The Institute for Advanced Study was expected to announce the beginning of construction for its new 15-unit housing development on seven acres of land adjacent to the Princeton Battlefield State Park at a press conference this afternoon, but the meeting was abruptly cancelled just after 1 p.m.
A spokesperson for the Institute told journalists the press briefing will be rescheduled for a date in July pending the outcome of a court case regarding the housing project.
According the spokesperson, the Institute and the Princeton Battlefield Society have reached an agreement under which the Institute will limit work at the site to construction of a security fence pending the outcome of the lawsuit.
“The parties agree that there will be no public statements about the agreement and the schedule of construction activities until that time,” an Institute spokesperson said.
Last week, the Institute releases a consultant’s interim report on the archeological investigation of Maxwell’s Field on the campus.
Consultants from the Ottery Group describe Maxwell’s Field is a significant archeological site and historic landscape associated with the Battle of Princeton, which took place in January of 1777 and represents a pivotal point in the Revolutionary War. The Ottery Group discovered 663 artifacts at the site, ten relate to the Battle of Princeton — five musket balls and five pieces of grapeshot.
Because of the site’s history, the housing project has faced several legal battles over the years. The Princeton Planning Board approved the project last year.
The D&R Canal Commission voted down the project earlier this year, but abruptly changed its decision the following month. The Battlefield Society is challenging the reversal in court.