Letters: Library Thanks Bill and Judy Scheide, Resident Questions Institute Housing Plan

A Special Thank You to Bill and Judy Scheide from the Princeton Public Library

To the Editor,

On behalf of all of us at Princeton Public Library, I want to thank Bill and Judy Scheide for naming the library the beneficiary of the Jan. 27 Booked for the Evening concert at Richardson Auditorium.

It was a magical evening and the library was pleased to have been part of the celebration of one of Princeton’s leading citizens. Bill’s lifelong devotion to books, music, civic causes and history of philanthropy are indeed cause for celebration.

In addition to Bill and Judy, I would like to thank the many library supporters who attended the concert; the management and staff of Richardson Auditorium and University Ticketing, who along with event planner Linda Pizzico produced a flawless event in a beautiful venue. Our thanks also go to Telequest for producing a wonderful video in celebration of the library — view it at ) — and the many behind the scenes people who made this event possible, including library staff members Lindsey Forden and Tim Quinn.

And, of course, we can’t forget the fabulous Wiener KammerOrchester, soloists Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson and the Russian Chamber Chorus of New York for their dazzling performances, all under the skillful direction of Mark Laycock.

Bill and Judy Scheide are longtime library supporters. Their lead gifts to the library’s Cornerstone Campaign for our new building and to the Centennial Endowment Campaign for our endowment demonstrate their commitment to this wonderful institution. Their decision to name the library the beneficiary of Bill’s 98th birthday concert was yet another way to help the library raise much-needed funds.

In keeping with the Scheide’s devotion to books, reading and learning in all forms, the Princeton Public Library will use the net proceeds of this event to purchase books and expand our collection. Funding for our collection comes solely from private donations and grants, not through municipal support. A gift of this magnitude will result in more books on our shelves and more items to download, check out and enjoy by the entire community in 2012.

Thank you, Bill and Judy. Your gift is truly a gift we can all share.

Leslie Burger
Executive Director
Princeton Public Library

Is Institute Housing Development Necessary on Battlefield Land?

Letter to the Editor:

The advice of others to the Princeton Battlefield Society to focus its efforts exclusively on the needs of the battlefield and Clarke House prompts my letter.  I am a Society trustee, but I write to you because I have a personal commitment to protection the Princeton Battlefield.

The Society’s challenge against IAS’ housing development on historically significant battlefield land, and the money the Society is spending, was a result of actions and disrespect by the IAS.  The Society had no other recourse if we were to fulfill our mission to protect, preserve and promote the Princeton Battlefield, the Clarke House and the Revolutionary War Heritage of both.  (On the same point, I question whether a housing development is contained in IAS’ mission.)  A housing development on this land was and continues to be unacceptable.  If some consider our stance at Planning Board meetings as obstruction, I accept that statement.  The alternative is to give in to a housing development.  I refuse to accept that.

Who else stepped up to take on the challenge to protect battlefield land, determined by study and testimony to be historically significant to the outcome of the battle?   There are no fast food restaurants on Little Round Top in Gettysburg, so why should we stand by as a housing development is built on Princeton Battlefield land?  Our challenge continues because this land is significant to American history and to our Revolutionary War heritage.

Yes, we have invested money, generously donated by people from Princeton, from New Jersey and throughout the United States, in our challenge.  We continue to welcome their support.  We would have preferred to invest in other ways, but the decision to build housing on this land was not ours.  To step aside without a challenge to the IAS’ plans was unacceptable.  Again to the point, what has been the financial drain on IAS funds for lawyers, architects, and others to plan and defend their housing development?

I continue to ask:  Is this housing development necessary on this land?  Wouldn’t another location be as suitable to the IAS’ purposes and respectful of the historic land in question?

The land we are fighting to protect is critical to our American Revolutionary War heritage and for the future.  I ask the IAS to respect the significance of this land and to help us protect it.

Bill Marsch

One Comment

  1. The hearing for the IAS application to build affordable faculty housing on a portion of the Princeton Battlefield is scheduled on February 16th at Township Building. So many people have written in on both sides of the issue and there is still much confusion and sadly, division.
    The IAS application concerns land that was part of the battle in 1777. It has survived all this time relatively untouched, used as farm fields. The land was the focal point of Washington’s counterattack. The parcel of land is owned by the IAS.
    To use the land in question, requires permission for a zoning change . The Institute indicates that they have complied with all the regulations associated with the change and should be granted permission.
    The Princeton Battlefield Society had attorney Bruce Afron check whether the Institute complied with the regulations. Mr. Afron examined the application and asked experts to review. The cluster regulations require a certain amount of land be used to meet the unit requirements and that land be free of wetlands. The IAS did not meet the minimum requirements free of wetlands. For the IAS to pursue this application would be a waste of money and increase the cost associated with their wish to provide affordable faculty housing.
    I do not know who wrote “let us be judged by what we leave behind”, but it applies to this situation. I know that the IAS wishes to build and I know that the Battlefield Society and our neighbors have offered alternatives. I would rather extend my hand across the aisle and aid the IAS to find an alternative, than continue down this destructive path. What we leave behind could be “judged” a greater good and that would be welcome by all.

    J. Carney
    Glenwood NJ

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