This report, outlining some first thoughts about Harvard's future Allston campus, was prepared by the lead

firm of Harvard's planning team and distributed to members of the Harvard community. We would like to share these ideas with our extended community and we invite your thoughts and reactions.

Please email us at

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• Campus framework P. 2

• River crossings P. 3

• Improved transportation P. 4

• Green spaces P. 6

• Science buildings __ __ P. 7

• Professional schools P. 7

• Cultural facilities P. 8

• Undergraduate housing P. 8

• Graduate student housing P. 8

Full report:

Fig. 4: Sci~nce, Professional Schools and Cultural Facilities Options

A message front President Lawrence H. Summers

Dear Members of the Harvard Community,

the Harvard community in knitting our new facilities and programs seamlessly to the core vision of excellence in scholarship and education, which are at the heart of what we do.

A year ago, in May 2004, four faculty task forces issued reports on their ideas for possible programmatic uses of our Allston properties. Each of the task forces addressed one offour broad domains - science and technology, professional schools, undergraduate life, and Allston life (with an emphasis on arts and culture).

With the benefit ofthese reports, the University engaged a team of planning experts, led by CRP, which in September embarked on an intensive first phase of physical planning to sharpen our sense of our opportunities and options, and to produce a flexible planning framework for the long-term physical development of our Allston properties. The exercise has focused on the framing of choices on such matters as transportation improvements, the distribution of open space, and the potential locations of the various programmatic uses that might make their homes in Allston. Many of these choices, of course, will depend on continuing our collaborative work with the broader community and with the relevant regulatory authorities.

(Continued on Page 3)

This year has been both productive and encouraging in our planning for the future use of Harvard's properties in Allston. I want to thank the many people across Harvard and beyond who have been contributing their perspectives and experience to this complex and consequential effort. As the academic year ends, I thought this would be a good moment to note some of the key developments in the Allston planning process, in particular the release of a report on Allston planning prepared for the Harvard community by the lead firm of our planning team, Cooper; Robertson and Partners (CRP). The full text of the CRP report appears at This report is offered for your comment and consideration.

I should emphasize that these concepts do not represent final decisions. There will be many additional steps and multiple factors shaping the ultimate outcome of this planning process. Our desire to be good neighbors and to address regulatory considerations will require that we continue our strong and positive workingrelationship with the City of Boston and our Allston neighbors. And, most important, our success in planning for Allston will depend on the continuing engagement of

Produced by the Harvard Office of Government, Community, and Public Affairs . • © 2005 President and Fellows of Harvard College


Allston: Interim report 2005

,--- . ...,..,--,



!'\ '







Illustrative campus framework showing potential uses.

Envisioning Allston

Cooper report's ideas, concepts facilitate Allston planning discussions

The planning firm Cooper, Robertson thoughtful improvement of our common and Partners has prepared an interim re- space. Ilookforwardtocontinuingourdisport for the Harvard community that pro- cussions with the Harvard community, poses preliminary ideas and options for a MayorThomasM.Menino,andtheAllston basic campus and urban framework in AlI- community as we embark upon this shared ston. The report is being shared at the re- endeavor."

quest of President Lawrence H. Summers Theplanningframeworkprocess begun to facilitate conversations in the coming by Cooper, Robertson and Partners in this months among the Uni- ------------ reportwillbeongoing,and versity community, the will be integrated over

"Harvard has a remarkable

City of Boston and the AlI- time with efforts in acad-

opportunity, not given to most

ston neighborhood. urban institutions, that emic planning, fund rais-

"Over the centuries ing, and cost analysis. The

derives from the foresighted

Harvard has grown and acquisition of Allston lands overall strength and matured as a university. adjacent to its current enter- health of the University

Throughouttime,howev- prises there. This land offers will determine the ulti-

er, the University has re- Harvard the possibility of mate pace of development

mained one community, envisioning and realizing and growth in Allston.

joined by the commit- opportunities that support its The interim report

ment to excellence in core activities - education contains choices that

teaching and research and scholarship - that it could help create a green,

that is our core mission. could not otherwise achieve. vibrant and welcoming Harvard in Allston will Harvard also has the opportu- addition to the Harvard maintain this tradition. It nity, in close partnership with will be a multifaceted and its Allston neighbors and the completely integral ex- City of Boston, to plan com-

prehensively for a large and

tension ofthe University important but under-utilized

and its work;" said Presi- ar f th c·t f B t "

ea 0 elY 0 os on.

dent Summers.

