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Vellucci Blasts Harvard For Construction Proposals


Cambridge mayor Alfred E. Vellucci declared a "state of emergency" in Cambridge last Wednesday at a City Council meeting in response to Radcliffe's plan to build an athletic complex on Observatory Hill and Harvard's long-range plan that designates a site near there for a potential parking garage.

In addition, Vellucci requested that the council review all building permit applications that Harvard might submit. The request is not legally binding on Harvard because building permits are granted by the City Department of Buildings.


Radcliffe has not yet requested a building permit for the planned facility because the plans are not complete, but construction is expected to get underway at the beginning of October, Burton Wolfman, administrative dean of Radcliffe College, said yesterday.

More than 100 residents of the Observatory Hill area, however, submitted a petition to the Cambridge Planning Board last Tuesday to down-zone the block of land owned by the University on that site. Although the zoning change, if it is passed, will not affect Radcliffe's plans for the athletic facility in the long run, the process of changing the zoning map may delay the granting of a building permit, Francis H. Duehay '55 said yesterday.

If the land is downzoned from a C-1, C-2 to a residential B classification, Harvard will be left with less than one seventh of the building space it has now. The Planning Board is expected to make its recommendation to the City Council, the only governing body with the legal power to make a change in the zoning map, in the coming week.


"I don't think Harvard should build any more complexes, any more anythings," Vellucci said yesterday. "Let's call it finito, F-I-N-I-T-O, as it's said in Italian. No more buildings," Vellucci added.

Duehay said he believes Vellucci's declaration of a state of emergency was probably "not the most fruitful way to go" about making a settlement with Harvard.

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