First phase of community regeneration project in downtown Princeton complete

February 15, 2013
Regeneration, in this case a double entendre, takes on the weight of personal careers and the future of a much-loved, at-risk neighborhood. For us, Hillier Architecture had been our lives and we didn’t deliberate too long post merger in answering the question, “what next?” Faced with a stretch of years imposed by a pair of non-compete agreements, [though we could design if we owned the property] we looked at each other and agreed to find a small studio where we could work and create value: to our neighbors and the town. At the same time, we both returned to Princeton University, Bob as a professor at the SoA, and me, as a giddy, late blooming M. Arch candidate. Almost four years later, we are putting the finishing touches on the triplex at 190 Witherspoon Street, [aka 190Spoon], most recently the home to Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, and formerly Tiger Garage and before that, the Willy’s Jeep auto showroom and garage. The vacant, distressed property signaled decay and opportunity. To the diverse neighborhood of long-term homeowners, grad-students, immigrants and local small business owners, the project represents a regeneration of the community. The completed project is a mixed-use, sustainable renovation/addition and adaptive reuse and incudes office /studio, retail and service business, and four residential units. The warehouse /studio was a collaboration with Princeton University’s Environmental Engineering Department and produces renewable energy through the PV array on the roof. A photo-shoot is planned for the spring.