The University bought the Ambassador Hotel on Cambridge St. yesterday morning for a reported $1,375,000. The purchase solves Harvard's problem of relocating occupants of Dudley House and Little Hall, and means that demolition of those buildings will probably begin in September.
The hotel's dining room and lobby will be used for Dudley House students until the second half of the Holyoke Center is finished and until Dudley House makes a permanent move to Lehman Hall. University business offices now in Lehman will be moved to the Holyoke Center.
The seven-story brick hotel has 90 residential apartments and 24 transient rooms. According to hotel sources, the transient rooms are being cleared immediately and no more guests will be accepted in them.
All spring weekend reservations at the Ambassador have been cancelled, but Walter A. Goulisarian, owner of the hotel, said yesterday that Harvard students will be able to get rooms for their dates at the Commander Hotel. Goulisarian bought the Commander last summer.
One University official said last night that the transient rooms were being closed because "Harvard University is not equipped to handle the day-to-day operation of a hotel." The official also noted that the Ambassador's public dining room will be shut immediately.
In a statement released yesterday, L. Gard Wiggins, administrative vice-President, stressed that the University will do everything possible to accommodate the Ambassador's residential guests.
Department offices and other facilities now in Little Hall will occupy the Ambassador's second, third, and fourth floors, and will be moved to the hotel this summer.
Residential Guests Will Remain
Wiggins said that all residential guests now on the hotel's upper three floors will be allowed to remain, and stressed that occupants on the lower floors will be able to move to the upper floors if space is available.
The University expects, however, that all tenants will have moved out of the hotel by 1966, when the Massachusetts Ave. section of the Holyoke Center is completed. Observers believe that the Ambassador's facilities will then be used to provide additional married student housing.
Wiggins said that the University is buying the Ambassador because there is no other alternative if the Holyoke Center is to be completed on schedule. Relocation of Dudley House and the offices in Little Hall has been a considerable problem for officials planning the project.
According to the revised plans for the Holyoke Center, Holyoke House (on the corner of Mass. Ave. and Holyoke St.) will not be demolished for about two more years, and all offices now there can remain.
Although the Dudley House dining room and commons facilities will be moved to the Ambassador, Dudley will continue to occupy its space in Apley Court and in the last two entries of Wigglesworth Hall.
University officials had no comment on the future of WHRB, now located in the Dudley basement. WHRB is now trying to raise money for a new station near Winthrop House, but does not expect to have the money by September.