The Harvard Cooperative Society will consider "some aspects" of an alternative design for its four-story Palmer St. annex, Stanley F. Teele, president of the Coop, said yesterday. He declined, however, to specify which features of the design were involved, claiming that "it would not be wise or proper."
Sheldon Dietz '41, one of the three members of the Church St. Trust, which drafted the design, said that he thought the Coop was "making a very serious mistake" by keeping is plan basically unchanged. The Church St. proposal, which features trees and a wide sidewalk, would preserve the 120-year-old Hawkins building, which the Coop bought last summer.
Although Teele stressed that it would be "exceedingly difficult" to substitute this design for the one that had already been prepared, he said that "it is obviously possible to make a good many modifications." "Of course, if we don't get a zoning variance, we would have to reconsider the whole project," he added.
The Cambridge Zoning Board of Appeals has not yet decided whether to grant two variances, the more important of which would permit the coop to dispense with off-street parking facilities for its new annex.
Letters Attack Coop Plan
Teele said he had received seven letters critical of the Coop's plans, including one from Hans F. Loeser, a lawyer who served as President of the Cambridge Civic Association from 1958 to 1960. Loeser wrote that he had "not personally investigated the facts" but was relying on the accuracy of information supplied by Dietz.
"I do not think the Coop is, as a matter of law, entitled to the variance for which it has applied," he said. But even if it "had been advised that it has a chance of obtaining a variance which would stand up in court" he continued, "I suggest that it should not have sought it and, having done so, should now withdraw its application."
Since the Coop "is perhaps the only business in Harvard Square not ultimately motivated by a pure profit motive," he argued that it must set a responsible example for the others.