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That the University is the recipient of two very valuable sites of land which lie within the territory now encompassed by college buildings was made known at University Hall last night. Both sites are the gift of C. Chauncey Stillman '98, of New York, and form an addition to a long series of presentations which have married Mr. Stillman as one of the University's greatest benefactors.
The former location of St. Paul's Catholic Church, at the corner of Holyoke and Mt. Auburn Streets, and of the St. Paul's Rectory, bordering on Holyoke Street and Holyoke Place, are the two sites included in the gift. These pieces of property were purchased last spring by a group of Cambridge realtors by Moodna Farms. Incorporated of which Mr. Stillman is president.
Prevents Building of Hotel
Following the razing of St. Paul's Church last spring, a corporation was formed to undertake the erection of a twelve story hotel on this site. As this building would have been placed in the very center of the district between the group of College buildings in the Harvard Yard and the group along the Charles River the project aroused considerable opposition. Among those who felt this objection most strongly was Mr. Stillman, and under his direction the site of the Church and the rectory was purchased by Moodna Farms. During the past year the land has been held by this corporation. But in February, it has just been learned, the two parcels were deeded over to the President and Fellows of Harvard.
No announcement has been made as to the use to which the newly acquired land will be put. But as the drawings of the Harvard Planning Board for the future development of Harvard suggest the widening of Holyoke Street to form an artery between Massachusetts Avenue and the Charles River Parkway, and the construction of new dormitories on the territory between Mt. Auburn Street and the river, the land will probably be held until this development materializes.
Also Saved Beck Hall
Shortly before his purchase of the St. Paul's Church side, Mr. Stillman performed a similar service to the University when he acquired Beck Hall, a dormitory at the junction of Massachusetts Avenue and Harvard Street, which was threatened with destruction to make way for a moving picture house. This building was also purchased by Moodna Farms, Incorporated.
Last spring Mr. Stillman also endowed a chair of poetry at the University, which is to be known as the Charles Eliot Norton Professorship and the purpose of which is to be instruction in poetry, in its broadest sense, including language, music and the fine arts. The first recipient of this chair, who is to come to Cambridge next fall, is Professor Gilbert Murray, of Oxford, a noted British Classicist and man of letters. Mr. Stillman has also made a number of gifts of books and paintings to the Widener Library and the Fogg Art Museum.
Mr. Stillman is a director of the Harvard Alumni Association, a member of the Overseer's visiting Committee on the Fogg Museum and the Division of Fine Arts, and a member of the Board of Managers of the Harvard Club of New York City. Mr. Stillman is also a member of the newly selected committee on the Harvard Fund.
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