PRINCETON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There’s a fight to preserve a spot in central New Jersey that was the site of one of the country’s most famous battles.

The land on which Princeton-based Institute for Advanced Study wants to build $2.5-million dollars worth of faculty housing is where the battle of Princeton occurred in January 1777.

“This is where George Washington’s right flank repelled the British troops, and it also includes the first engagement of the U.S. Marines, and the casualty of the first Marine as well as the first engagement of African-American troops,” State Assemblyman Reed Gusciora said. “This is hallowed ground, this is where soldiers died, and where blood was spilled for our country.”

The institute owns the property, but Gusciora wants to preserve the historic land.

“We believe there are wetlands in the area,” Gusciora said. “We appealed to the commissioner of DEP to stay the wetlands permit that were used to build the housing.

“If you look at what other states do, they would be preserving their heritage not bulldozing it over.”