Before the Mid-Cambridge Neighborhood Conservation District Commission (MCNDC) and an entrenched but quiet public opposition, Harvard continued its attempts to secure city approval for its proposed Knafel Center in another hearing last night.
But prolonged discussion forced yet another postponement of the date the board will offer a verdict on Harvard's proposal--a decision that would allow or prevent the construction of a building more than two years in the planning.
Even at this point, the architectural plans remain a work in progress.
Harvard's architect came to last night's meeting with a slightly revised design for the building, hoping that the new plan for smaller and more vertical windows might quell concerns expressed in previous hearings by giving the building a "less serious feel."
However, the change did not receive direct approval from the public, which proved to be more concerned with the probable increase in traffic and the intrusiveness of the building as a whole.
Were Harvard to receive approval from the MCNDC, plans would likely undergo further alterations as the proposal passes through other city boards for approval. Each board would have the power to block Knafel construction.
But the MCNDC, as the representative of neighborhood concerns, is given the greatest jurisdiction over the plan as a whole. The result is a process that MCNDC chair John Moos described as "painstakingly detailed, to put it charitably."
Last night's hearing assessed the impact of only the Knafel South building. The center in its entirety is slated to replace both the University Information Services Building and Coolidge Hall, and would cross under Cambridge Street with an underground tunnel.
Knafel Center Seeks Community ApprovalHarvard's Knafel Center for the social sciences has been on the drawing board for two years, but local residents' opposition
Harvard Sprawls Across RegionHarvard University started out in the early 1600s as one house on an acre of land filled with grazing cows.
City Debates Knafel Center's Fate at HearingsTwo days of public hearings before the Mid-Cambridge Conservation District Commission (MCDC) began the process that will decide the fate
Harvard Pledges To Reconsider Knafel PlansHarvard is rethinking its most recent proposal for the Knafel Center for Government and International Study after a Cambridge city
City Residents Laud Knafel Plans OverhaulHarvard drastically changed course on its Knafel Center project and proposed a totally redesigned building to the Mid-Cambridge Neighborhood Conservation
Oxford Street Parking Lot Tapped as New UIS SiteWhen Harvard approached the Cambridge community with its proposal for the Knafel Center for Government and International Study, University administrators