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Putting an end to months of legal wrangling, Harvard University and the restaurant UpStairs at the Pudding announced yesterday that they reached a compromise where legal lawsuits would be dropped and the restaurant would serve patrons until Commencement 2001 has passed.
The restaurant will remain on the third floor of the Holyoke Street building until June 17, 2001.
After the restaurant moves out in June, the College can begin renovations on the century-old building.
Associate Dean of the College David P. Illingworth '71, said the agreement puts the College on track to finish the building renovations by the fall of 2002.
"This affects our plans positively. It means we can get in there and get going," he said.
Harvard and UpStairs have been involved in legal maneuverings all fall about the legitimacy of a lease the restaurant had with the former owner of the Pudding building, the graduate board of the Hasty Pudding student organizations.
Harvard officially took ownership of the building on Oct. 2. The University has owned the land the building sits on since 1986.
UpStairs filed suit against Harvard earlier this fall, in hopes of remaining in the building, despite the College's plans for extensive renovations. Harvard in turn filed its own lawsuit in mid-October.
But yesterday's announcement--deemed a "compromise" by Harvard officials--puts an end to all litigation.
"There are no more pending lawsuits,"
said UpStairs' attorney, William I. Cowin.
Illingworth said Harvard and the restaurant were committed to reaching a fair compromise for all the parties involved.
He noted that the restaurant would have plenty of time to find an alternate site.
"Both [Harvard and UpStairs] are reasonable parties, and in a positive way, we settled our differences," said Scott Levitan, director of University and Commercial Real Estate
Levitan was involved earlier this fall in trying to find a space the restaurant could move to. He said yesterday, however, that Harvard was not actively assisting UpStairs in their search for a new home.
"It's my understanding that they are working on it themselves," Levitan said.
The restaurant owners, Mary-Catherine Deibel and Deborah Hughes, were not available for comment yesterday.
While the College works on its renovation plans, much of the tradition surrounding the Pudding building will remain the same this year.
The Hasty Pudding Theatricals will stage its annual drag burlesque show in February, and the Pudding Social Club will have use of the building through the end of the academic year.
Illingworth said he hopes to have architects in to see the worn Pudding building early in January.
" I hope to get someone who is good at theaters, but also a 'meat and potatoes' architect, who knows how to make this building safe," Illingworth said.
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