Stepping beyond the Ivory Tower, 1984-85 was a banner year for political action, controversy and celebration in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In case you missed it, here's one brief look back at the year that was:
Protests over nuclear weapons production and chemical warfare research in the City of Cambridge brought national media attention to New England's hi-tech capital. In September, 47 non-violent demonstrators were arrested by Cambridge police for trespassing at Charles Stark Draper Laboratories near MIT. Draper Lab is one of the Department of Defense's largest producers of missile guidance systems in the nation.
Meanwhile, the Cambridge City Council launched its own non-violent attack on the Arthur D. Little research firm which has been testing nerve gas within city limits. Cambridge banned all testing, storage, and production of chemical warfare agents, but Arthur D. Little challenged the city regulation in the Supreme Judicial Court. The case is still pending on appeal and is expected to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
As the growing number of young, highly educated professionals flock to the northern shore of the Charles River, Cambridge's ever-changing demographics say much about the direction the city is taking.
As the luxurious Charles Square complex opened in March beside the equally plush University Place, gentrification crept further and further into Cambridge's traditionally blue collar neighborhoods. Penthouse condominiums in Charles Square and University Green reportedly sold for over $1 million, sending the price tag for one house on Mt. Auburn St. well above the million dollar mark.
Meanwhile, MTV and Showtime will be making their Cambridge debut around this time next year'. City Manager Robert W. Healy selected American Cablesystems of Beverly, Mass, to wire the city for cable television by 1986.
From Harvard Square to Porter and from Davis to Alewife, the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority's (MBTA) Red Line is looking and riding a whole lot better these days.
After congratulatory speeches and much ribbon-cutting, these four stations opened this past spring as part of the 3.2 mile MBTA northwest extension costing $574 million.
But just as that gargantuan hole in Harvard Square disappeared after seven long years, a menacing cavity of similar proportions sprang up in the heart of downtown Cambridge--right above the Central Square subway station as its renovations began last month.
Politics As Usual
While the rest of the nation drifted to the political right this past year, the liberal university community of Cambridge held fast to its leftist course.
Among the more notable achievements of the elected officials down at Cambridge City Hall included: