'Cliffe May Construct On Harvard's Property
Joint Planning for Observatory Hill Area Sets Precedent for Closer Cooperation
Harvard and Radcliffe officials have been conferring on long range plans to construct new Radcliffe dormitories on the University's Observatory Hill property.
This is the first time land of the two institutions, in the past kept scrupulously separate, has been treated as a single unit.
Charles P. Whitlock, Assistant to the President for Civic Affairs, disclosed the plans at a recent meeting of the Cambridge City Council where he noted that it would draw the Annex and the University closer together.
Under the plans "the School of Education would move into the Radcliffe Yard and some of Radcliffe's functions would move into the dormitory area. Now if this should occur, then the Observatory Hill land would go to Radcliffe for use as dormitory sites," he said.
Arthur D. Trottenberg '48, assistant dean of the Faculty for business affairs and administrative vice-president of Radcliffe, emphasized last night that the planning was merely long-range speculation.
Although noting that the Observatory Hill property is a "natural area of land for Radcliffe," Trottenberg said use of it would be far in the future since, "if Radcliffe was to put up a dormitory it would most logically be along Garden St." in the area currently occupied by several off-campus houses.
Such building is likely, since present overcrowding of the 'Cliffe dormitories is known to be a major concern of President Mary I. Bunting.
The prime consideration in the implementation of any proposals for erecting more dormitories or moving Harvard offices into the Radcliffe Yard is financing, Trottenberg said.
Cooperation to Increase
Predicting that cooperation between the two institutions on civic planning would increase in the future, he praised the present joint effort, now under way for six months, as a long overdue step. Planning in the part, has been kept scrupulously separate.
The joint planning effort was disclosed by Whitlock when testifying Monday against rezoning of the property adjoining the Harvard Observatory. Residents of the area have urged the University to donate the land for a public park, or swap it for another piece of land.
Whitlock said later the University would be interested in exchanging the land for the Corporal Burns playground, located below Dunster House along Memorial Drive. The playground is a possible site for the Tenth House. However, Whitlock admitted yesterday that he considers the exchange as highly unlikely.
Although such a swap would preclude Radcliffe's use of the Observatory land. Trottenberg said "the search for a site for the Tenth House is not dependent on what Radcliffe does with the Observatory grounds."
Councilor Thomas M. McNamara interjected a light note into the Council discussion when he asked Whitlock whether the closer Harvard-Radcliffe ties created "any danger of the quadrangle becoming a triangle?" Whitlock merely smiled.