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The University has completed preliminary plans for an 18 to 20-story apartment complex for married students which will be constructed along the Charles River, about one block below Dunster House.
Jose Luis Sert, Dean of the School of Design and architec for the project, revealed yesterday that the complex will contain "three high-rise apartment blocks" and several lower buildings. The 18-story structures will be about twice the height of Leverett Towers.
Sert said that the lower buildings will be about five stories and will have courtyard space and playlots for children. "In many ways," he said, "they will resemble the older College Houses." All the buildings will be made of concrete and "will be linked by a series of elevators."
Plans call for the construction of about 400 units, including one, two, or three-bedroom apartments and efficiency units. Sert stressed that all the apartments will have kitchens, large living rooms, and "a small amount of study space." The complex itself will contain some small stores, meeting rooms, a library, and a kindergarten area.
On Wednesday, the University submitted the preliminary plans to the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority. Since the apartment site, although owned by the University, is part of a 107-acre urban renewal area, the Authority must decide if Harvard's project is consonant with City plans for the entire area.
After making a decision, the Authority will present a master plan for the redevelopment of the entire area to the City Council for approval. University officials have noted that the height of the buildings will probably not be an obstacle, inasmuch as there are no zoning restrictions against height in that area.
The land that the University intends to use for the apartment complex includes several blocks and is bounded by Memorial Drive, the now unoccupied University Bindery building, Putnam Ave., and the Corporal Raymond Burns playground. The playground (located next to Dunster House) is the only river-front property in that area that the University does not own, but the playground is not included as part of the site for the new apartments.
Several buildings will have to be demolished to make way for the $3 to 10 million project. Sert said that many of the new apartments will overlook the river and that the entire complex will be built as far from the Houghton School on Putnam Ave. as possible.
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