More On Sert

The Mail

To the Editors of the Crimson:

Fortunately, the latest editorial criticizing Dean Sert's buildings cannot be taken seriously, not because it was flippant but because it was whining, irresponsible, and ignored pertinent facts. It stated unreasonable opinions in the manner of a college senior who should be past adolescence. The editorial annoyed me not because I am a disciple of Sert, or any other architect, but because it did not state relevant architectural facts.

A fact of life for Cambridge architects is the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Weil should go read it. He may bitch about it, but as it now stands it designates in Article III, Section 1, 2 the Holyoke Center block as a Business B District (Class 9). Article V, Section 2 requires Business B District buildings to fulfill the 4.0 ratio of floor area to lot area. There are no other demensional requirements. Article V means that a building covering the full lot can be no higher than four stories, a building covering one half of the lot can be no higher than eight stories, a building covering one eight of the lot can be no higher than thirty-two stories, and so on. There are no requirements to provide parking.

A careful perusal of the following information reveals Dean Sert's consideration for pedestrians, parking, sun, trees, and space.

The Zoning Ordinance


Lot Size:

No restrictions

Floor Area:

Permitted - 342,400 sq. ft.

Lot Coverage:

Permitted - 100%

Parking Spaces:

Required - (0) cars

Cubic Volume:

Required - the 4.0 ratio