Developers, city officials and Defense Fund members alike insist they're striving to reach a balance of interests in Harvard Square.
And though the Defense Fund logo--a map-like street grid with an arrow shooting upward--may imply a single direction for Harvard Square, local business people and residents will doubtless continue to be divided in their support for the group.
Developers assert the Fund's grass-roots tactics, while noisily aggressive, serve only to cripple the evolution of the Square. The board member of the HSBA asks: "The Defense Fund can rally people--they can do that well--but at what benefit?"
But long-time residents say that the character of the Square is irrevocably disappearing.
"They really used to roll up the sidewalks at 8 p.m.," Sullivan recalls. "In the middle of the 1960s, Harvard Square was really a college town. Stores served homeowners, housewives and college students."
Gradually, that homely atmosphere has faded away, Sullivan says.