A consultant has completed the field work for a study of the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood in downtown Princeton as part of an analysis to determine whether historic designation is appropriate for the area.
The consultant is now conducting research, and still has some steetscape sketches to complete, officials said. The consultant is expected to submit a draft report to the Princeton Historic Preservation Commission in October and to make a presentation on the issue in November.
In Princeton, the commission is responsible for making recommendations to the council for establishing historic districts. The consultant will be paid up to $35,000 for the assessment to help officials decide whether the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood would be suitable for a historic district.
In December or January, the Princeton Council is expected to review the consultant’s report and the commission’s recommendation.
Residents who have questions about the process are encouraged to attend the next historic preservation commission meeting, which is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 21, in Room A at the municipal building at 400 Witherspoon Street.
More than two decades ago, the state recommended that the neighborhood, the oldest African-American neighborhood in the state, be declared an historic district. Some residents fear that the Witherspoon-Jackson history will be lost as developers buy up properties and tear down homes in the neighborhood. They hope historic designation can stop or slow the gentrification of the neighborhood.