Plan to Restore Yard Pump Progresses

After six months of haggling with local officials, it finally looks like Radcliffe's 350th gift to the College will arrive by the 351st.

Last August, Radcliffe President Matina Horner presented President Derek C. Bok with a plan to restore the water pump--which served the Yard more than 200 years ago--and build a brick garden around the site. But she forgot to check with the Cambridge Historical Commission, which must approve all changes in the Yard's appearance because of its status as a historic landmark.

The commission voted in November to send the original proposal back to Radcliffe for modifications, said Charles Sullivan, its executive director.

"It was considered inappropiate to the historic character of the Yard, which was designed as an open landscape with only trees and paths," he said yesterday.

Radcliffe sent a new plan to the commission, which approved it on December 11.


Aida K. Press, Radcliffe's director of public information, said the school regretted the commission's original decision, but decided not to contest it. School officials, she said, did not want their "labor of love" turned into a political issue.

Instead, she said, they went back to the drawing board and simplified their plans.

Under the modified plan, the pump will be restored to its origianl working condition, its surrounding bluestone pavement will be refurbished, and a red oak tree will be planted nearby. Plans for the brick garden were scrapped.

The project is scheduled to begin in April and take two months to complete.

The original pump, built in 1764, was the only source of water in the Yard until 1863, when Grays Hall was built with indoor plumbing. Pranksters demolished the pump in 1901 and the version now standing ws built in 1936.