Sunday, March 01, 2020

Fraud and the Harvard Square Upzoning

Fraud and the Harvard Square Upzoning.

The following, hopefully, will be the last on this subject.  There is a very common thread between destruction on the Charles River and other destruction associated with controlled activists: FRAUD.

The Cambridge, MA, USA, City Council is considering an upzoning for Harvard Square which would allow massive destruction of historical buildings and of the most loved newish building in Harvard Square.  It develops that the purpose of this upzoning, after destruction, is to create a very densely developed THEME PARK based on the very valuable portions of Harvard Square the petitioners want to allow to be destroyed.

Here is the current zoning map of Harvard Square.

Key in the arguments for this outrage is fraud.  There is nothing complicated about the understood definition of fraud.

One common method of fraud in Cambridge is to use the English language with a secret, UNDISCLOSED, meaning, knowing that the person you are talking to will understand it in the normal meaning, and will grant you a benefit as a result of the conversation.  THAT IS FRAUD.

There are examples of fraud which can put people in jail.  I can make no claim that what is going on with regard to the Harvard Square upzoning is criminally punishable.  I do not fully understand that part of the criminal law.  With no direct financial benefit, criminal fraud would appear unlikely.

But what is going on is most definitely fraud.

We are hearing that the proponents are not destroying anything.  They use the word “preservation.”

Here is an example of the secret meanings being used for “destruction” and “preservation.”

The grey building was NEWLY BUILT, maybe ten years ago, as the result of a fraudulent change in the zoning ordinance which claimed to be creating some sort of conservation district.  This TOTALLY NEW BUILDING is at the corner of Remington (to the right) and Massachusetts Avenue at perhaps the eastern end of Harvard Square.

The grey building is similar to a building formerly on this location.  The prior building was DESTROYED.  Nothing was left of it, NOT EVEN THE FACADE.  A hole was built where the HISTORICAL BUILDING previously stood.  A parking garage was built in that hole  The new building is similar to its predecessor, but taller and larger, one added floor, and a much larger connected building to the right.

This was not renovation.  This was new construction.


IN ENGLISH, this is not preservation this is building a replacement building which is similar and larger.  The upzoning will create a LOT OF SIMILAR AND PROBABLY MUCH LARGER buildings.

To claim that this is not destruction is so nonsensical as to reasonably be called FRAUD.

A lot of excellent buildings are being destroyed.  One, formerly called the Inn at Harvard, could simply be so severely renovated that it is not reasonable to say it will not be destroyed.  Reality is that it is unlikely to be a renovation.  Retail is being added exempt from Floor Area limits on the first floor, encouraged to destroy everything on the lot, plus combine the construction above, and it will likely greatly exceed the building size currently allowed on the property.

Here are some more relevant photos.  Many more may be seen in the links at the end of this post.  What is being destroyed is the historic eastern end of Harvard Square and areas near it plus the Harvard Dining Houses on the south side of Mt. Auburn Street behind Harvard’s Smith / Holyoke Center.  Destruction through merger of lots to include side streets with a “front door” on one of the magic streets could include one or more Harvard Dorms which, correspondingly be moved to Harvard’s new campus in Allston on land formerly occupied by exists from I-90 (Mass. Pike).

My detailed photos do not include the encouraged destruction on JFK Street, in Harvard Square proper, in Brattle and Eliot Squares and in the historical block between Story and Hilliard Streets insofar as that block can be merged into a lot or lots which include the block of Mt. Auburn Street between Story and Hilliard so that the front door of the created shopping mall(s) is on Mt. Auburn Street.  Side streets east of JFK Street will see similar destruction as at Hilliard - Story.

One of the things the proponents are allowing to be destroyed and denying same are the plazas on the Mass. Ave. (Harvard Square proper) and Mt. Auburn side of Harvard’s Clark / Holyoke Center.  These plaza are obviously part of the massive variances given Harvard in its first creation of this monstrous building.  These plazas are clearly protected as part of the latest, enlarging variance.

But the upzoning wipes out the variance as far as the plazas are concerned.  There is nothing to protect.  They are preexisting.  There would be no Floor Area Limit.  They are legal, subject to the new language which allows construction of buildings to 80 feet (8 residential stories).  Building buildings is quite simply allowed.  There are the usual silly “Special Permit” requirements, but Special Permits by law are ALLOWED UNLESS PROVEN OTHERWISE.

It is silly to think that recreating the plazas ON TOP OF THE 8 STORY BUILDINGS will be prohibited.  That is not particularly different from the Remington / Mass. Ave. building.  You have a plaza.  It is 8 stories up.  There is no prohibition against having plazas eight stories up.  “We did the best we could.”

My prior communications to the City Council  have gone into great detail as to the destruction allowed by this outrage.  The primary difference is that I FINALLY UNDERSTAND THE FRAUD.  It was so communicated to me  in a very telling exchange on my facebook page with the woman who is leading the fight.

She made very clear comments communicating her destructive goal.  She was “shocked” to hear me communicate the shocking nature of them.

Her goal is to turn Harvard Square into a theme park of Harvard Square.

She is not “destroying” historical buildings.  She is “improving” them.  And in the next step, she depreciates what she is destroying because it is not praised by organizations related to Harvard grads.  If Harvard grads do not praise specific parts of her planned massive destruction, from her pitch, it cannot be worth much.

Destruction would be very heavy in the area nearest the doomed former Inn at Harvard.

Here are a couple of the communications to the Cambridge City Council.  My first one went into great detail as to the area being destroyed east of JFK street.  It is posted in City Records at, November 16, 2019, Communication 1, pages 298 to 323.

I have submitted a communication which is being received by the Cambridge City Council on March 2 concerning changes made in the February24 meeting and the nonsensical outrage at Putnam Square. .

The last extended letter prior to that  responded to the actions by the Cambridge City Council at its Special Meeting on this matter.  That letter goes into the entire package, with maps.  The blog posting of February 10, 2020 is simpler to access, It is at;postID=6361020298260485967.

The Cambridge City Council will vote Monday on the upzoning working for destruction in Harvard Square.

Instead of “That was the best we could get,” the best the Cambridge City Council can get is to trash this irresponsible upzoning, and separately remove the Putnam Square Business B and all the residential and office zones from the Harvard Square Overlay District.