“You just knocked somebody’s house under the plans,” said Kevin McCluskey, the University’s director of community relations for Boston, who quickly removed the eraser-sized gray house jamming the tabletop model of Harvard’s properties in Allston.
It was the only hiccup in a media tour yesterday afternoon of the new “Harvard in Allston Exhibit Room” in the Holyoke Center arcade.
Students, faculty, and Allston residents will tour the room, which houses the model and roughly a dozen maps, and comment on Harvard’s plans for its future campus in Allston.
“We don’t feel we can offer up a proposal until we get more feedback,” Spiegelman told a dozen reporters yesterday.
All of the plans, displayed on fluorescent green and blue boards in the room, were included in a preliminary report released last June by Harvard’s planning firm, but several artistic renditions of the campus are new.
One shows a section of Soldiers Field Road, west of North Harvard Street, buried under a pedestrian walkway. There is also a rendering of a ring of buildings resembling Mather House, touted as a “concept for an undergraduate house as a residential village.”
Harris S. Band, Harvard’s director of physical planning, said that the image was included just to “spice up” the display.
“It’s a more contemporary style,” he said. “No decisions [have been made] at all.”
But the new display room is yet another sign that Harvard’s Allston planning process is advancing. Last month, the University hired Christopher Gordon, who oversaw the expansion of Boston’s Logan Airport, to serve as Harvard’s chief operating officer for Allston development. And Spiegelman reiterated yesterday that based on the feedback generated by the new display room, Harvard plans to file an institutional master plan for the new campus this spring.
The “Harvard in Allston” room, which takes up the storefront once occupied by the gift store Selletto, will be open to the public in mid-November on Mondays and Fridays from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tours can also be scheduled by calling 617-495-3525.
—Staff writer Joseph M. Tartakoff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.