Harvard Pledges To Reconsider Knafel Plans

Harvard is rethinking its most recent proposal for the Knafel Center for Government and International Study after a Cambridge city board found fault with much of the University's plan.

In preliminary discussions Monday night, members of the Mid-Cambridge Neighborhood District Commission (MCNDC) debated the proposals in advance of their formal review. The group's criticism drove University representatives into a hasty strategic huddle and the decision to reconvene their own planning committee.

"You've called into question nearly every aspect of our project," Kathy A. Spiegelman, associate vice president for planning and real estate, told the commission Monday night.


Now Harvard must decide whether to submit its proposal as it now stands and await the final ruling of the MCNDC or to make significant changes to the architectural plans.

Harvard cannot begin construction on the structure without the MCNDC go-ahead.

Monday's hearing was the first in which MCNDC members offered their own opinions on the Knafel center. And after listening to the board members' comments, Harvard representatives said they are not sure when they will be ready to submit the plan for a vote.

In the meantime, Harvard has already planned a number of meetings between the architect and the Faculty Planning Committee to review the MCNDC's suggestions.

"They put a lot of issues forward for [the architect] to consider," Spiegelman told The Crimson.

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