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President's Statement Makes Plain Cause of Shift--Garden Has Long and Varied History


Direction of the Harvard Botanic Garden, possibly the oldest institution of its kind in the United States, has been transferred to the Department of Botany, according to an official statement of President Lowell given out yesterday at University Hall.

Heading the work of the Garden is R. H. Woodworth, instructor in Botany, who replaces S. F. Hamblin, assistant professor in the School of Landscape Architecture, formerly instructor in Horticulture and Director of the Garden.

The text of President Lowell's statement follows:

"Some years ago a number of people interested in gardening asked the Corporation to conduct the Garden for horticultural objects, offering to pay the expenses involved, which the Corporation was glad to do so long as the cost was thus defrayed. After a while the Committee became weary of raising subscriptions, and last spring it was decided that in view of this fact, and of the comparatively small scientific value of horticulture to the University, the Garden had better be used for scientific purposes. The direction of the Garden has, therefore, been transferred to a member of the Department of Botany, Dr. R. H. Woodworth, who will use the small income of the endowment for the benefit of that Department."

Founded in 1807

The Botanic Garden, founded in 1807, and supported by private endowment and subscription, has never been closed to the general public, except for the first three days of last week, when, due to a misunderstanding, Professor Hamblin had a fence erected between the Garden and the property of the Gray Herbarium, had all the gates locked, and denied access to all visitors. Wednesday afternoon the Garden was opened again, by order of the President.

When queried by the CRIMSON as to what the future policy of the Garden would be, Dr. Woodworth, the new director replied.

To Remain Open to Public

"The policy of the Botanic Garden with regard to visitors will continue as it has always been, and anyone will be allowed in the Garden who wished to visit it."

No definite word has been given out by authorities concerning the future activity of the Garden, other than President Lowell's statement. The conversion of the Garden for scientific uses has aroused a great deal in University circles, and many students and faculty members have expressed concern that it should cease to function primarily as a horticulture garden, which it has been for several years, aside from its production of materials for the Department of Botany

Interesting History

The Garden, which is situated at the corner of Garden and Linnaean Streets, Cambridge, was established in 1807 by a number of public-spirited gentlemen who endowed a professorship of Natural History. The seven acres which form the present Garden were laid out in 1807 by Professor William Daudrige Peck, with the formal lines of smaller Loudon establishments being used as a model. After the death of Professor Peck the Garden passed under the charge of Thomas Nuttall as Curator, and later of Thaddeus William Harris, the funds having dwindled so that it was no longer possible to assign the income to a full professorship. About 1842 the income of a newly established professorship, endowed by Joshua Fisher 1766, became available, and to this new chair Dr. Asa Gray was invited. The most recent change came in 1923, when Assistant Professor S. F. Hamblin was made director.

The Garden contains at present over 10,000 species of hardy herbs growing in the beds. In addition to these, the greenhouses contain many plants which require great heat, most of them tropical varieties.

The Gray Herbarium is situated in the Botanic Garden, on a corner of the property. The collection there was founded and largely developed by the late Asa Gray, and given by him to the University in 1864

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