First Snowfall Short Lived Warmer Winter Predicted
A recreational 50-foot ice slide outside Holyoke Center was demolished yesterday after warm temperatures forced the local business association sponsoring the attraction to declare it unsafe.
The $17,000 slide, a feature of the second-annual Harvard Square Winterfest, had been enjoyed by local children for just one day before rain and mild temperatures caused structural deficiencies in its track.
"It was a very obvious hazard," said Sally Alcorn, executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association, a sponsor of the Winterfest. Alcorn said that a sharp curve in the slide's track collapsed yesterday morning, leaving a slide which "would have sent riders flying into Au Bon Pain [the adjacent bakery]," had officials not decided to destroy the structure.
Twenty-four-hour security from the Cambridge Police Department and a private agency hired by the business association prevented would-be riders from using the slide until a team of 25 Cambridge schoolchildren could chisel and hammer the structure apart.
Local youngsters still flocked to the site Sunday, expecting the slide to be operational. While most expressed disappointment at the melting pile of ice, four-year-old Jonathon Sears took a more philosophical approach.
"That's just what Mr. Sun does," Jonathon mused. "I know 'cause we used to live in Hawaii."