Local Merchants discuss Proposed Building, HSA

A local businessmen's meeting last night heard suggestions concerning a new building in the Square area and were reassured that the HSA has abandoned its passport-photo project.

There are some definite "plusses" to area promoter John Briston Sullivan's plan for an office building on stilts across from Littauer Center near Harvard Sq., the director of Cambridge City Planning told the Harvard Square Businessmen's Association.

Although the planning board has taken no definite stand on the proposal, Alan McClennen '38 said that the proposal would be "attractive" under certain requisites.

These include a way of transferring buses from the MTA kiosk to a proposed terminal in what might be a 15-story structure and a method of moving transfer passengers through a subway between the new building and the present terminal.

McClennen stressed the fact that present information on the traffic situation is too unclear for him to make a final recommendation. Also, it would be hard to define the traffic generating characteristics of the building without a true idea of its size," he said.


With small offices alone, the building might produce one traffic pattern, he pointed out. An insurance company like John Hancock, with thousands of girls, would probably produce another. "The end product is a puzzle."

The Association took no action on the proposal despite the protests of Thomas F. Sullivan, a lawyer in the Square for fifty years, who urged that a resolution favoring his son's project be passed. "It would improve the traffic situation," he asserted.

No Action on HSA

The Businessmen's Association took no action on the proposed Harvard Student Agencies passport photo service. The idea has been dropped, said Dustin M. Burke '52, director of Student Employment, following a talk to members of the Association. No reasons were given for the abandonment of the project.

He pointed out the "now trend of thinking" in the HSA to take student businesses away from the Harvard Square area and possible competition with local enterprises. Burke cited the ice-cream and the house-painting agencies as examples of services which could be developed in the student's home town to provide summer as well as term-time employment.

In his talk to the businessmen Burke remarked that "We would appreciate it if businessmen would not become upset about projects that might not appear."