Modern houses and extensive landscaping will change the wood-infested Botanical Gardens into a "choice residential section" next year, Vice-President Reynolds announced last night.
Reynolds said the University will keep control of the Gardens and construct a housing project financed by endowment funds. Previously, Cambridge City Manager John B. Atkinson had threatened to seize the Gardens and build city-owned housing unless Harvard came up with an alternative plan.
The new project, which will be a private University enterprise, has already met with Atkinson's approval. The development will not only ease the housing shortage, he explained, but will also add a large amount of assessable property to city tax rolls.
The 123 now and, permanent family quarters that have been planned are intended mainly for students and faculty. Because of present uncertainities of building costs, Reynolds explained that actual rentals have not yet been determined.
Gray Herbarium Staya
Gray Herbarium, center of the present Botanical Gardens, will be preserved as a research center of the University. Many of the unusual shrubs and trees now growing in the Gardens will also be saved, and utilized in the landscaping.
The new development is being planned as economically as possible. It is intended to fit naturally and easily into the residential area surrounding the Botanical Gardens, despite the fact that it will be almost a separate community in itself.