A major victory for Allston/Brighton! - Faust decides that Harvard will look before it leaps

A $1 billion science complex, which will house a stem cell institute, will stay on track for a ground-breaking early next year. But everything else, including plans for building four undergraduate dorms in the Boston neighborhood, will be reviewed, Faust said in a phone interview Monday.

She said the university will take pains to consult more widely and deliberately with faculty and community members and, if necessary, revise the plan before giving the final version to the city next fall.

"She wants it done the right way. Sometimes, you rush projects," Menino said. "She wants to listen. It's just a wiser way."

"The notion that we could at the same time manage an enormous renovation of the Fogg and give our full attention to building a contemporary art museum in Allston just didn't make a lot of sense," Steven Hyman, provost, said.

"We were really rushing headlong into Allston," said Orlando Patterson, a sociology professor. "There was a strong sense of a lack of consultation. That was the major, major problem with Larry. There was a simulation of consultation, but people got the impression that the decision was already made."


  1. Great news. Nice to see that cooler heads have prevailed.

  2. Anonymous3:24 PM

    I see above that Faust is disputing the accuracy of the Globe report. I, for one, am very relieved. What exactly would we gain if Harvard decided to delay indefinitely its plans for a new Allston museum and renovate the Fogg instead?

    A few more "victories" like that and any promise for improvements to our neighborhood will be gone.

  3. The victory is that Harvard might actually start talking with and listening to its neighbors instead of lecturing and "handling" us.

    That Harvard is moving ahead with the Fogg and delaying any Allston museum was reported last month, along with the formation of Harvard's new arts task force.



    What we could gain through more thoughtful planning and collaborative discussion is much better projects that fit together, can be supported by a sufficient infrastructure of roads and transit, and that integrate with and improve the community.

    It sounds like you really liked the art building that Harvard proposed last year. Would you explain more about your thoughts for that project?

    Which promised improvements to our neighborhood are you worried about losing?

  4. Anonymous1:19 PM

    Well, this is all hypothetical now that we know the plans are going ahead. Still, I was quite concerned by Provost Hyman's comment that Harvard was "rushing" into Allston and would rethink the entire proposal.

    The initial report (which, again, we now know is false) seemed to suggest that The School of Ed, for example, might not be moving to Allston. I don't know how much chance we'd have of getting a pilot school if the Ed School weren't here.

    In short -- the Globe's false alarm seemed to suggest that Harvard was scaling back its plans for Allston considerably. And that, I submit, would hardly be a "victory."

  5. We don't know that anything is false. To the contrary, Faust told the Harvard Crimson that "there were no factual errors in the Globe’s story".

    Without the any help from Harvard's School of Ed in Allston, the Gardner became a pilot school in June 2006.

    Where in the Globe story did it say Harvard was scaling back its plans? What I thought was great was her commitment to consult more deeply with the community and for Harvard to make up its mind to reduce the chance of plans changing later.

    Remeber when Harvard said it would renovate the Citizens Bank building on Western Ave to make an art building. Then it decided it would cost too much money and/or be too far from Harvard Sq? It would have been nice if Harvard did its due diligence in the first place, and the same goes for the undergrad dorms that may or may not come to Allston. If they do and go where the master plan indicated, that means moving the pool, basketball arena, and hockey rink. If Harvard may eventaully decide "let's keep all the undergrads in Cambridge" (which was a mentioned in the Globe) it would be great if that could come before a lot of planning and construction that would become obsolete after that decision was reversed.

  6. Anonymous11:43 AM

    Sorry -- by 'pilot school' I did not mean the type of school that the Gardner is: I meant a university-run lab school, such as the University of Chicago, Penn and BU have all built. In the case of Chicago and BU, those schools are directly connected to the Schools of Ed. I doubt we'd get one in Allston if the School of Ed did not move here.