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MGH, Boston History Group May Move Physicians' House

By B NAOMI B. cohn

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)--a Harvard Affiliate--and Historic Boston, a historic building preservation fund, are negotiating a deal that would put a stop to hospital plans for demolishing its 90-year-old Resident Physicians House, and instead move the building to a new location.

At a meeting yesterday of the Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC), which is considering granting the building landmark status and thereby preventing its destruction, Stanley M. Smith, manager of Historic Boston's revolving fund, said it is "quite probable" that the fund will lend MGH $100,000 of the estimated amount of $250,000 needed to move the building.

Historic Boston's offer to partially fund the move comes just before the commission postponed--for the second time in two weeks--a vote on whether to give the building special status.

MGH received a $60 million grant to construct a ten-story research lab on the House's present Blossom St. location by April 1. The hospital's plans are being contested by petitioners who want the house preserved for its historic and architectural significance.

Herbert P. Gleason '50, the attorney representing MGH, said yesterday his "hopes are high" that a deal will be worked out before the commission meets again.

Smith said a number of organizations have tentatively offered additional funds for the moving project, which is expected to begin before the end of this year. The house--currently used as an office building--is expected to pay back any money spent in its move through rent from future tenants and tax credits. Gleason refused to speculate on how much MGH would be willing to add to the financing of the project.

Smith said the house could be moved to either Parkman Street or the corner of Cambridge Street and North Grove.

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