City Manager Joseph A. DeGuglielmo '29 has ordered a temporary ban on all new construction and zoning changes in Harvard Square while the City studies the impact of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library on the area.
DeGuglielmo took the action at the request of the Citizens Advisory Committee, a semi-autonomous consulting group composed of Cambridge business, institutional, and professional leaders. The CAC, which includes President Pusey and Howard Johnson, president of M.I.T., is considering recommending an urban renewal project for the entire area.
In a letter to DeGuglielmo, the chairman of the CAC, George A. McLaughlin said that the prospect of the library had inflated real estate prices in the Square. "There are economic forces at work in the Harvard Square area," the letter said, "which left to their won devices could have extreme adverse effects on Cambridge generations yet to come."
DeGuglielmo's ban will not apply to zoning variances or building permits already approved. Nor will it apply to existing construction, including the building of Harvard $2.8 million Cambridge St. Underpass.
The area affected by DeGuglielmo's order is bounded by Memorial Drive, Bow St., Mason St., Water house St., and Kirkland St.
DeGuglielmo has said that his administration is seriously considering urban renewal for the Square. When the CAC was appointed last winter, McLaughlin emphasized in his inaugural address the renewal of Harvard Square.
The Kennedy Library will be constructed on the Bennett St. MBTA yards. I.M. Pei, the architect for the Library, has said he would like to see a renewal project in the area around the Library.