Princeton battle over battlefield

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The Princeton Battlefield has been a place of quiet contemplation for more than two centuries, where scholars and aspiring history buffs can walk on the hallowed ground of one of the nation's most pivotal battles. Yet a new struggle has emerged on this land in recent years, not between the redcoats and the rebels, but between an academic institution and a local preservation society.

At stake is a parcel of land, roughly 25 acres in size, owned by the Institute of Advanced Study, on which the Institute wants to build faculty housing. Members of the Princeton Battlefield Society — a volunteer group dedicated to preserving the Revolutionary War site — claim that the parcel is part of the original battlefield and must be saved.

"There are some sites that are hallowed ground, that are just too sacred to be played with," said Jerry Hurwitz, president of the Princeton Battlefield Society.

Hurwitz said that by developing the land, the Institute will permanently destroy an important part of history.

Critics of the planned development say the Institute, situated on over 500 acres of wooded and open property, has plenty of land to build on without compromising the small tract adjacent to the eastern edge of the battlefield, which is now a state park.

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