Princeton land dispute pits history against housing

Historians in the News

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James McPherson has called it a "clash of titans," a battle over Princeton land linking two giants of American history: George Washington, father of the country, and Albert Einstein, father of modern physics.

On one side are scholars and preservationists who see the 21-acre tract owned by the Institute for Advanced Study as hallowed ground where Washington led American troops to victory over the British in 1777.

On the other side is the institute, where Einstein was a faculty member and where scientists see the land, next to Princeton Battlefield State Park, as the site of much-needed faculty housing.

McPherson and fellow Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Hackett Fischer have proposed a compromise that would permanently preserve about 14 acres and allow 15 housing units, screened by trees, to be built on seven acres....

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