A mixed use development at the old Valley Road School will generate new residential and commercial life at the northern end of Witherspoon Street. This plan repurposes parts of the old Valley Road School and preserves the current open spaces on the property.
Repurposing parts of the school preserves history and the connections it has with the neighborhood and its people. Redevelopment will create condominiums as well as retail and office spaces. The proposed footbridge connects the northwestern parts of Princeton to the amenities on Witherspoon Street and the development.
Route 206 and Wtitherspoon Street serve as the northern gateway of Princeton. Today a public works building and an old school building serve as the welcoming views of the Witherspoon Jackson neighborhood and Princeton itself. Garbage trucks, utility vehicles, and trash bins are the first sights drivers and visitors see upon entering the neighborhood. The current buildings do not meet the great potential of what this entry way can achieve for the character of the town. The old vacant Valley Road School is under utilized with great potential to become a useful and vibrant community. Removing the public works building and eliminating the unpleasant sight of garbage collection vehicles and repurposing the old Valley Road School into a mixed use development will create a welcoming and lively gateway into Princeton and the neighborhood.
The proposed rotary will ease traffic and congestion on Valley Road by creating a better, safer and more efficient traffic circulation infrastructure for motor vehicles. More than 80% of Princeton workers are in-commuters and better transit infrastructure is needed to ease the flow of traffic into the town. The added footbridge connecting the northwestern communities of Princeton to Witherspoon Street will make it easier and safer for pedestrians and residents to walk to the neighborhood shops and services. Improving both vehicular and pedestrian circulation will improve access and transportation into Princeton.
This unrealized project proposed the adaptive re-use of the former University Medical Center at Princeton, a 308-bed acute care hospital established in 1918 in downtown Princeton, along with several adjacent medical office buildings, into a mixed-use/residential neighborhood. The hospital and architect have worked closely with borough and township officials, community groups and area residents to determine how to redevelop the site in accordance with the community’s planning goals, and to address issues like a shortage of affordable housing, a lack of senior housing, and the need for more public green space.
An emphasis has been placed on the re-use of the existing hospital towers in order to minimize construction waste. Other priorities for the project include the creation of public green space; connectivity with the surrounding neighborhood; public transportation; pedestrian and bike pathways; design integration; and developing a mixed-use environment that will attract new businesses, support jobs and create a safe 24/7 community.
A residential development on the corner of Witherspoon Street and Franklin Avenue will increase the number of low to moderate income housing units in an area that is rapidly gentrifying. This proposal, emphasizing affordability and attractiveness, also makes efficient use of the site, with an expansive parking area located under the entire complex, allowing for surface area to be devoted entirely to building footprint and extensive green space.
Studio Hillier's home in the heart of the Jackson-Witherspoon neighborhood was completed in 2011. It is said that Architects are attracted to old garages and warehouses like moths to a flame. In this case, the warehouse /garage was one third of the property; the remaining two thirds included two domestic–turned-commercial structures. Just shy of the upended economy, the Studio Hillier seized the opportunity to restore life to the property and the street by renovating the warehouse and transforming it into a storefront architectural studio. Click here to see more of this project.
184 Witherspoon Street was the home of the Witherspoon Street School from 1858 to 1909, and the original building is still standing today, although it has been converted to residential use. A renovation emphasizing historical preservation will provide crucial updates to the interior structure and services while prolonging the the building's life and preserving its architectural integrity.
For decades a pharmacy was a central member of the business corridor on Witherspoon Street but has since retreated along with a multitude of other businesses in the vicinity. Studio Hillier, in an effort to help reinvigorate this historical business hub of Princeton, has designed a Nail Salon to occupy the space vacated by the pharmacy. Opening in 2016, the nail salon will be a prototype for the new kind of business that can thrive in this historically and culturally vibrant area. As with other Studio Hillier projects in the neighborhood, the project's emphasis is on renovation and historic preservation--not demolition.
Placed between the Paul Robeson House and the Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church these new low and moderate income homes will further address the need for affordable housing in the town.
A boutique hotel and a sidewalk restaurant on Witherspoon Street will extend the economic center of Nassau Street and southern end of Witherspoon Street further along the Witherspoon Street corridor. The hotel and restaurant will create a vibrant street life encouraging visitors and residents alike to enjoy the neighborhood.
Today private residential backyards and fences line Paul Robeson Place facing the luxury units of the Residences at Palmer Square. Offering homeowners money to purchase their backyards and changing the zoning code to allow for a new housing development will create better use of this valuable site. The development will fill the space between the Arts Council of Princeton and the YM/WCA, connecting the two to create a more walkable street and a more unified community. The proposed low and moderate income housing units will provide affordable housing across the luxury homes on the other side of Paul Robeson Place thus breaking the tangible divide created by the expenisve housing units present today.
Today the building of the YM/WCA only occupies the corner of the plot of land it owns. Redeveloping the property will preserve the services and mission of the YM/WCA while still ensuring it has plenty of indoor and outdoor spaces. By purchasing and developing on the organization’s extra land retail space, parking, and housing units will occupy the previously unused site. The YM/WCA redevelopment will benefit the organization because of the reduced expenses and grounds maintenance of a smaller property. In addition, the income from selling the extra land can be used to maintain and supplement other useful programs. The plan for the purchased land envisions a 4 storey building with residential flats and retail space on the ground floor. The mixed use development will add low to moderate income housing in a location dominated by multi-million apartments across the street. Retail and office spaces in the proposed housing development will further increase walkability and street life along Paul Robeson Place. The increase in pedestrian traffic in the area will bring and entice more patrons into the YM/WCA facilities. Furthermore low to moderate income housing units will provide much needed housing in Princeton.
Named after a well-known former principal, “The Waxwood” adaptively reuses the former Witherspoon School to rehabilitate a building of significant historical and cultural value and address a need for housing within Princeton Borough. The conversion of the building into 34 one- and two-bedroom apartments focuses on both restoring the exterior appearance to its original condition and exploring a mix of unit types, including loft apartments that frame panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
Winning the support of a primarily African-American community, the project makes significant gestures to the neighborhood. Seeking to alleviate the effects of gentrification, Hillier created a foundation to assist residents in purchasing units for sale. Historical markers tell the story of the original function of the building, which served as the school for African-American students prior to desegregation. Named after another venerable principal of the former school, Hillier created a pedestrian vest pocket park along Maclean Street.