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Gen Ed Office, Prince House May Go Their Separate Ways

By George K. Sweetnam

The General Education Office will probably move, with its building, to a new site over the summer, but office and building may not stay together long after their joint trek.

Corporation officials, Faculty representatives and members of the Planning Office met Tuesday and effectively approved a plan to move the Morton Prince House, current home of the Gen Ed Office, from Divinity Ave. to a site across from the Freshman Union on Prescott St.

However, College officials are eyeing the soon-to-be relocated Prince House as a possible residence for the new freshman dean, Henry C. Moses, now vice president for student development at Manhattanville College, who will assume his post here in the fall.

The Prince House now stands on the site where a new $9 million biochemistry lab will be constructed next winter. The move to relocate the structure rather than demolish it arose partly from economic considerations--it should be cheaper to move the building than to replace it.

Francis A. Lawton, assistant dean of the Faculty for facilities, who developed the plan, said Monday the idea was partly a response to College officials' expressed desire to have a residence for the freshmen dean.

Some objected to the idea of destroying the house because of its historical value, George Putnam '49, treasurer of the College, said yesterday.

Long Strange Trip

The 126-year-old structure has housed personalities ranging from the professor of Geology for whom Mt. Whitney was named to Timothy Leary, who is rumored to have conducted his early experiments with hallucinogens in the Prince House's basement.

Although the group at Tuesday's meeting reached a consensus that the Faculty should go ahead with the proposed move, formal approval must come from the President and Fellows of the College, Harold L. Goyette, director of the Planning Office, said yesterday.

Corporation approval usually follows a consensus like the one reached Tuesday, Goyette said.

Dean Fox said Tuesday the move to find a freshman dean's residence came before the search for a new freshman dean began. Fox said College officials wrote in the job description sent to potential applicants that the College hoped to find a residence to go with the post.

Fox said the residence, in its proposed location in the parking lot between freshman dorms 8 Prescott St. and Hurlbut Hall, should provide a place for the dean to meet with freshmen informally.

Go Down, Moses

When Moses--one of the seven out of 800 applicants interviewed for the post--spoke with College officials, he was attracted to the idea, Fox said.

Moses said Tuesday the plan to provide a residence was outlined to him as fairly definite, although he was told that final arrangements might take a year or so.

Moses said he does not know whether any site has been settled on--the last time he discussed specific sites with College officials was more than a month ago.

Fox said the College has been working on the Prince House plan for quite a while, because of its possible location between the Union dorms and across from the Union.

Goyette said the cost of moving the Prince House will be "in the $50,000 range."

Goyette noted that the move is not particularly unusual for a Harvard building.

"Harvard has been in the business of recycling and preserving old buildings long before the names 'retrofit' and 'recycling' became the vogue," Goyette said.

Goyette added that the preservation of an age and style mix in buildings "overtly symbolizes the stability of the University in society."

John H. Harvey, assistant to the director of General Education, said yesterday he has no inkling of where the Gen Ed Office will go if the Prince House should become the freshman dean's residence--"I don't think they've thought that far ahead yet," he said.

Harvey added, "We'll leave the labels on the packing boxes, I guess."

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