[act-ma] Opening the Gates to Harvard Yard -- Public Hearing: Thurs., Dec. 1, Cambridge Historical Commission

James in Cambridge tompaine at hotmail.com
Tue Nov 29 19:58:03 PST 2011

                         As 'Occupy Harvard' continue their protest in Harvard Yard...  

                         Harvard Yard has been locked down to the public since day one.
                         Meanwhile, Harvard want to obscure the fence to Harvard Yard
                         with 19 giant placards...

                                                 [see The Atlantic article...]

                *Public Hearing* on an application by Harvard University for approval
                to place nineteen (19) large panels along the north fence of Harvard Yard,
                opposite the Science Center, before the Cambridge Historical Commission;
                Thursday, December 1, 6 p.m. (actual time of specific agenda item may vary)

      Determination of Procedure: Alterations to Designated Properties 
   Case 2806: Harvard Yard, by President & Fellows of Harvard College.
   Install up to 19 exhibit panels on the fence along the north side of the Yard between Bradstreet and Holworthy Gates.

       831 Massachusetts Avenue, 2nd Fl., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 Telephone: 617 349 4683 Fax: 617 349 3116 TTY: 617 349 6112 E-mail: histcomm at cambridgema.gov URL: http://www.cambridgema.gov/Historic
       William B. King, Chair, Bruce A. Irving, Vice Chair, Charles M. Sullivan, Executive Director M. Wyllis Bibbins, Robert G. Crocker, Chandra Harrington, Jo M. Solet, Members Shary Page Berg, Joseph V. Ferrara, Susannah Barton Tobin, Alternates

   Notice is hereby given that a public hearing will be held on Thursday, December 1, 2011, at 6:00 PM at 806 Massachusetts Ave.,
   Cambridge Senior Center, Cambridge, to consider the following matters under M.G.L. Ch. 40C and Ch. 2.78 of the Code of the City of Cambridge

  This coming Thursday evening, Dec. 1, sometime during their monthly meeting which gets
underway at 6 p.m. (see the "agenda" link -- the time devoted to various items on the agenda
varies...), the Cambridge Historical Commission will conduct a Public Hearing on an
application by Harvard University for approval to place nineteen (19) large panels
along the north fence of Harvard Yard, opposite the Science Center.

  These panels would be put up at the start of each semester and removed at the end.
They would be controlled by the administration and would have some kind of allegedly "artistic"
content. Images, drawings and the written text of the application are available at the Historical
Commission office in Central Square. (NB: The plans are not available online.) The photos in
Harvard's "submission" are of a version of the kind of thing implemented recently along a fence
of the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris. (O-o-o, la, la... Tres chic, n'est ce pas??)
[See also: http://www.flickr.com/photos/d0ug/605595925/ ]
[p.s. It looks a little better in Paris, oui? ;-)]
                     Huhmn... WHERE ARE THE PICTURES OF OCCUPY?

  1) These panels are quite large and would obscure the normal, customary, historic views of the Yard.

  2) They would be installed, in part, along a narrow sidewalk which skirts the northeast periphery
of the Yard, which is already very treacherous for pedestrians as it is, as people recklessly race along
this stretch of sidewalk on their bikes.

  3) This "project" may well have been in the works for some time, but approval for it is being
sought just when an important "Occupy" encampment -- part of a potentially historically significant,
global protest -- is underway, just inside this very fence, which protest would be even further obscured 
than it already is from any public view or visibility, an important part of any meaningful protest of this

  4) The public have been unilaterally denied any access whatsoever to (historic) Harvard Yard,
for nearly three weeks now. The Cambridge Historical Commission have JURISDICTION over all
historic structures in the western portion of Harvard Yard (the Old Yard) -- including the wall
and fence!
   [See: http://www2.cambridgema.gov/Historic/oldcambridgehome.html ]
  How can the Cambridge Historical Commission even begin to consider, much less countenance,
any proposal of this kind from Harvard while the university administration are continuing to deny
the entire Cambridge and Massachusetts citizenry (and national and international public) any
access whatsoever to this historic Yard and important civic protest?? (And, of course, cut off
students, faculty, staff and especially occupiers from the rest of the community-at-large?)


NB: There is typically an opportunity for information questions from the public at the public hearing,
followed by a more formal public comment period.

                                     Hunhh... IS THAT A TENT CITY IN THERE?
                                                        HOW DO I GET IN???


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