#b#Nassau Inn Is Old, But Not That Old#/b#

I enjoyed your February 8 article on Lori Rabon and the Nassau Inn very much. It brought back significant memories for me since I was project manager for the extensive Omni renovations to the inn, especially the Tap Room, Palmer’s Restaurant, and the first floor lobby areas.

I believe that the article may have given readers the mistaken impression that the present inn was constructed in 1756, when in fact it was built from 1936 to 1938 along with Palmer Square, and is of very solid reinforced concrete construction. Even the “shingles” on the roof of the main part of the inn are not wood but rather fireproof clay tile over gypsum plank, while steel trusses form the roof.

The architect Thomas Stapleton, who was responsible for much of the design of Palmer Square, would be amused (and rather pleased) to think that people would believe that his fabrications of 1936 were of 18th century vintage.

The original Nassau Inn, of course, stood on the street and was torn down along with a number of other buildings to make way for Palmer Square.

T. Jeffery Clarke AIA NCARB

#b#Battlefield Battle#/b#

The Princeton Battlefield Society has done much to honor its mission, but it seems to be reacting unreasonably to the Institute for Advanced Study’s sensible and accommodating proposal for its much-needed faculty housing.

The Institute has hardly ignored legitimate historical concerns. As the Battlefield Society’s own historical witness conceded at the last hearing when properly informed of the Institute’s plans to yet again survey the archaeology of the site before and during construction, the Institute’s plan was something even he could accept. That would appear to conclude the issue.

Newly minted claims by the Battlefield Society about wetlands and stream corridors appear to be a distraction. The Planning Board should approve the Institute’s plan without further delay.

George L. Bustin


Editor’s note: Bustin is senior counsel at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP (New York). He has also been associated with the Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University and has been a visiting lecturer at the Woodrow Wilson School.

What may be the Princeton Regional Planning Board’s final hearing on the Institute housing proposal, originally scheduled for February 16, has been postponed to Thursday, March 1, at 7:30 p.m. at the township municipal building, 400 Witherspoon Street.

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