Trust, through its Campaign 1776 initiative to protect Revolutionary War battlefields, will purchase 14.85 acres of land from the Institute for $4 million, to be conveyed to the State of New Jersey as an addition to the existing Princeton Battlefield State Park. The acquisition includes approximately two-thirds of the Maxwell’s Field property, along with an additional 1.12-acre tract north of the property that has been identified by historians as part of the battlefield.

To make this acquisition possible, the original footprint of the Institute’s faculty housing project will be reduced by replacing seven single family home lots with eight additional townhouses, for a total of 16, all located east of Gödel Lane on Maxwell’s Field. The new plan also avoids any development within the Princeton Battlefield National Historic Landmark boundary, designated by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1961.

The original Institute housing plan had most recently been reviewed and approved by the Princeton Planning Board and Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission in late 2014 and early 2015. The new compromise plan will require review and a vote by both entities. The agreement will not go into effect until all necessary project approvals have been received.

Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director and Leon Levy Professor at the Institute, joined James Lighthizer, the President of the Civil War Trust, in stating, “We are delighted to reach this agreement, which both meets the needs of the Institute and ensures the preservation of this site through an enlarged and revitalized Princeton Battlefield State Park.”

“This landmark agreement will enable us to preserve one of the defining moments in American history,” said Lighthizer. Noting that elements of George Washington’s famous counterattack at Princeton charged across Maxwell’s Field, he said, “We are pleased by this opportunity to work with the Institute for Advanced Study to save an important part of our Revolutionary War heritage.”     

Dijkgraaf added, “As part of our original faculty housing plan, the Institute expressed a commitment to working with stakeholders in the preservation and commemoration of the Battle of Princeton and its role in the American Revolution. We are confident that this new plan and partnership will enhance the experience of the Park for all who visit. While we received the approval of the original housing plan design in 2012, we are pleased to have built upon the recommendations received then from noted historians and preservationists David Hackett Fisher and James McPherson in reaching this cooperative and mutually beneficial agreement with the Civil War Trust.”

Joining the Institute and the Trust in praising the agreement were several nonprofit heritage preservation organizations that have long supported the protection of Maxwell’s Field, including the Princeton Battlefield Society, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati.     

“We have worked for decades to ensure that the Princeton Battlefield and the men who fought on this land 240 years ago are appropriately commemorated,” said Jerry Hurwitz, president of the Princeton Battlefield Society. “This agreement honors that commitment and guarantees that an historically significant part of the battlefield is preserved forever.”     

Stephanie Meeks, president and chief executive officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, added: “We commend the Civil War Trust and the Institute for Advanced Study for their perseverance in developing this compromise solution that will facilitate the expansion of the Princeton Battlefield State Park. Saving Maxwell’s Field will enhance its power to educate and inspire future generations.”

“The preservation of the Princeton Battlefield is an achievement of national importance,” said Jack Warren, executive director of the Society of the Cincinnati. “Washington’s remarkable victory at Princeton stunned the British and opened the road that led to American independence. The Princeton Battlefield is a monument to courage, resourcefulness and stubborn determination—characteristics at the heart of our national identity.”

The target date for the transfer of the property to be sold to the Trust is the end of June 2017.

About the Battle of Princeton 
The Battle of Princeton, fought January 3, 1777, was one of the most decisive battles of the American Revolution. It was the culmination of an audacious, 10-day campaign that began with George Washington’s famous crossing of the Delaware on Christmas Day 1776. In a series of daring maneuvers, Washington succeeded in attacking isolated elements of the British army. His decisive counterattack at Princeton marked his first victory over British regulars in the field, and revitalized the cause of American independence.

About the Institute for Advanced Study 
The Institute, founded in 1930, is a private, independent academic institution located in Princeton, New Jersey. Its more than 6,000 former Members hold positions of intellectual and scientific leadership throughout the academic world. Thirty-three Nobel Laureates and 41 out of 56 Fields Medalists, as well as many winners of the Wolf and MacArthur prizes, have been affiliated with the Institute.

