Harvard's Science Factory?

Is this what Harvard's Science Complex is going to really look like? Of course not! This is the Battersea Power Station. You might recognize it from the cover of the Pink Floyd album "Animals".
But many people at last night's Harvard Allston Task Force meeting were suprised to see Harvard present drawings showing several 28' tall smokestacks on top of the buildings of the Science Complex. I don't have copies of these images to share (Harvard wouldn't give out copies of the images last night, but said they would be posted to http://www.allston.harvard.edu/) but here is the south elevation view of the complex from Harvard's Project Notification Form filed a few months ago.

It is true that this image shows smokestacks on top of the building but they don't look like much and they seem to blend in with the sky and the birds in the sky. What was shown last night looked much more industrial. These smokestacks, on top of the exhaust fans and other mechanical equipment, would be 135 feet above the sidewalk.

The question was also asked what types of gases or fumes would come out of these stacks. The architect assured us that it was all perfectly safe, but if it is so safe, why does it need to be released so high in the air? There are lots of chemicals that people once thought were safe (lead paint, asbestos, etc.). Will the residents of Hopedale St, Rena St, and elsewhere consider this to be a great neighbor to have in their backyard?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:04 PM

    Just to play Devil's advocate - I used to live directly across the street from the Battersea Power Station in my younger years. The community was surprisingly tolerant of it, despite its ugliness. In fact some people were downright sentimental about it, and would get very upset when others would call for its demolition. (I believe the building is protected by the UK's version of the Landmarks Commission.) I think it is something to do with the fact that it's a "signature" structure, and it's been there for as long as anyone can remember. To remove it would totally change the skyline and the character of that neighborhood. I hated it when I first moved there, but I grew to love it. It's amazing what you can get used to...(p.s. those smokestacks are WAY taller than what Harvard is proposing for the science center)