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Princeton, NJ

Historic Preservation, Adaptive Re-use

lower pyne


Moses Taylor Pyne, a great benefactor and trustee of Princeton University who contributed buildings for both town and gown, created a new tradition on Nassau Street with Upper Pyne and Lower Pyne. These two half-timbered dormitory structures recall the "high streets" of an English village. Upper Pyne was sacrificed to the "Williamsburg" nostalgia of Palmer Square, but Lower Pyne survived. After several unsuccessful efforts to find new uses for Lower Pyne, the University turned to private developers. Short and Ford Architects helped Commonwealth Realty Trust come up with the winning proposal for adaptive re-use by devising the least destructive and most cost-effective renovation scheme. By conforming to the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, the project was eligible for historic tax credits. 

The exterior was faithfully restored and the interior, which had suffered extensive water damage, was rehabilitated. All obsolete wiring and plumbing was removed. Wood doors, moldings, fireplaces, windows, and stairs were restored. The major interior space, the former living rooms of the dormitory suites, were preserved and converted into spacious executive offices. The first floor now serves as the landmark storefront for Hamilton Jewelers. 


A Short and Ford Project 

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