Head of Kennedy Corporation Calls Alternate Sites Unsuitable
The head of the Kennedy Library Corporation said yesterday that the suggested library sites outside Cambridge would be unsuitable locations for the proposed $27-million memorial complex.
"There isn't anything as an alternate site that's satisfactory," Steven Smith, head of the developing firm and brother-in-law to the late President John F. Kennedy '40, said yesterday.
The federal environmental impact laws pertaining to the proposed library required the firm to consider alternate sites for the library and Smith recently conducted a personal tour of each one of them.
Suggested sites include the Charlestown Navy Yard, the old B.F. Goodrich Plant in Watertown, and the knoll behind the Federal Records Center in Waltham. Construction is now planned for the site of the old MBTA yards across from Eliot House.
Smith criticized the General Service Administration's study of alternate sites for the library. "They study them only cursorily," he said, "and if the Cambridge site is rejected, we'd have to start the whole process of design and environmental impact study over again."
In an interview, Smith said the corporation is in good financial shape. The development firm has collected $21 million of $27 million pledged for the library, he said.
Since February the library has been without specific construction plans because architect I.M. Pei has been scaling-down the design he presented last May. Smith said that all concerned groups and individuals will have the revised plans well in advance on any statutory requirements. He predicted the GSA will soon issue a schedule for the new design's official release.