'We have an extraordinary opportunity to enhance the size and scope of our traditional endeav-


This Allston of tomorrow could enhance the social and economic vitality of the area. Trucks and traffic could make room for scientists, neighborhood residents, professors of education, public health and business, and graduate and undergraduate students creating a vibrant engaging intellectual community.

- Alexander Cooper, Partner, Cooper, Robertson and Partners

ors, to broaden our intellectual horizons, and to enrich Boston and Allston by the

Asphalt on existing industrial properties owned by Harvard could be transformed to landscaped lawns, walkways, and bike paths. New academic buildings that respect Harvard's architectural traditions while embracing design innovation could create a campus character compatible with the surrounding community. Arts andculture could draw campus and community to new shared places and open spaces.

"We are involved in a process to show what is possible," said David McGregor, managing director for Cooper, Robertson and Partners. "Our role IS to provide the University with physical choices and ultimately to give Harvard a planning framework to guide decisions going forward."

"It is clear that Allston will be a success if it is an extension of the University, not an enclave unto itself," added McGregor. "There is so much potential here, potential to enrich the academic community that connects with the existing campus, potential to create vibrant space that the University and neighborhood share."

The ideas presented include a variety of infrastructure improvements and transportation possibilities that better link areas of Harvard's campus, potential new river crossings, pedestrian and bicycle paths, and recommendations for open space and public places that can be shared with the Allston neighborhood.

The report also presents site concepts for the academic options that were devel-




oped by the Allston Faculty Task Forces last year.

Cooper, Robertson and Partners was hired in 2004 not to design buildings, but to develop a strategic physical framework plan for Harvard'sAllstonland thatwillaccommodate the University's academic aspirations and needs over at least the next 50 years. When completed, the framework will include a street and block plan, open space and landscape layout, proposed

(Continued on next page)

Allston: Interim report 2005


(Continued from previous page) transportation system improvements and a necessary infrastructure network, potential building locations, and it will present appropriate intersections for shared activities between the University and the North Allston community.

The consultants have spent the past year analyzing information and listening to thoughts and concerns about future development from a range of audiences, ineluding the University, Mayor Menino and the City of Boston, and the North Allston community. The Master Planning.Advisery Committee of faculty, administrators and students has been meeting monthly to advise University leadership on planning issues and to guide the Cooper planning team to ensure preliminary planning is in sync with academic needs and aspirations.

A program vision to guide next phase of planning

In order to test the preliminary frame" work elements explored in the report, the Cooper team used a set of academic planning assumptions drawn from 1) discussions among Schools and departments, 2) the new recommendations proposed by the Science and Technology Task Force this spring pointing to science as an early priority, and 3) previous planning, including the ideas and recommendations of Allston faculty task forces on science and technology, undergraduate life, professional schools, culture, housing and transportation presented last year.

The assumptions do not represent a set plan. They reflect a potential first phase




":..:..';. J

The report suggests four options for improving transportation.

. program elements for Allston intended to facilitate ongoing planning discussions among the Harvard community. Tne assumptions are also a tool to help the consultants consider the long-range potential for Harvard's Allston land and possible phasing strategies. The possible building program identified in the report includes:

• two 500,000 square foot science buildings

• new sites for the School of Public Health and Graduate School of Education and room for them to grow

• four undergraduate houses along the river

• new and expanded athletic facilities

• graduate housing coupled with community housing to help the University meet its overall goal of housing 50 percent of graduate students and to help the

Schools meet their individual housing goals, while relieving pressure on the local housing market

• an undergraduate student center

• a graduate student center

• spaces for cultural activities, including museums and theaters to complement and supplement activities in Cambridge

• a conference center

• retail stores that create a place where campus and neighborhood intersect and • support services, such as security, administrative support space, child care and parking

As academic, cultural, residential and civic needs are further clarified and defined through ongoing consultation, the University can draw on its land parcels in Allston to accommodate those needs. According to the report, much of the land is

For the full report:

encumbered with railroad easements and deed restrictions. While this poses a challenge for development over the long term, the report notes that early projects can be accommodated on land that is readily available after city and state permitting requirements are met.

. The report concludes that maximum flexibility in use, configuration and subdivision of building parcels is needed as Harvard anticipates program aspirations and space needs over the next several decades.

