Work will begin immediately on the Loeb Drama Center and will be completed within 15 to 18 months, President Pusey announced yesterday.
The Center, which is to be located at the corner of Brattle and Hilliard Sts., will contain classrooms and a working library as well as two theatres. The large auditorium will seat 515 people, while a smaller experimental theatre will have a seating capacity of 100.
Two old houses presently on the site, which is owned by Radcliffe, have been donated to the Episcopal Theological School. Movers will cut them in half and transport them up Brattle St. to the seminary grounds.
In an attempt to alleviate the parking problem which the theatre would create, the University has been negotiating with a nearby garage on an arrangement which would provide ticketholders with parking space. No agreement has yet been reached, however.
On Monday the University obtained a permit for construction of the building's foundation; another permit will be necessary to proceed with construction when the final plans are ready.
Designed by Hugh A. Stubbins and Associates, Cambridge architects, the building will be a brick and glass structure with an overlay of white screening. An ingenious mechanism will give the main auditorium unique adaptability, enabling it to become an Elizabethan theatre, a proscenium, or a theatre in the round.
Pusey commented that the choice of the Brattle St. site had come after a thorough survey of all possible locations. The Center will be "within walking distance for both Harvard and Radcliffe students," he said.