BOOM! Harvard's new Western Ave fence collapses

I've been meaning to take a walk along the eastern end of Western Ave to see the new fence that Harvard installed along its property across the street from the Business School. The fence was to be an improved screen between the sidewalk and the huge parking lot for shipping containers and trailers.

A couple years ago the Harvard Allston Task Force's interim use subcommittee asked Harvard to replace the ugly fence there but was told that Harvard couldn't "step foot" on that property because of the CSX easement. That didn't make much sense. Why and how would a tenant prevent a landlord from improving their property if the improvement didn't adversely affect the tenant's use of the property?

So after that reluctance it was encouraging to hear that somehow Harvard and CSX had figured out how to agree that the old fence could be replaced.

As nice as it was for Harvard to put up the fence, it was even worse that their new fence didn't even last a month. Could it not withstand a 39 mph gust of wind on Sunday morning? This is at least as sorry as the collapse of the Pike's fence along Lincoln Street in 2005.


  1. Anonymous11:06 AM

    Thanks for for fast folowup Harry. It makes you wonder what else has been done wrong. By the way the Dan Ronan,Mark Ciammo,and Harvard have been informed. Lets see how fast inspectioal services get there.

  2. Thanks for mentioning it. Hopefully the teams responsible for the cranes are worlds beyond the team that did this fence.

  3. Anonymous11:28 AM

    By the way you may want to take a picture of the new mock up fence for charlesview. It is near gate A on the Western Ave side. The have three choices,whats currently there or one of the mock ups.

  4. Anonymous7:39 PM

    I wonder if this was union labor that put this farce of a fence up.

  5. Meaning what exactly? Seems to me that your question is merely bait for an unnecessary argument in either direction.

  6. Anonymous10:42 PM

    That we're overpaying for subpar labor. MA should become right to work, so this union nonsense can be busted for good. Just like Texas. They don't have a state income tax and they have a 13 BILLION dollar SURPLUS. Here in MA, they're crying about an even bigger deficit if we get rid of the income tax. The deficit, in part, is caused by over paying these lazy union laborers.

  7. My husband is a Union worker. His shifts typically begin around 5 am and end around 9 or 10 p.m. He works hard and we are not wealthy. There are many different Unions representing different kinds of workers. Harvard, for example, has a clerical worker's union to protect its lower-level staff, and during my employment there I saw the union step in and save the jobs of several very competent, hard-working employees who were being harassed by their bosses or menaced by HR in an attempt to force them out before retirement. Sure, there are some bad apples (and some lazy unions -- one infamous example comes to mind), but in general the unions exist to protect lower-income, hard-working citizens from exploitation.