About the Civil War Trust
The Civil War Trust is America’s premier nonprofit battlefield preservation organization. Although primarily focused on the protection of Civil War battlefields, through its Campaign 1776 initiative, the Trust also seeks to save the battlefields connected to the Revolutionary War and War of 1812. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 43,000 acres of battlefield land in 23 states. The Trust’s website is www.civilwar.org.

June 28, 2016: Statement Regarding Clean Water Act Suit

We are very pleased with Judge Wolfson’s decision to deny the request for a preliminary injunction filed by the Princeton Battlefield Society as part of their Clean Water Act suit. This ruling, like all the others that have preceded it in the New Jersey court system, confirms the fully compliant nature of the Institute’s application, and allows the project to proceed as planned. 

April 29, 2016: Institute’s Housing Plan Accommodates Preservation Concerns

The following is a Letter to the Editor by Robbert Dijkgraaf to The Chronicle of Higher Education

To the Editor:

This is in response to an advertorial placed in the April 15 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education by the Save Princeton Coalition regarding its efforts against the Institute for Advanced Study’s project to build faculty housing. This group, formed by the Civil War Trust, has distributed letters, advertisements, and other materials that repeatedly misstate facts and imply that the Institute is acting irresponsibly, paying no heed to preservationist concerns. This is simply not the case.

• The Institute has long supported the Princeton Battlefield State Park. More than 40 years ago, the Institute sold 32 acres of its own land to the State of New Jersey, enlarging the Park by 60%;

• Over the course of the development of the project, the Institute listened carefully to concerns of the public and incorporated extensive changes to the faculty housing site plans. Many were suggested by historian David Hackett Fischer, who is quoted in the objectors’ materials, and included moving the project further away from the Park; adjusting the profiles and materials of the housing units; and enhancing the landscaped screen between the site and the Park;

• Our faculty housing occupies only seven acres of the 21-acre field on our campus, and by easement we will perpetually preserve the remaining 14 acres adjacent to the Park, all at no cost to the public.

Finally, as documented in the New York Times article regarding the project published on February 16, several experts made clear that the quality and conclusions of the Milner Report — on which the objectors rely regarding the location of the central events of the Battle of Princeton — is far from universally accepted.

The Institute has received all the necessary regulatory approvals to proceed. Preservation issues and the Institute’s accommodation of them have been thoroughly vetted. The Save Princeton Coalition and its actions are clearly part of a PR campaign to repeat misstatements that have been unequivocally rejected by the courts.

Robbert Dijkgraaf
Director and Leon Levy Professor
Institute for Advanced Study
Princeton, N.J.

March 4, 2016: Statement in Response to Civil War Trust

This statement is in response to a letter from the group Save Princeton arguing against the Institute for Advanced Study’s project to build faculty housing. That letter materially misstates facts, implies that the Institute is acting irresponsibly, paying no heed to preservationist concerns. This is simply not the case.

  • The Institute has long supported the Battlefield Park. More than forty years ago, the Institute sold 32 acres of its own land to the State of New Jersey, enlarging the Park by 60%;
  • Over the course of the development of the project, the Institute listened carefully to concerns of the public and incorporated extensive changes to the faculty housing site plans. Many were suggested by historian David Hackett Fischer, who is quoted in the objectors’ letter, and included moving the project further away from the Park, adjusting the profiles and materials of the housing units, and enhancing the landscaped screen between the site and the Park.
  • Our faculty housing occupies only 7 acres of the 21-acre field on our campus, and by easement we will perpetually preserve the remaining 14 acres adjacent to the Park, all at no cost to the public.

Finally, as documented in the New York Times article regarding the project published on February 16, 2016, several experts made clear that the quality and conclusions of the Milner Report—on which the objectors rely regarding the location of the central events of the Battle of Princeton—is far from universally accepted.

