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Report on a Plan for College Buildings and Grounds.


On Monday the CRIMSON published an article illustrative of past movements in favor of the formation of a complete scheme for the future development of the College property. In November of 1896 this feeling was emphasized by a report of its committee to the Board of Overseers, which summarized the principal arguments in favor of such a plan and contained a number of suggestions as to important features. A diagram, a portion of which is reproduced this morning, was attached to this report as explanatory of the suggestions it contained.

The objections the Corporation had previously offered to any such a plan were, "that it was not desirable that a complete scheme for the future development of the College property should be formulated, as no sufficient knowledge could be had as to the amount of future bequests or the conditions on which money might be given, and that if adjoining lands were included in the scheme the difficulties of purchase would be increased." They had further stated, "that plans were in preparation showing the sites of existing buildings and containing some suggestions for open areas and future sites which had heretofore been made by Mr. Olmstead, Mr. Richardson, Mr. McKim and other experts from time to time employed by the President and Fellows."

In meeting these objections the report of the Committee to the Board of Overseers first argued "that while it is easy to understand why the Corporation should object to discussion about lands remote from the present property, it can do no harm to suggest such approaches as it might be expected the public spirit of the city would supply as a part of their park system, or to form conjectures as to the improvement of the present grounds, if contiguous property, that everybody knows the college would gladly own, were obtained."

Further, "that the amount of future gifts or the conditions of the bequests is not known, does not seem a valid reason for avoiding the study of possibilities. It is known that there will be bequests, and it is plain that a donor would rather have his building well placed than ill placed. It is also possible that if buildings continue to be placed as now, persons may not want to build at all at Cambridge. Hence the desire to have the main lines upon which blocks of buildings may be set fixed once and for all. No stronger argument for the position of the Overseers is needed than a look at the irregularities of the present grounds. The old Yard gives the impression of a tolerably regular quadrangle-but Sever Hall is not symmetrically disposed towards other buildings; the Art Museum and the Chapel jog each other and are just not on an axis; the Jefferson Laboratory faces the rear of the Scientific School and Austin Hall regards the rear of the Gymnasium, while Hastings is a feature entirely by self. The Carey Building is at an

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