Still feeling the influences of the psychedelic 1960s, Cambridge in the early 1970s was a place where students could listen to music, eat at mom-and-pop restaurants and hang out alongside followers of counterculture - "Pit Kids" and street performers alike.
Some things, it seems, never change.
But while the Square 25 years ago and the Square today still share that same distinctive Saturday-afternoon feel-when street musicians send melodies into the air and crowds gather to watch the chess matches in front of Au Bon Pain--members of the Class of 1974 also remember a city that was comfortably eccentric without having the "edge" that Charles M. Sullivan, head of the Cambridge Historical Commission, says he sees today.
"The people hanging out [in what is now the pit] were hippies," Sullivan says. "The scene has changed, now there are a lot more punks."
Class Secretary Thomas G. McKinley '74 recalls many stores temporarily replacing their windows with bricks for fear that the glass would shatter during a protest.
"Everything was boarded up," he recalls.
Owner of the Harvard Book Store Frank Kramer remembers watching student protests, "storm troopers" coming to break up a riot, and "people [on the street] going up and down, breaking windows, left and right."
Kramer says that today's students are far more conservative than those in the early 1970s.
"The Square was filled with flower children in the 1960s and there were still a lot around in the 1970s," he says.
Cynthia A. Piltch '74 remembers that, "Getting dressed up for us was having a clean pair of blue jeans that weren't tattered."
Hare Krishnas sang and played music in the streets, proselytizing and asking for money.
"They were just part of the landscape...playing their music...in white and peach colored saris," Piltch says.
A Different Landscape
The Massachusetts Bay Transport Authority (MBTA) had a repair area--a place to store and repair buses, trains and streetcars--where the Kennedy School of Government currently sits.
Lost in the Blur of the Changing SquareThis year’s graduating seniors will be the last class to have known The Tasty, a diner that served up greasy
His Stage Is The SquareFor several days each week, Luko Adjaffi, self proclaimed "international singer/songwriter," broadcasts his message from "the pit" near Out-of-Town News.
Cambridge Street: Memorial of City's PastAn irreplaceable treasure and a glimpse at what neighborhood living once was, Cambridge Street links Harvard to a simpler time.
Republican Parade Tonight.The Republican parade tonight will start from Brattle square at 7.15 and will march through Harvard square along Massachusetts avenue
City Weighs Opening Brattle St. to TrafficThe Cambridge Committee on Parking and Transportation will conduct a hearing on March 29 to decide if Brattle Walk, the
Boundaries of the Boat-Clubs.HOLWORTHY CLUB. - Holworthy, Hollis, Stoughton, and from the north side of Harvard Street to the north side of Mt.