The Institute has received all the necessary regulatory approvals to proceed. Preservation issues and the Institute’s accommodation of them have been thoroughly vetted. The letter from the project’s opponents is clearly part of a PR campaign by the Civil War Trust and the Princeton Battlefield Society to repeat misstatements that have been unequivocally rejected by the courts.

February 16, 2016: New York Times Covers IAS Faculty Housing Project

Read "Plan by Institute Clashes with a Park's Revolutionary War Past" via The New York Times http://ow.ly/Idoe301l2wP

January 8, 2016: Letter from Robbert Dijkgraaf to Institute Constituency

The following is a letter that was sent by Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director and Leon Levy Professor, to the Institute Board of Trustees, Faculty and Emeriti, Staff, and Friends of the Institute on January 7, 2016.  

Dear Colleagues:

I write to update you regarding the Faculty Housing project. As you know, the Institute for Advanced Study recently began to prepare the site for construction. This has spurred yet another round of activity from the Princeton Battlefield Society, in collaboration with the Civil War Trust, which has contacted area legislators to seek support in stopping the project. Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman requested a hearing on the project in the State Senate Environment and Energy Committee on December 21, 2015. We were not informed of the hearing by legislative officials and were not asked to attend; in fact, we learned of the hearing from the press. The Senator did not reach out to us directly to express his concerns prior to asking for a hearing. The result of the hearing was a letter signed by Bob Smith, Linda Greenstein, and Bateman, asking for a stay on the project from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), who did not send a representative to the meeting.

A straightforward review of the development and approval of the project would have been instructive for the Senator and others who have been recently vocal in their opposition to it. The Institute received two unanimous affirmative Princeton Planning Board approvals, even after four years of persistent challenges by the opposition. The two applications spanned six public hearings with extensive expert testimony refuting the opponents’ claims. The Planning Board’s decisions, challenged by the Battlefield Society, resulted in two trial court decisions overwhelmingly affirming the Institute’s right to build. Both the Appellate Division and the New Jersey Supreme Court refused to stay those decisions any further. The Institute holds valid required NJDEP approvals, the propriety of which has been reaffirmed by five site visits, the most recent of which took place in mid-December at Senator Bateman’s request. In sum, our right to build is not in doubt.

The Institute has endeavored to accommodate reasonable project-related concerns and has spent many years working to bring this project to fruition. You may not know that the Institute, early on and on more than one occasion, attempted to engage the Battlefield Society in direct conversation—using the good offices of then-Congressman Rush Holt—and two of the most renowned preservationist historians in the country to do so, only to be rebuffed. Despite the opposition’s refusal to engage, our sensitivity to preservation is evident in the project we are about to construct. As summarized in the statement attached below, the Institute made extensive changes to the site plans, including moving the project further away from the Park, adjusting the profiles and materials of the housing units, and enhancing the landscaped screen between the site and the Park. Archaeological surveys have been conducted on the project site to recover remaining artifacts, and to meet commitments made to the Princeton Planning Board in the course of its approval of the project. 

Thank you for your patience and support over the years. Your confidence in our handling of this matter has been a mainstay of our efforts.

Robbert Dijkgraaf
Director and Leon Levy Professor 

The following statement was posted on the Institute website on December 9, 2015. Please feel free to direct those who have questions to the site for a fuller discussion of these issues; links are provided below. 

The Institute has received all necessary approvals and permissions from the relevant agecies.The project meets a critical need for the Institute, which has taken great care to address all reason- able concerns relative to preservation issues in consultation with historians James McPherson and David Hackett Fischer. The Institute made extensive changes to the site plans, including moving the project further away from the Park, adjusting the profiles and materials of the housing units, and enhancing the landscaped screen between the site and the Park. Archaeological surveys have been conducted on the project site to recover remaining artifacts, and to meet commitments made to the Princeton Planning Board in the course of its approval of the project. At no cost to the public, fourteen acres will soon be open public space subject to a conservation easement, includ- ing a 200-foot-wide parcel adjacent to the Princeton Battlefield State Park that will become, in effect, part of the Park. In 1971, the Institute sold to the State of New Jersey land that increased the size of the Battlefield Park by some thirty-eight percent. The creation of more open public space further underscores the Institute’s commitment and sensitivity to battlefield preservation and stewardship.

