Should Harvard’s development for the corner of North Harvard Street and Western Avenue in Allston be designated “Allston Square” rather than “Barry’s Corner,” which is how that section was generally known before it was demolished in the 1960’s? That suggestion, made by a local resident, has provoked a lively discussion on Google groups community forum. Does the neighborhood need a re-branding? How should the history of the fight that led to the forced removal of 71 families be honored? For a history of the area, check out this excellent article by Bill Marchione.
The Charlesview Residences, which were built to replace the Charlesview Apartments development that Harvard purchased and plans to demolish, which in turn were built to replace the Barry’s Corner neighborhood that was flattened by an urban renewal scheme, will have its ribbon cutting ceremony tomorrow at 12 noon at 400 Western Avenue.
The Harvard Allston task force voted Tuesday night to support the plan to relocate the Campus Services facility, but only if the school agrees to move the facility again once the Western Avenue science complex is complete. The building would be home to a number of functions, including managing Harvard’s fleet of vehicles.
Harvard will be moving its engineering school to Allston, according to the Crimson, which interviewed president Drew Faust. Until now, the public plans were to use the property now occupied by the Charlesview Apartments as a parking lot. The private plans were clearly quite different from what was submitted to the BRA last fall, and presented to the community. What other surprises are in store?
CORRECTION: The engineering school will relocate to the Western Avenue planned life sciences center site, not the Charlesview location, according to Kevin Galvin of Harvard. Harvard Magazine has an overview of the school’s Allston history.
Not the only cheating scandal going on at the university, eh?
Harvard has been both high-handed and underhanded in its treatment of Allston. Underhanded, with its surreptitious acquisition of acres of property. High-handed, with its shabby behavior. Emptying out the properties it acquired and letting them sit vacant for years, greatly harming the vitality of local business areas. Not to mention lots of vacant building look awful.
How will the BRA react to this? The city’s planning agency can’t plan if a developer deceives it.
Harvard’s plans continued to be met with skepticism at last night’s Harvard-Allston Task Force meeting. Residents voiced again their concerns about relocating storage and maintenance facilities to Travis Street, as well as the school’s overall approach, citing a lack transparency as to what their plans are.
The architect originally hired to design the new science complex on Western Avenue is being wooed to rejoin the project, which was put on hold in 2009.
The next meeting of the task force is Wednesday, February 6, at 6PM in Cumnock Hall Room 102, at Harvard Business School.
The owner of Stone Hearth Pizza, which opened on Western Avenue last November, really likes his landlord, Harvard University. Meanwhile, some Allston residents aren’t happy with the university’s refusal to provide any plans at all for the Charlesview Apartments site it owns. The buildings will be cleared once residents can move into the relocated, and expanded, complex under construction by the Western Ave. Star Market/Shaws. What residents would like to see is an arts and cultural center, originally proposed in 2007, but Harvard is being cagey about that, too.
“Harry, the planning we’ve done led to the approval of Stone Hearth Pizza and Swiss Bakers,” – BRA Chief Planner Kairos Shen
Wow. A dire need has been filled.
Harvard’s presentation Monday night on its plans for the untilled acres it owns in Allston left residents underwhelmed. The lack of a timeline was particularly troubling.
Ah well, if the science center doesn’t work out, they can always fall back on their reputation as that Beauty Factory on the Charles.
UPDATE – A follow-up article in the Crimson cites more dissatisfaction with the university’s plans, this time centered on proposed housing.