On May 22, 2013 Preservation NJ announced that it was designating Princeton’s Valley Road School on its 19th annual list of the 10 Most Endangered Historic Places in the State of New Jersey. Explaining that “the 10 Most Endangered Historic Places program spotlights irreplaceable historic, architectural, cultural and archeological resources in New Jersey that are in imminent danger of being lost.” Nominees are evaluated on the following criteria, according to Preservation NJ: “historic significance and architectural integrity, the critical nature of the threat identified, and the likelihood that inclusion on the list will have a positive impact on efforts to protect the resource.”
The inclusion of the 95-year-old former school building on Witherspoon Street in Princeton was praised by Kip Cherry, president of the Valley Road School Community Center.
Valley Road School, now nearing 100 years old, is one of the Princeton area's last remaining historic public school buildings. The original two-story school was designed by Robert A. Schumann and built on land given to “the inhabitants of Princeton Township” by Ernest and Grace Richardson. It opened in 1918 and today includes later additions added in two phases: cafeteria and gymnasium wings were built in 1927, and a two-story classroom wing, a one-story library, a gymnasium and locker rooms were built in 1949. The Collegiate Gothic architectural style of the original Valley Road School building- particularly its three arched entrances- was inspired by buildings on the nearby Princeton University campus, and in turn inspired the design of the adjacent Mercer No. 3 Firehouse.
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