Cambridge Leaders Skeptical Of C. E. Maguire's Impartiality

Community leaders in Cambridge yesterday expressed some doubts about the impartiality of C.E. Maguire Inc., the firm preparing the environmental impact statement on the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library.

Phillip Burling, head of the Cambridge Civic Association's committee on the Kennedy Library, said yesterday a General Services Administration investigation of Maguire's study for the Massachusetts Port Authority has left him "totally unpersuaded."

The GSA report, which was opened to the public this week, states that despite "inconsistencies and inadequacies" in the Massport study, there is no direct evidence to show that the Maguire firm acted unethically.

Burling said the investigation pointed to "circumstantial" evidence and inconsistencies in previous Maguire jobs, for which the GSA report "has not substantially changed my lack of confidence."

"If they aren't capable of making a decision and staying with it, they should not be doing impact statements," he said, referring to the allegations that Maguire altered its recommendations after consultations with Massport officials.


Maguire project director George Grant said yesterday he thinks Maguire has "taken all possible steps" to persuade the Cambridge community of the firm's integrity.

"It's a hopeless cause. Even if God issued an environmental statement there would be someone to complain," he said.

As proof of Maguire's impartiality, Grant pointed to the GSA statement that Maguire performed its contract with Massport "in a manner which preserved its independence and professional judgment," when viewed against the direction Massport gave the firm.

He said that many residents and reporters are taking a "back-assed" view of the problem of Maguire's integrity. The firm should be viewed as innocent until proved guilty, he said.

City Councillor Francis H. Duehay '55 said yesterday there is "a severe problem with the Maguire firm in terms of its integrity."

"Many people who are aware of the Kennedy Library developments don't have much confidence in Maguire," he said, adding he will continue to urge GSA to replace Maguire