Transportation: Improved connectivity for Harvard's campus

"Good connectivity is such a vital part of the success of development in Allston ... "Cooper, Robertson and Partners Interim Report (p.10)

Harvard's campus, including Allston, would be tied together by a transportation system that could include changed roadway patterns, increased shuttle or other mass transit service, and enhanced pedestrian and bicycle pathways.

The options developed by Cooper, Robertson and Partners not only seek to bring different parts of Harvard's campus closer together, but also to bring improvements to the ways people in the community enter and exit Allston.

One option would create a new access

(Continued on next page)

A message from President Summers

(Continued from Page 1)

While the effort led by CRP remains a work in progress, it has now reached the point where existing site conditions have been closely analyzed, where various physical options are taking shape, and where wider and more systematic input from across Harvard will be vital to identifying the best ways forward. To this end, the CRP team has begun to explore some early ideas in a series of meetings involving members of the Allston community, City of Boston officials, and key University groups. The latter process has advanced through discussions with the deans; through periodic meetings with the 24-member Master Planning Advisory Committee that includes faculty, administrators, and students from across Harvard; through a set of workshops with all the members of the Allston task forces (comprising about 80 individuals from different parts of the University); and, most recently, with the FAS Faculty Council. These consultations will broaden and intensify next year, to draw in a wider circle of interested faculty and others.

For now, given the widespread interest in the planning effort and the importance of ensuring that decisions are taken with the fullest range of perspectives, I am taking the opportunity to share with you the interim report prepared by the CRP team. I will not try to summarize its content here, but only to say that it reflects a great deal of good work, and that it is intended to inform a continuing conversation - within the University as well as with our neighbors - in which I hope many of you will take part.

We commissioned this work by CRP in order to help the Harvard community develop a better idea of the physical potential in Allston for realizing our aspirations. A robust plan will best be achieved through an iterative process in which these academic and physical concepts inform one another.

Concurrently, there have been some notable developments in program planning. Principal among them has been the work of the task force on science and technology, including key faculty from the life sciences and physical sciences in the F AS, from the Medical School, and from the School of Public Health. In April, this task force issued its second report, resulting from a process in which faculty from across the sciences submitted more than 70 proposals for innovative, interdisciplinary initiatives.

While the task force's considerations were not confined to Allston, the report identified a number of undertakings for which new and flexibly-designed space in Allston might provide an especially suitable home. The report also reinforced the sense that a number of the most promising initiatives are poised to

move forward promptly, and that they would benefit from being part of the first phase of eventual Allston development. The full text of this report appears at,

It is vital that we continue to advance our planning with similar focus and care for the other major programmatic areas that may be part of our Allston development. With this in mind, I anticipate that long- range academic planning will be receiving concentrated attention within both the School of Public Health and the Graduate School of Education. In addition, a new advisory committee on arts and culture will begin work this fall, and will take as a central part of its mandate the development of more defined plans for artistic and cultural activities in Allston, in consultation with relevant deans, department chairs, and program directors. Other challenging program questions are posed in a number of other areas, including new housing for undergraduates and graduate students, the reconfiguration and enhancement of our athletics facilities, and a possible mixed-use conference center. These, too, will benefit from progressively refined consideration as we move forward.

Given the scope, complexity, and time horizon involved, planning for Allston will remain a continuing exercise. In the coming academic year we will think carefully about how best to integrate these early physical planning ideas with the overall planning of the Schools and the community, as well as about issues of cost and feasibility. Crucial to that end will be a more structured set of opportunities for faculty and others across the University and the City to hear about emerging ideas and options, to contribute their own thoughts, and to help us ensure that the choices before us will reflect the best long-term interests of Harvard and our neighbors. Work will proceed during the summer, and we will schedule a series of appropriate meetings in the fall. Meanwhile, I hope that you will take the time to review the materials from the CRP planning team and to offer your thoughts.

With many thanks, and all best wishes,


Lawrence H. Summers


Allston: Interi

Allston planning discussions facilitated by new report's ideas and concepts

bycreatingsafe and pleasantpedestrian and bicycle paths while minimizing additional traffic; using less water and recycling more; creating diverse, abundant, and publicly accessible green spaces; optimizing utilitysys-

tems; and improving air

quality by minimizing emissions of greenhouse gases, particulates, and toxiccbemicals." (p. 16)

Harvard's Allston land today consists of a series of parcels, some contiguous, others not, that are largely industrial and paved with asphalt. The report imagines academic buildings framed by landscaped lawns, new open spaces and interweavingpathwaysforpedestrians and bicycles that connect campus and community to the river and beyond.

