Vellucci Hits Harvard for Construction

Cambridge Mayor Alfred E. Vellucci declared a "state of emergency" in Cambridge last Wednesday at a City Council meeting in response to Radcliffe's plan to build an athletic complex on Observatory Hill and to Harvard's long-range plan that designates a site near there for a potential parking garage.

Vellucci also requested that the Council review all building permit applications that Harvard might submit. The request is not legally binding on Harvard, however, because building permits are granted only by the City Department of Buildings.

"I don't think Harvard should build any more complexes, any more anythings," Vellucci said. "Let's call it finito, FINITO, as it's said in Italian. No more buildings," he said.

City Councilor Francis H. Duehay '55 said Sunday he believes Vellucci's declaration of a state of emergency was probably "not the most fruitful way to go about making a settlement with Harvard."

Radcliffe has not yet requested a building permit for the planned athletic facility on Observatory Hill because the plans are not yet complete. Construction is expected to begin the first week of October, Burton Wolfman, administrative dean of Radcliffe College, said Sunday.

More than 100 residents of the Observatory Hill area, however, submitted a petition last Tuesday to the Council to down-zone the block of land owned by the University on that site. Although the zoning change, if passed, will not affect Radcliffe's plans for the athletic facility, the process of changing the zoning map may delay the granting of a building permit, Duehay said.

The Cambridge Planning Board is expected to make its recommendation to the City Council, the only governing body with the legal power to make a change in the zoning map, next week.