Dietz Plans Protest to City Council Over 'Bridge' to New Coop Annex
Sheldon Diets '41 and the Harvard Cooperative Society are snarling at each other again--this time over the pedestrian bridge that the Coop wants to construct between its main building and its proposed textbook annex on Palmer St.
In a front-page advertisement in last week's Cambridge Chronicle, Dietz appealed for help to everyone who has "ever felt threatened and abused by selfish actions of an inconsiderate neighbor." The part-owner of a building on the corner of Palmer and Church streets charged that the two-story Coop bridge would "ruin" Palmer St.
"It would deprive the street of light and air," he maintained. "In the winter it would cast a shadow the length of the street. It would help no one except the Harvard Cooperative Society."
Dietz asked readers of his ad to attend a public hearing today at which the City Council will decide whether or not to grant the Coop permission to build its bridge. A majority of the Massachusetts legislature and two-thirds of the City Council must give their assent before a private corporation can utilize the air rights above a municipally-owned street.
Stanley F. Teele, president of the Coop, replied to Dietz's charges in a three-page letter sent Friday to the nine City Councillors. Calling the bridge "absolutely essential" to plans for the annex, Teele said that the Coop "would have to reconsider the entire project" if the Council did not give its approval.
"Engineering studies made by the Society demonstrate that the bridge, which is mostly glass, will not cast a long shadow, nor constitute any substantial deprivation of light or air," Teele said.
Teele also reminded the Councillors that the new building will be "a substantial addition to the tax paying revenue" of Cambridge.