December 9, 2015: IAS Project Statement

The Institute for Advanced Study is moving forward with its Faculty Housing project on approximately seven acres of a twenty-one acre site on the Institute’s academic campus. The Institute has received all necessary approvals and permissions from the relevant agencies. The project meets a critical need for the Institute, which has taken great care to address all reasonable concerns relative to preservation issues in consultation with historians James McPherson and David Hackett Fischer. The Institute made extensive changes to the site plans, including moving the project further away from the Park, adjusting the profiles and materials of the housing units, and enhancing the landscaped screen between the site and the Park. Archaeological surveys have been conducted on the project site to recover any remaining artifacts, and to meet commitments made to the Princeton Planning Board in the course of its approval of the project. At no cost to the public, fourteen acres will soon be open public space subject to a conservation easement, including a 200-foot-wide parcel adjacent to the Princeton Battlefield State Park that will become, in effect, part of the Park. In 1971, the Institute sold to the State of New Jersey land that increased the size of the Battlefield Park by some thirty-eight percent. The creation of more open public space further underscores the Institute’s commitment and sensitivity to battlefield preservation and stewardship.

June 9, 2015: Archaeological Survey Results

When the Institute for Advanced Study received the approval of the Princeton Planning Board for its Faculty Housing project, it offered to carry out a third archaeological survey at the site in advance of construction. The fieldwork for that pre-construction survey, conducted by the archeological firm the Ottery Group in stages over the past year, has now been completed, as documented in an interim report prepared by Ottery. Designed to be as comprehensive as reasonably possible, the survey methodology incorporated a variety of technologies, included geophysical survey (magnetometry, electromagnetic induction, and ground-penetrating radar), 122 shovel test pits, three test excavations and two complete metal detection surveys. Suggestions by the Princeton Battlefield Society and others were taken into account in the final research design.

Of the 663 artifacts collected, ten related to the Battle of Princeton—five musket balls and five pieces of grapeshot. These artifacts, with those recovered from previous surveys of the Faculty Housing site, provide a significant contribution to the interpretation of the Battle of Princeton. The interim report explains the analysis of the artifacts that will take place in the project’s next phase, which includes curating the materials previously collected from the site, before their transfer to the State of New Jersey. The Institute’s archaeological protocol provides that an archaeologist will be on site to monitor construction activity that might encounter additional artifacts.

The Institute is pleased that it has received all necessary approvals for its long-awaited Faculty housing project, for which activity is about to begin. It also looks forward to receiving the final archeological report, and to working with others on the overall enhancement of the Princeton Battlefield State Park.

The interim report prepared by the Ottery Group is available here

November 7, 2014: Princeton Planning Board Unanimously Approves Amended Plans for Faculty Housing

The Institute for Advanced Study’s amended plans for Faculty housing received unanimous approval (6–0) from the Princeton Planning Board yesterday evening. The approved amended plan entails a minor shift in the eastern boundary of the project to take it out of a stream corridor regulated by the Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission (DRCC), which voted against the Institute's application in January 2014. In casting its vote, the Board agreed with the Township planning and engineering staff that the Institute had met the requirements for approval. The Institute’s successful application to build eight townhouse units and seven single-family homes on a seven-acre parcel of private land adjacent to its campus is essential to its future as a residential community of scholars.

Robbert Dijkgraaf, Institute Director and Leon Levy Professor, stated, “We are very pleased to receive approval for this amendment to our Faculty housing plans. One of the defining characteristics of the Institute for Advanced Study is its residential nature, where Faculty and visiting scholars from all over the world are encouraged to think and share. This plan enables us to maintain this essential quality of the Institute, which provides an interactive and stimulating intellectual environment.”

