Princeton University will hold a meeting about the future of the Butler Tract tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Lewis Library.
Residents who live near the University property have expressed concerns about the demolition process, environmental issues, and how the land will be used by the school in the future.
University and town officials will update residents on the demolition process and answer questions.
The Butler Tract is a former housing development for graduate students that is located off Harrison Street. Build in 1947, the houses were originally part of the Reconversion Housing Project for Veterans and provided returning veterans with what was to be temporary, barrack-style housing. In 1988, an additional 56 modular units were added to the development.
Lakeside, a new University development along Faculty Road, has replaced Butler. Princeton University is preparing to begin demolishing the 304 single-level, bungalow housing units at Butler, a process school officials said will take several months.
University officials announced this summer that the site will be used for event parking, at least in the short-term. At the time, school officials said the University does not have plans for the site. Plans will be developed as part of the school’s campus planning process for 2026, officials said. Previously the school announced that a reconstruction plan for Butler would include about 220 new units to be allocated for rental and purchase by faculty and staff. The proposed plans for the Butler Site included more than 110 stacked flat units, about 70 townhouses, and a mix of about 40 single family dwellings.
The Riverside Neighborhood Association has raised concerns about asbestos, lead paint, and other environmental hazards at the site. Many residents who live in the neighborhood say they don’t want to see the tract turned into a parking lot, and worry it could hurt their quality of life and their property values. Residents also have asked whether the community will have any input about the future plans for the site.
At a previous neighborhood meeting about the tract on July 30, residents were concerned about lead contamination because a school web page about gardening in Butler informed students they shouldn’t grow food-bearing plants near their apartments because of the possibility of lead contamination. Princeton Councilwoman Jo Butler has asked town employees to look into the lead issue and report back, but so far there has been no discussion of the lead issue at Princeton Council meetings.
Following are notes sent to Planet Princeton by a resident who attended the first neighborhood meeting about the Butler Tract on July 30. The press was not invited to attend the meeting:
July 30 Meeting Notes
The Lewis Library is located at the corner of Ivy Lane and Washington Road. Parking will be available in the lots along Ivy Lane, near the building.