Harvard's heterogeneous architecture can be traced to "stubborn donors, property owners, and short-sighted administrators," according to Charles W. Eliot II '20, Charles W. Eliot Professor of Landscape Architecture, in a discussion of "The Changing Face of Harvard" last night in Hunt Hall.
Eliot included reproductions of the many plans for Harvard's expansion in his review of Harvard expansion in his review of Harvard since the College was located in the "Cow Yard." Commenting on the early plans, Eliot explained that they were designed by individual architects who wished their buildings to become the center of the campus.
When financial contributors assumed the right to choose the sites and architects for the buildings they offered to underwrite, all hope for harmony in style disappeared.
Another source of trouble in planning for Harvard's growth, he added, has been the odd-shaped pieces of property which private individuals have refused to sell. One individual is reported to have retained the land behind Paine Hall only because he was kicked by President Lowell's horse.
A recent drive for group construction of buildings guided by an overall plan is an advancement, he declared.
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