Bok Affirms Plan to Raze Hunt Hall After Receiving Petition From VES
President Bok declined yesterday to be swayed by a petition urging him to reconsider his decision to raze Hunt Hall to make way for a new freshman dormitory.
Bok said he weighed the kinds of aesthetic factors that concerned the petitions before making his original decision, and had been forced to conclude that other considerations were more important.
One of the key reasons for locating the new dorm on the site of Hunt Hall is that the donor of the $3 million building insisted that it be located in the Yard, Bok said.
The Hunt Hall 779
Members of the Save Hunt Hall Committee, the group that circulated the petition, delivered the 779 signatures to Bok yesterday and explained to him why many people think Hunt Hall is worth saving.
The Committee, composed of Faculty members and students from the Visual and Environmental Studies Department, told Bok that Hunt Hall represents the only example of its architectural genre in the Boston area.
"Most people would agree that it's not a great piece of architecture, but they would agree that it's the only building in Boston that represents the strugglings of American architecture of the early twentieth century," Len Gittleman, lecturer on Photography and a member of the Committee, said yesterday.
The architectural style displayed in Hunt Hall was eventually developed into that of Frank Lloyd Wright and his contemporaries, Gittleman said.
Gittleman said he believed that Bok had indeed considered aesthetics in his decision, but he added that "I guess I would have weighed the intrinsic qualities of the building higher than Bok apparently did."
Yesterday's decision apparently is final, Gittleman said, because demolition of Hunt Hall will begin this summer and there seems to be no way to organize additional opposition before then.
"The matter is as closed as I can imagine--unless someone wants to lie down in front of the bulldozers," Gittleman explained.
He added, however, that he knows of no actual plans to do this.
"There's really nothing more we can do," he said, "and a display like lying in front of the bulldozers would just be taken as a joke."