The amended project site plan does not extend beyond the boundaries originally approved by the Planning Board in 2012; this has been achieved by shrinking the size of the single-family home lots. Additionally, the boundary of the project closest to the Battlefield Park is identical to the version of the project unanimously approved by the Planning Board. The basic layout of the townhouses, the access road, and the building lots remains unchanged, and no lot line has moved by more than 40 feet. The screen of trees and other plantings on the west side of the project, between the project and the Battlefield Park, is unchanged as well. In all respects, this project layout is a very minor amendment to the plan previously approved by the Princeton Planning Board in 2012.

The Institute is proud to be a part of the Princeton community and to have contributed to Princeton’s distinguished history. Its tradition of support for the natural and historical environment is evident through the conservation in perpetuity of the Institute Woods and farmland (more than 78 percent of the Institute’s land holdings), as well as in its concern for needs of the community in developing its Faculty housing plan. Implementation of the Institute’s plan for Faculty housing is essential if it is to maintain its mission for future generations of scholars. More information about the Institute’s Faculty housing plans and the preservation and historical contexts is available on the Institute’s website.

March 2, 2012: Princeton Regional Planning Board Votes Unanimously on IAS's Faculty Housing Plans

The Institute for Advanced Study’s plans for Faculty housing received unanimous approval (10–0) from the Regional Planning Board of Princeton yesterday evening. The Institute’s successful application to build eight townhouse units and seven single-family homes on a seven-acre parcel of private land adjacent to its campus is essential to its future as a residential community of scholars. The plan, as approved, provides for a 200-foot buffer zone alongside the Princeton Battlefield State Park, with an additional 10 acres adjacent to the Park scheduled to be conserved permanently as open space.

 In casting its vote, the Board agreed with the Township planning and engineering staff that the Institute had met all requirements to proceed with its plans.

Peter Goddard, Director of the Institute, stated, “We are immensely pleased to receive unanimous approval for our Faculty housing plans from the Regional Planning Board of Princeton. This plan not only enables us to maintain the essential residential character of our community of scholars, but it will also enhance the Princeton Battlefield Park, which the Institute helped to create and expand. We plan to work with others to promote the improvement of the interpretative materials in the Park so that visitors might gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the Battle of Princeton. We look forward to partnering with local, state and regional bodies to this end.”

The plan was approved with amendments that resulted from discussions between the Institute and leading historians James McPherson, George Henry Davis 1886 Professor Emeritus of American History at Princeton University, and David Hackett Fischer, University Professor and Earl Warren Professor of History at Brandeis University. Professors McPherson and Hackett Fischer jointly recommended several adjustments to the Institute’s plan that meets the needs of the Institute while addressing the concerns of those, who, like the Institute, value the Princeton Battlefield Park. They include: moving a screen of trees from the western edge of the 200-foot buffer zone to the edge of the lots of the single-family homes on the eastern side of the zone; adjusting one of the property lines on the northwest portion of the site; removing the compost area on the undeveloped end of the southern field and regrading the land; and adding a path and interpretive signage at the northern end of the site. In line with the Institute’s commitment to preservation (its own archeological survey of the site was completed in 2007), it is committed to instituting an archeological protocol that will ensure the proper detection, documentation and deposit of any remaining artifacts before and during the building of the dwellings.

The Institute is proud to be a part of the Princeton community and to have contributed to Princeton’s distinguished history. Its tradition of support for the natural and historical environment is evident through the conservation in perpetuity of the Institute Woods and farmland (more than 78 percent of the Institute’s land holdings), as well as in its concern for needs of the community in developing its Faculty housing plan. Implementation of the Institute’s plan for Faculty housing is essential if it is to maintain its mission for future generations of scholars. More information about the Institute’s Faculty housing plans and the preservation and historical contexts is available on the Institute’s website, www.ias.edu.

