Text Box: The Allston Options

BY MIKE WISER

Soldiers Field Athletic Area — Currently home to most of the University’s athletic facilities, the athletic area has the advantage of bordering the river and being fairly close to Harvard Square. Dean Clark warns that moving here might raise the ire of Harvard athletic community. Additionally, there is talk that the riverside fields themselves might not provide idea structural support to new buildings.

North Harvard Street and Western Avenue — One big drawback is that it’s currently inhabited by gas stations, warehouses and car repair shops. It’s hardly pretty. Moving here, Clark said, “requires a lot of imagination and faith.” There also might be some concern that the land would require extensive environmental work (read: cleanup) before you’d want to set up Gropius II in this former industrial area.

Genzyme Property — Harvard is the landlord of this pharmaceutical company, but in order to move in here the University will have to either buy out the rest of the lease or wait until 2057 when the lease runs out. Like the other Allston properties, Genzyme is located near the Business School. It’s riverfront location might also add to its charm. Clark sees its potential as the center of a community of professional schools. To move HLS here, the University will have to deal with the same railroad easements that hindered Genzyme’s planned expansion.

Watertown Arsenal — This one isn’t even in Allston, but Prof. Nesson has become attached to this property. He’s been emailing faculty a slideshow of pictures he took there and has even taken students to visit the site. The Arsenal property comes with a ready-made campus on the river, but it has its own problems. Dean Clark says that the location seems a bit too far from the center of the University and that there isn’t too much room to expand. However, the Dean did praise Nesson for “thinking outside the box.”

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