Harvard to Apply for Building Permit

Community Opposes Gym

A one-year Cambridge building moratorium expired on July 3 and Radcliffe officials are again preparing to face community, opposition. Officials said yesterday they will move ahead with construction of the planned Observatory Hill gymnasium, even if they have to bring legal action against the city.

In the latest move in a continuing battle between the University and community groups, Burton I. Wolfmann, administrative dean of Radcliffe, said yesterday a petition for a building permit would be filed soon.

If the City Council does not approve the petition, then the University will "take some form of action, probably a suit," Wolfmann added.

The decision by the University to construct a gymnasium for Radcliffe on the site of Observatory Hill began more than a year ago when Radcliffe officials planned to begin construction of the facility that will include basketball and tennis courts.

"Neighborhood Nine," a community action group, and other community groups fought the University and prevented the University from obtaining a building permit.


Cambridge City Councilor David A. Wiley expressed the community's concern yesterday when he said that the community was afraid of continual over-crowding in Cambridge.

Jack Riseman, a spokesman for one of the citizen's groups opposing the construction, said yesterday, "We just feel that giving them permission to do this will just make them want to build more."


Richard W. Horgan, spokesman for the Cambridge City Planning Department, said yesterday. "Once Harvard applies for a permit it will have little difficulty obtaining one." He added, "The residents have no legal basis for objection to Harvard's plan" because the property in question is owned by Harvard."