Volpe Vetoes Proposal For Building On Stilts
Senate Supports Governor
The 15-story office building on stilts caper came to a sudden end yesterday, as Governor Volpe vetoed the controversial bill that would have authorized sale of a strip of land across from Littauer to realtor John Briston Sullivan.
The Senate sustained the veto, 19 to 17.
Sullivan told the CRIMSON last night that he had been expecting defeat. "Towards the end, you could see the veto coming," he declared, "I just wonder when he (Volpe) is going to get the honorary degree--this June, or next June?"
Favored Public Referendum
Sullivan said he would have preferred that the Legislature bring the issue before the public in a referendum, as Rep. Mary Newman proposed to the House last week. Criticizing the notion that the land is an integral part of the Common, he indicated that he would have won support at the polls.
"The people of Cambridge know what that land is," he declared. Although legally included in the Common, the park is actually part parking lot, part entrance to the MTA trackless trolley tunnel, and part walled-in grass strip, site of a Revolutionary War Memorial on a pedestal.
In stating the reasons for his veto, Governor Volpe echoed arguments heard previously from local citizens and legislators who opposed the bill in letters, on Beacon Hill, and in a large demonstration at the foot of the memorial.
"The site where George Washington took command of the American Army . . .," Volpe declared, "although situated in Cambridge, belongs historically not only to all residents of the Commonwealth, but to all people in the free world who today are seeking freedom just as our forefathers did when they marched from the Cambridge Common to Charles town and fought one of the most important battles in the War for Independence."
Cites Original "Limitations"
Volpe mentioned the "limitations" that the original grantors had placed on the land, limitations cited earlier by Charles W. Eliot II '20, professor of City and Regional Planning. When the townspeople originally set the land aside as a common, they stipulated that it revert to original ownership if used for any but the public weal.
Because of these "limitations," Volpe declared, "I feel that this land is unlike any other park land." "Its real value lies in its present use and preservation for posterity and not for the creation of any building which would only lead to increased traffic and parking difficulties in this area."