A canal and pond system in the Athletics area is one idea proposed by the planningteam.

This concept would handlesurfacewater and ease the burden on city utilities while improving athletics fields _ Cooper Interim Report, and Smith Field and provid-

executive summary ing a place where students and neighborhood residents can skate and play hockey in the wintertime and walk be-

(Continued from previous page)

from the I -90 ramp at the end of a new "Allston Boulevard," allowing many to bypass completely the congested intersection at the Doubletree Hotel, where Cambridge Street, Soldiers Field Road, and an

off-ramp to the Massachu-, setts_ Turnpike all converge:

David McGregor said that, with other proposed roadway changes, such a plan would amount to a "breakthrough" in terms oflocal transportation issues.

The interim report also presented several options to tie Harvard in Allston to Cambridge, as well as to the Longwood Medical Area

In the short term, the report explores easing traffic along the corridor formed by JFK Street, the Larz Anderson Bridge and North Harvard Street by eliminating parking along North Harvard Street, which would clear the way for improved shuttle transportation and dedicated bicycle paths.

These changes, as well as proposed enhancements to the Larz Anderson Bridge, would add two travel lanes

and also provide expanded ---- _

pedestrian areas.

In the longer term, however, the report notes that other transit solutions will have to besought.

As the Allston campus grows, it will be importantto be able to move more people more quickly between Cambridge and other parts ofthearea.

The interim report describes several options, including refurbishing the Weeks Footbridge to carry pedestrian, bicycle and shuttletrafficorpossiblyaddinganewrivercrossing in the form of a new bridge or a tunnel

With foot and bicycle traffic an important part of any college's life, the progress report suggests dedicated bicycle paths, separated from walking paths, to facilitate transport back and forth between Allston and Cambridge. An underground network of tunnels might provide all-weather passage among Allston buildings.

Better transportation to Harvard's Longwood campus is also critical, the report says, and Allston's location will allow for faster, more direct shuttle service than is currently offered from Cambridge, an important factor in tying together medical and public health functions that could potentially be located at both campuses. As preferred transportation concepts are identified and considered, the report notes, public participation, includingneighborhood, City and regulatory agencies, would be required.

"This first year of exploration reflects a focus on concepts for meeting the academic needs for growth and innovation.

As we develop a better understanding of these needs, future planning steps will begin to weave these ideas togethe~ with wider community goals, as articulated in the North Allston Neighborhood Strate-

gic Plan (NANSP).

While many challenges lie ahead, the planning effort has already confirmed that the University's prop-

erty in Allston can meet Harvard's expected academic needs, and can strongly benefit the neighborhood, the City, and the

Transformation: From truck yards to green campus

"WecanhelpAllstonbecomeamorevital, environmentally friendly and inviting place


side during other seasons. The report proposes a number of possible elements for the Allston campus open space system.

"Allston needs more and improved green spaces, and better access to them," the report notes. (p. 13)

Twenty-foot wide pedestrian and bike systems along North Harvard could help keep pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles apart. Bridge enhancements along the Larz Anderson Bridge, such as an expanded pedestrian area, shelters and kiosks, would improve the walk between Cambridge and Allston; the Cooper team proposes several options for consideration.

Additional traffic lights or even depressing portions of Soldiers Field Road would provide better access to the river, a valuable benefit to Allston and Cambridge residents, as well as to the Harvard community. The Allston development would also result in additional landscaping along neighborhood streets, offering an improved boulevard-like experience for area neighbors and the academic community.

The Allston development will adhere to the Harvard-wide sustainability principles adopted last fall. Those principles commit the University to enhancing the health of surrounding ecosystems, as well increasing energy efficiency and minimizing emissions of greenhouse gases, among others.

Common space: Where University and neighborhood meet

"One of Harvard's goals is to create a neighborhood that, north ofI-90, is a place






The Cooper planning team report envisions a number of potential improvements to

where the institution and the community meet in a way that enhances both." (p. 15)

The report notes the potential for commonspaces in Harvard's future development and highlights the benefitthiswould bring to both campus and neighborhood. It notes, however, that this will require taking care.

