Further discussion of the proposed war memorial must start with a recognition of the actual situation. The Corporation has voted to accept a War Memorial Chapel; it shows no disposition to rescind this action. A continuation of arguments against the chapel can only serve to emphasize the unfortunate fact that the future memorial to Harvard's war dead will not represent the ideal of a united Harvard.
While the CRIMSON is still of the opinion that a far more appropriate memorial could have been chosen, that a University auditorium or a scholarship foundation would have been more in keeping with the circumstances, it also believes it is the interest of all Harvard men to cooperate with the Administration to the end that as far as possible the new chapel shall express the desires of the majority.
Opposition to the chapel has been prompted by many reasons. Probably the greatest unity of opinion is to be found in the fear that a $1,000,000 chapel in the Yard will prove to be an architectural blunder. It is no secret that old Harvard men look aghast as new brick buildings are plumped down in rapid succession in the Yard's few remaining open spaces. There can be no doubt that a very large group of men, alumni and undergraduates, are united in asking that if the new chapel is erected in the Yard, it be of moderate proportions. No pretentious spread of Georgian pillars and towers can be in keeping with the traditional simplicity of Harvard faith; nor will row after row of empty pews represent the spirit to be commemorated.
There appears to be no reason indeed why the chapel must irrevocably be in the Yard. To place it near the Charles implies no breach of trust with those who have contributed the funds. Inevitably the center of undergraduate life is shifting from the Yard towards the riverbank. If proper location could be found in the new neighborhood there is every reason to prefer such a site. Certainly in the midst of the House Plan the chapel would have its best chance to become an integral part of student life.
To oppose the chapel is virtually to attempt to undo what the Corporation has already decreed. On the other hand, the vast majority of Harvard men feel strongly opposed to a large chapel in the Yard. Plans are still in the hands of the architect. It is not too late for the Corporation to reconsider its choice of location.