Building Ups And Downs


The ups and downs of buildings in the Harvard area were on people's minds this week as controversy over one construction project began, plans for another were released and groundbreaking took place for a third.

Early in the week, it was learned that the Faculty Council had confidentially asked President Bok and the Corporation to consider relocating or reducing the size of the $3 million freshman dormitory slated to take the place of Hunt Hall.

The Council's action came after viewing sketches for the new dormitory, which would house 220 students and their proctors. Members feared that the building would overcrowd and be incompatible with the atmosphere of the northern section of the Yard.

A group of Faculty members and students from the Visual and Environmental Studies Department followed the Faculty Council action by collecting signatures for a petition asking Bok "to review the planning for the dormitory and to reverse your decision to destroy Hunt Hall."

The group hopes to meet with Bok early next week to discuss the scheduled demolition and present the petition.


Meanwhile, Bok is making no comment pending his meeting with the Faculty Council. But Harold L. Goyette, director of the Planning Office, defended the demolition of Hunt Hall, calling it "a thumb in the eye" of the Yard. Goyette added that the dorm would not overload the north Yard, but instead would provide "a reasonable density."

The next day, a Cambridge developer released plans for a 500- room hotel on Memorial Drive designed to accommodate tourists to the Kennedy Library.

The hotel, to be operated by the Hyatt Regency Corporation, will range in height from 6 to 15 stories and include a swimming pool and 375-car parking lot--if a rezoning proposal before the Cambridge City Council goes down in defeat.

That proposal would rezone the property--on the riverside near the MIT campus--for low-and moderate-income housing, a plan favored by community activist and City Councillor Saundra Graham.

The hotel would bring "400 new jobs to Cambridge and $350,000 in added tax revenues," Graham Gund, owner of the riverside property, said Tuesday. He further claimed that if housing were constructed on the site it would be cut off from the rest of the community, because it is bounded by railroad tracks, warehouses and the Charles River.

While others were discussing housing tourists to the Kennedy Library, its director, Daniel H. Fenn Jr. '46, was denying claims that researchers for the Library had covered up the alleged role of the late President John F. Kennedy '40 in the 1963 murder of South Vietnamese President Ngo Vinh Diem.

Finally, groundbreaking took place yesterday for the new $1.6 million Peabody Museum library addition, scheduled for completion in 1974.

The Tozzer Library--named for Alfred M. Tozzer '00, a Mayan scholar--will rise three stories next to the Museum on Divinity Ave., and is designed to alleviate crowding in the current facilities.

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