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Ice Skating Rink To Open In Square

Rink will take over space in front of Charles Hotel

By Joseph M. Tartakoff, Crimson Staff Writer

Students will be able to break the ice while sipping hot chocolate at a new Harvard Square skating rink this winter.

Next week, workers will start construction on a skating rink that will take over the plaza in front of the Charles Hotel.

The open-air, above ground, 54-square-foot rink will temporarily replace the Legal Sea Foods bar outside the hotel.

An artist’s rendition of the rink shows that it will be lighted and will be surrounded by a plastic wall lined with the Charles Hotel’s trademark blue.

Sophie Zunz Burnett, the director of public relations at the hotel, said that the rink will open to the public on Dec. 7.

She said that the rink was the brainchild of the hotel’s owner, Richard Friedman.

“He’s been wanting to do it for the last 20 years,” Zunz Burnett said.

Friedman could not be reached for comment.

Zunz Burnett said that she expects the rink to be popular, especially since a farmer’s market, which is open in the hotel’s plaza from late spring to late fall, has been a success.

“It’s always been like a community gathering place,” she said.

The new rink will be open to hotel patrons and non-patrons alike from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. throughout the week, including weekends. Skates will be available to rent, and hot chocolate and cider will also be sold at the rink.

The rink will be the second one in the immediate vicinity of Harvard Square. Last year, Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan decided to build a temporary rink in front of the Law School’s student center, Harkness Commons.

Kagan said last week that the Law School’s rink would open once again in January. She said that she was unaware of the Charles Hotel’s plans for a rink.

“They can have their fancy rink,” she said. “Absolutely we are going to have one.”

Kagan said that the Law School’s rink had been popular and that at night it often featured hockey and broom ball games.

Skating at the Law School is free, although skates are not available for rent there. At the Charles Hotel, skates will cost $5 to rent. It will cost an additional $5 for adults to skate at the rink, and $3 for children who are 12 and under.

—Staff writer Joseph M. Tartakoff can be reached at

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