Princeton Valley Road Garage Demolished In A Single Day

The scene at the old Valley Road garage in Princeton this morning. (click to expand)

The scene at the old Valley Road garage in Princeton this morning. (click to expand)

The municipal garage at Valley Road and Route 206, which had stood since 1963, has been demolished. The structure, which was used for the storage and refueling of vehicles belonging to the town, disappeared in a single day, as part of ongoing efforts to construct a new base for Princeton First Aid and Rescue Service (PFARS).

This is what the garage looked like before:

Former Valley Road garage (image via Google Streetview)

Former Valley Road garage (image via Google Streetview)

The sudden-ness of the demolition stands in stark contrast to demolition work at the old Princeton hospital site, which has taken over a year to set up. The PFARS relocation has been discussed for many years, but Princeton Council only took up the issue formally on March 24 of this year. To go from Powerpoint presentation to demolition in six months is remarkable in a town where redevelopment projects can take decades. The project is likely to add $5 million to municipal debt and will add to emergency vehicle movements at Valley and Witherspoon, which is also the site of Princeton’s consolidated fire services. On the other hand, this “get ‘er done” approach is much-needed, because the old PFARS station is outdated.

It is the latest major change to the Witherspoon Street corridor in recent years, after redevelopment of the old Township hall, public library, Arts Council Building, Community Park pool, and hospital site. Earlier this week, Council considered the idea of harmonizing zoning and making an area plan for Witherspoon Street.

Did you know that this garage was scheduled to be demolished? Are you please that the project is moving forward so quickly? Or will this plan make the local area a hazard zone for conflicts between walkers and emergency vehicles? Let us know in the comments.

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