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Library Corp. Reveals Plans For JFK Site


I.M. Pei, chief architect for the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library and Institute, last night unveiled the first detailed plans for the construction of the complex that will extend from Brattle Square to Memorial Drive.

Pei spoke last night at the St. Paul's School Hall to a meeting sponsored by the Harvard Square Task Force, a city government organization responsible for coordinating planning in the area. Three hundred Cambridge residents attended to hear Pei-and several Cambridge planners and realtors make presentations about the needs of Harvard Square.

The Plans depicts a semicircular building occupying the center of a 12-acre site that would house a memorial to the late President a library holding his papers and memorabilia and the John F. Kennedy Institute of Politics.

On the same site the proposal calls for the Kennedy Library Corporation to construct "related facilities" which include 150 condominium apartments, a 1000-car garage public bus facilities and a plaza of shops and cafes.

Pei said that of the three million square feet available for constructino these plans call for the utilization of only 100,000 square-feet freeing two and one-half acres for landscaping.

The architect has planned for the influx of cars and people the center will cause by transforming the land below Brattle Square into a pedestrian mall and by widening the stretch of Memorial Drive adjacent to the center.

"This would eliminate the necessity for an underpass and would preserve the trees that line the rivers," Pei said.

The Plan also leaves space for the future construction by Harvard of in additional building that might house the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Pei estimated the cost of construction to be $20 million, and said that the revenues from the condominiums and plazas will be used to subsidize the bus service facilities, the parking, and the public programs of the Library.

"The Corporation also hopes to purchase the land adjoining Brattle Square for commercial development to prevent speculators from moving in," Pei said.

Creation of the complex was originally envisioned by President John F. Kennedy '40, during a visit to Cambridge in 1963; and after his death, members of his family decided to make this center the sole official memorial to the late President.

In 1966, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts donated the land, which presently contains the Bennett-Elliot Metropolitan Transit Authority's (MBTA) stock yards.

However, a five-year delay is relocating the yards caused the log in the beginning of work on the center. Arguments ended with on MBTA promise to vacate the area by the end of 1973.

This promise allowed Pei to go ahead with the preparation of plans for the project, and in August Harvard representatives and members of Library Corporation agreed upon the design presented yesterday by the architect.

The Library Corporation said in a news release issued yesterday, "We shall be developing our plans further with desire to be compatible with the ongoing discussions within the community concerning height, bulk and design quality.

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