For 82 years, the Institute has maintained its extraordinary preeminence in the world of science and learning, and has served as a model for hundreds of theoretical research institutions globally. The Institute exists to encourage and support fundamental research in the sciences and humanities—the original, often speculative, thinking that produces advances in knowledge that change the way we understand the world. Work at the Institute takes place in four Schools: Historical Studies, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Social Science. It provides for the mentoring of scholars by a permanent Faculty of no more than 28, and it offers all who work there the freedom to undertake research that will make significant contributions in any of the broad range of fields in the sciences and humanities studied at the Institute.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Institute’s agreement with the Civil War Trust, announced in 2016?

As part of a compromise agreement that will enable IAS to build housing for its Faculty adjacent to its existing campus, the Institute has agreed to sell to the Civil War Trust 14.85 acres of land associated with the 1777 battle of Princeton. This includes approximately 66 percent (13.73 acres) of the 21-acre Maxwell’s Field property, and an additional 1.12 acre tract adjacent to Maxwell’s Field. In addition, the Institute has agreed to a new plan that calls for eight additional townhouses, instead of seven single-family homes, which in turn preserves more land without compromising housing options.

A scenic buffer will be installed between the IAS townhouse development and the preserved lands; the .6-acre buffer will be protected with a conservation easement.

In exchange, the Trust will support the new plan and pay $4 million (including $2.6 million for the land, and $1.4 million for restoration of the property and some reconstruction of the existing development plan). The land aquired by the trust will eventually be transferred to the State of New Jersey for eventual incorporation into the existing Princeton Battlefield State Park.

The agreement between IAS and the Trust is contingent on review and approval by the Princeton Planning Commission and the Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission. As part of the compromise agreement, the Princeton Battlefield Society and other plaintiffs in existing legal challenges have agreed to suspend litigation until the Civil War Trust formally takes ownership of the properties. Upon closing, the Society and plaintiffs will abandon all legal challenges associated with the IAS development. Closing is scheduled for June 30, 2017.

After closing, the Civil War Trust will work with IAS, Princeton Battlefield State Park and the Princeton Battlefield Society to interpret the property and restore it to its wartime appearance. The Trust intends to work with the state park to open up the newly preserved lands and create a seamless experience for park visitors. 

The Civil War Trust is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving America’s historic battlefields.  Although primarily focused on the protection of Civil War battlefields, through its Campaign 1776 initiative, the Trust also seeks to save the battlefields connected to the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.  The Trust announced Campaign 1776 during a news conference in Princeton on Veteran’s Day 2014. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 43,000 acres of battlefield land in 23 states.

The Battle of Princeton, fought January 3, 1777, was one of the most decisive battles of the American Revolution.  It was the culmination of an audacious, 10-day campaign that began with George Washington’s famous crossing of the Delaware on Christmas Day 1776.  In a series of daring maneuvers, Washington succeeded in attacking isolated elements of the British army.  His decisive counterattack at Princeton marked his first victory over British regulars in the field, and revitalized the cause of American independence.

What has IAS done for the preservation of the Princeton Battlefield State Park?

The Institute for Advanced Study supports the preservation of the Princeton Battlefield and honors those who fought and died there. The Institute has been an engaged and committed citizen since its campus opened in Princeton Township in 1939, and cares deeply about the surrounding neighborhood and environment. Its efforts to preserve lands are a significant part of its institutional history.

The Institute helped to create and enlarge the Princeton Battlefield State Park, and believes in the appropriate commemoration of the Battle of Princeton. The Battlefield Park would not exist on anything like its present scale, or within the appropriate context of the adjacent woods and farmlands, were it not for the Institute’s willingness to work to meet its needs for Faculty housing in ways that have enabled major amenities to be created for the benefit of the public.

