Harvard Bought Radcliffe Property

Transaction Between Schools at End of 1992 Was First of Its Kind in Six Years

In the first property transaction between Harvard and Radcliffe since 1986, Harvard purchased property worth $600,000 from Radcliffe at the end of 1992, according to officials at both schools.

The two schools have not made such a deal since 1986, when Harvard purchased a garage at 245 Concord Ave. from Radcliffe, said Nancy Dunn, financial vice president and treasurer at Radcliffe.

"We wanted the financial resources for other programming," she said. "With a new president coming in on board and no particular plans for the property, we wanted to take the opportunity to sell the house and invest those funds."

Radcliffe has no specific plans for the funds at this time, said Dunn.

Dunn said 103 Walker St., the address of the property sold to Harvard, includes 9,160 square feet of land and a three-story house that is currently the residence of the Cabot House senior tutor and several students.


She said Radcliffe had not used the land and the building on it for years.

"I think we really felt that, given its location, there was nothing Radcliffe could put in there because of the student buildings focused around it," she said.

The property is located next to the Radcliffe Quad, in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

Robert H. Scott, Harvard's vice president of finance, said that under the terms of the "non-merger merger" of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, Harvard has the first option to buy any property that Radcliffe wants to sell.

Scott said the property is one of four holdings on Walker St. that Radcliffe owns. The other properties are located at 12,60 and 1820 Walker St.

"When the agreement was established 15 years ago, the buildings were established by Radcliffe as houses they might want back eventually," he said. "They asked for them back several years ago... [but] Radcliffe decided it could no longer afford to contribute all these houses to [the Harvard-Radcliffe community]."

Dunn disagreed somewhat with his interpretation. "My reading of it was that Radcliffe had no need of the property and wanted to use the funds for other purposes," she said.

Dunn said that Radcliffe plans to renovate the other three houses for use as faculty housing in the future.

The last property sold to Harvard from Radcliffe, in 1986, was structurally altered by the University and is now the Observatory Commons condominiums, which are used for faculty housing.

Scott said Harvard has no plans to change the use of the building as satellite housing for Cabot.

"In this case, because the property was integrally related to Cabot House, we decided to buy it," he said.