Local Board to Consider Dinky Station Historic Designation Tonight

Inside the Dinky waiting room.

The Princeton Borough Historic Preservation Review Committee will consider an application tonight to designate the Dinky train station as a historic site. The application has been in the works for several months but has faced delays and challenges by lawyers for Princeton University.

The historic preservation review committee last met to discuss the application on Oct. 8. Lawyer Richard Goldman, who represents the university, argued that the application for historic designation was deficient and should be rejected. He also questioned whether the committee had the proper jurisdiction on the matter, and tried to argue that proper procedures were not followed in bringing the application to the committee.

Borough officials said the proper process was followed.

Goldman and lawyer Bruce Afran, a lawyer for residents seeking the historic designation, sparred over procedural issues for about 45 minutes, with Afran arguing the committee had the authority to make a recommendation to the Borough Council on whether to designate the Dinky station a historic site.

But then the meeting abruptly ended. The committee had just enough members to constitute a quorum. But then committee member Jane Faggen announced that she was leaving, meaning there would no longer be a quorum. Faggen left to go watch the presidential debate. The meeting was abruptly ended, re-noticed in the newspapers, and rescheduled for tonight at 7:30 at Borough Hall.

The historic designation is just one of several fights in the battle to save the Dinky station. Some residents oppose the station move and say ridership will decrease if the station is moved. The Dinky move is part of the university’s $300 million arts and transit plan. The Princeton Regional Planning Board will consider Princeton University’s plans for the arts and transit neighborhood tomorrow night at 7:30 at the Princeton Township Municipal Building on Witherspoon Street.


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