In 1959, the Institute donated the former Mercer Manor monumental portico that now stands on the Battlefield north of Mercer Road, commemorating the common grave of unknown American and British soldiers killed in the Battle of Princeton in 1777.

In 1973, the Institute conveyed to the State of New Jersey 32 acres, increasing the size of the Battlefield Park by 60 percent. This sale was made on the basis of a specific commitment by the State in 1971 that the Institute’s field east of the new Battlefield Park boundary could be used as the site for new Faculty housing.

In 2016, the Institute announced an agreement to sell 14.85 acres of land to the Civil War Trust, which will be conveyed to the State of New Jersey as an addition to the existing Princeton Battlefield State Park. Combined with the 32 acres conveyed in 1973, the Institute will have provided a total of 47 acres to the park, nearly half of its 95 total acres.

The Institute’s preservation via the 1997 Green Acres easement of the 589 acres of woods, farmlands, and surrounding lands unified nearby preserved lands, further protecting a fifty-six-mile-long greenway network through central New Jersey that is critical for the feeding and nesting of two hundred species of birds on the Atlantic flyway. The Institute funds the maintenance of the Institute Woods and farmlands, which are utilized year-round by bird-watchers, walkers, runners, and cross-country skiers and have provided a place for contemplation and discussion for generations of Institute scholars, from Einstein onward.

Where are the new housing units going to be located on the IAS campus? Will anything be visible from the Princeton Battlefield State Park?

The Faculty housing project site lies directly between existing faculty houses and the Institute’s main campus. The 16 townhouses will be located east of Gödel Lane, the entrance road located on Maxwell’s Field, providing walkable access to the campus. The townhouses are designed with a low profile and exteriors in natural materials, and will be screened from the campus, the Institute Woods, and the Princeton Battlefield National Historic Landmark with a 200-foot scenic buffer composed of trees native to the region.

Why does IAS need additional housing now? Where do current IAS Faculty live?

The Institute for Advanced Study exists as a strongly residential community of scholars, where Faculty and the visiting scholars who visit each year live on or very close to campus. Easy walking distance to the Institute’s academic campus is essential in sustaining the Institute’s existence as a true community of scholars.

The absence of suitable local housing is far more acute now than it was thirty-five years ago, when 55 to 60 percent of the current Faculty lived in neighborhood houses. Of the twenty-eight current members of the Faculty, only ten live in houses in the neighborhood. Historically, many of the houses in the immediate neighborhood of the Institute, between Mercer Road and Springdale Avenue, have been too large to be affordable for Institute Faculty, and, as real estate prices escalated rapidly in Princeton over the past twenty-five years, many of those more appropriately scaled have become unaffordable.

More than 75 percent of the Institute’s own land is protected from development by the Green Acres easement, covering 589 acres. Outside these protected acres, the planned site is the only one not intruding on the central axis of the academic campus that can accommodate the number of units needed.

In the age of the internet, email, and teleconferencing, isn’t the residential community of scholars an anachronism?

Absolutely not. One of the defining characteristics of the Institute is its residential existence, where Faculty and visiting scholars live on or very close to campus, and have frequent opportunities to personally interact—either intentionally or by chance—resulting in a highly productive and stimulating environment. Such interactions are the basis of the scholarly activities at IAS, and they foster a sense of community and collaboration, leading to progress in the sciences and humanities pursued at IAS. This factor is essential to the Institute’s success and to its existence as one of the world's leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry.

What have been the findings of the historical and archaeological consultants who reviewed the building site?

The Berger Group’s report, produced in 2007, concluded that it is very unlikely that any concentrations of additional artifacts of the Battle of Princeton may be found on the building site. The report also concluded that the level of military activity in the project area was very limited, and that the major engagements of the battle, which over the course of that day traversed much of Princeton, took place outside of the project area. At the same time, it has always been understood that it is likely that there were troop movements across the project site, as there were over other parts of the Institute’s campus and the whole area from the Institute up to and including the original University campus. For more information, click here.