Last week, Harvard distributed a draft Institutional Master Plan Notification Form for the 125 Western Ave project. The PDF was emailed to the members of the BRA's Task Force, city and state elected officials, and staff at the BRA. As I started to think about sharing some thoughts on it, I was looking to see where the document was publicly posted.
I looked at Harvard's Allston website and was surprised to see no mention at all of 125 Western Ave and the proposed Tata Hall. Though both of these projects have received extensive Harvard-initiated press coverage in recent weeks, Harvard mentioned neither of them on its Allston website.
So I went to the BRA's "Harvard Allston Campus Planning and Institutional Master Plan" website but the most recent document there is meeting minutes from July 2009.
This draft became a public document after it was received by the people at the State, City, and BRA who are subject to the Public Records Law but with its limited distribution it is being treated as private. I could cynically guess why there isn't more openness and transparency, but especially because there is talk about re-starting public planning with Harvard and the BRA for North Allston and North Brighton it would be a sign of good faith to see more information-sharing on this project.