Have you ever sat in the outer office amid the grossly outdated copies of People, Architectural Digest and the Harvard Alumni Magazine? Have you ever nervously fidgeted there listening to the whirling drill just a pressboard wall away? Have you ever taken long, deep breaths to fight off panic while anticipating future pain in the dentist's chair? I have. We all have. It is that terrifying fear of anticipated horror that impels me to write.
Within the next few months, workers will complete Sackler Hall, the extension of the Fogg Museum. Must they? Bury Hall, the previous occupant on that land, was innocuous enough. At least it did not hinder one's enjoyment of Gund Hall or William James Hall. Did I say enjoyment? Sorry, I meant toleration Even better was the land alter Burr had been demolished, when no building sat there.
Some of us even thought a park with grass, trees and benches would be nice. What a novel idea for Harvard. But no, the University, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to test (once again) our thresholds of pain. As a child, I used to ask my mother where ugly buildings came from. Tenderly, she would reply that they had always been there; it was God's way of revealing the imperfection of the temporal world. The building of Sackler Hall lays to rest another one of my childhood beliefs.
And as the construction crews lay brick upon brick and the architects debate the true meaning of space, I hear the terrifying whirr which no amount of novocaine or promises of soft ice cream will make go away. Thomas J. Slegel, GSAS #3