Harvard University has virtually given WGBH, Boston's educational television and radio station, $250,000 worth of choice land near the Harvard Business School for construction of the station's new broadcasting facilities.
Ralph Lowell, president of WHGB, announced last Monday that his station had leased the land on Western Ave, from Harvard for a token annual fee of $1 per year and will start construction on its $1.2 million studio building within a year.
A devastating fire tore through the station's facilities on Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge last October, and although WGBH managed to continue broadcasting with borrowed equipment, station officials immediately began a campaign to raise $1.7 million for a permanent headquarters.
Hartford Gunn Jr., general manager of WGBH, told the Summer News that the station is till about $200,000 short of its goal, but that "Harvard's generous gift should spur many people to help finish off the drive." "The donation of land should make a dramatic appeal and bring the WGBH campaign back to public attention," he declared.
Charles A. Coolidge, Senior Fellow of the Harvard Corporation, said that "in aiding WGBH, Harvard is extending the scope of its primary mission of education and is thus pleased to make the land available to the station." It is expected that the gift will strain the University's land reserves. ves.
WGBH officials reportedly chose the Harvard site because it is centrally located and comparatively free from traffic difficulties. Unfortunately, the Massachusetts Turnpike extension, now being built into Boston, will have an exist at the Studio, and about 60,000 cars a day are expected to leave the pike at the exit.
The new studio building will be designed by the architectural firm of Hugh Stubbins and Associates, the same group which designed the Loeb Drama Center.
The WGBH studio may force Washington to make a decision on the John F. Kennedy library which the president will build at Harvard to house his official papers. Kennedy has reportedly been deciding between sites on Soldiers Field at the bend of the Charles River or on the Charles at Western Ave. The WGBH building may pre-empt the latter sight.