Friday, February 15, 2013

Cambridge, MA, USA “Town - Gown” Reports: Harvard, MIT, Leslie College, Cambridge College

In December, four Cambridge, MA, USA, educational institutions submitted reports to Cambridge on their development plans and recent creations.

The formal presentations to the Cambridge Planning Board came earlier this month. I have downloaded the reports to my computer and would be pleased to pass them on to anybody who might be interested. Please just give me a ring at I have done very little work on the reports.

Physically, the reports range in size from Harvard University’s, at 6 megs to Cambridge College’s at 480 KB. In between are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at about 4 megs and Leslie University at a little over 1 meg.

The reports are solely Cambridge. A few months ago, this blog presented several reports on Harvard’s expansion plans in Allston. These reports were based in part on the Boston correlative of these reports. Allston is briefly mentioned on page 35 of Harvard’s Cambridge report.

On page 31 of its report, Harvard announces a change in one of my biggest victories, the Inn at Harvard, located at the eastern end of Harvard Square proper. Harvard wanted this building to be built 72% larger and built to the lot line. The Cambridge City Council voted into place a zoning change implementing an initiative drafted by me which brought about the current building. The vote was 7 for, 1 opposed, 1 in the hospital. Harvard announces that it will take this property out of hotel use and use it for student housing.

The Leslie report, at page 20, also brings back very happy memories. The map shows the first three blocks north of Harvard Law School containing what Leslie calls its “Doble Campus”. The southern two thirds of these blocks were the target of my first, and first successful, downzoning initiative.

It is decidedly flabbergasting to view the middle of these three blocks, between Mellen and Wendell Streets. This block is now overwhelmingly owned by Leslie. When we worked on that zoning, the blocks were pretty decrepit and mostly not part of part of Leslie. The block with all that Leslie property saw significant zoning changes to keep the neighborhood nature of the area.

As part of an acting gig a few weeks ago, I was in Harvard’s new law building on the corner of Everett Street and Massachusetts Avenue, across the street from the subject of that downzoning, and affected by it.

I am confused as to the maximum I can send through Yahoo Mail. I should think the MIT report is sendable. I hope the Harvard report is sendable. If it is not, I will provide the URL.

Please let me know if I can be of service.

Thank you.


Awkward language above on the Inn at Harvard zoning change. The petition concerned the East Harvard Square area. The petitioners accepted, with my strong approval, a compromise proposed by Councilor Walsh.

After typical bullying by the Cambridge Machine, including a key flat out lie, and over my strong objections, the petitioners dropped language in the petition impacting perhaps half the original area proposed.

I think I wrote the modified proposal which passed. I could be wrong, however. In any case, the modification accurately reflected the Walsh agreement modified by The Machine's outrageous misbehavior.