"Care must be taken at the seams: where the residential community and the Harvard lands meet," the report notes (p. 17) "there must be a complementary relationship between to day's and tomorrow's buildings to enhance the beauty and vitality of both the University campus and the North Allston Neighborhood."

Lower-scale buildings and uses such as

graduate student and Harvard-affiliated housing, as well as community housing, could be the kinds of campus edge development that would be compatible with the North Allston community.

The Allston development would also include common spaces for campus and community. The report envisions places where civic, cultural andretailactivities engage both students and neighbors.

Housing for both graduate students and community residents could also provide common space. Barry's Corner at North Harvard Street and Western Avenue and McNamara Concrete are noted as logical locations for uses that serve both the University and the community, and traffic

report 2005



tyto Harvard, some options consider the site as Harvard's property and others do not.

Robust consultation within the University community and with Harvard's Allston neighbors and Boston's leadership will help move forward Harvard's future campus plans as all parties embark on a shared future.

• locations and sizes for the science programs

• locations and sizes for SPH and GSE

• locations and specifications for cultural uses

• locations for civic, retail and supportuses • locations for undergraduate houses

along the river

• locations for graduate housing

• preferred new river crossings

• possible depression of parts of Soldiers Field Road

• whether major academic areas should feel like a "Yard" or should be a collection of individual buildings within an urban grid • architectural vocabulary as Allston evolves

along Windom Street could be quieted.

Concepts similar to these in the report have been the subject of discussions during the development of the North Allston Neighborhood Strategic Plan, a recent community-based planning effort between the North Allston neighborhood, the City of Boston and Harvard.

In the report, the Cooper team models various options for Barry's Corner including three options for cultural activities and others for academic buildings that would include retail or community space at the ground level.

Because discussions are ongoing between Charlesview Apartments and Harvard about the possible sale of the Charlesview proper-

Next steps: Using knowledge gained to advance planning

The Cooper, Roberston progress report closes with a series of potential academic and related program priorities that should be addressed broadly in consultation and discussions during the next phase of study beginning in the fall:

University science subject of faculty task force recommendations

A faculty task force highlighted scientific needs and opportunities at Harvard, recommending in April that the . University support fundamental sci-

entific and global health initiatives.

The Harvard University Task Force on Science and Technology engaged Harvard scientists in a discussion regarding the future of science at a time of rapid change. The task force also found that strengthening current scientific research programs is critical to maintain a strong core of scientific activities,

The report recommended locating initiatives on the Environment, on

. Quantum Science and Engineering, a portion of the initiative on Systems Neuroscience, and a portion of the Engineering initiative in the North Yard in Cambridge. The task force recommended that Chemical Biology, Innovative Computing, Stem Cells, Systems Biology, parts of the Engineering initiative, Microbial Sciences, the Origins of Life, Global Neglected Diseases, Global Health, Quantitative Health and Social Science, and Health Policy all be located in Allston during three phases of development.

The report recommends initiatives on Translational Immunology and Translational Biomedicine take space in Longwood, on the Massachusetts General Hospital campuses, orat other locations. The task force report can be found on the Provost's Office Web page at

'First Thoughts' will guide Allston development

While still in the preliminary stages of planning, Harvard has already determined that future buildings will respect the University's traditional architecture and build on those traditions while allowing for design innovation.

This is just one aspiration among many outlined in the "First Thoughts from Harvard's Allston Planning Team:' a series of physical observations and program and policy aspirations that will guide planning for a future campus.

A living document that will evolve with planning, "First Thoughts" is based on many discussions amongvarious stakeholders, including the Harvard community, neighbors in North Allston, city officials and representatives from public agencies.

This document is designed to ensure that Harvard's Allston development results in an intellectually invigorating, physically graceful and livable place - a place that responds to academic needs, offers a shared experience for the neighborhood and brings physical development that becomes an asset to Allston and the City of Boston.

To read the "First Thoughts" document, go to


Allston: Interim report 2005

The Cooper plan envisions green spaces replacing the asphalt lots that exist today.

Allston options would transform asphaltlots

Creating a green, vibrant place

The Allston Initiative Web site is located at The Allston Initiative is committed to keeping the Harvard community and its neighbors informed about what is going on in Allston. Visit the site to learn more about Allston, current events, and the vision for Harvard's development. Send your thoughts and reactions to

Imagine a warm summer night in the not too distant future, strolling along a canal in Allston as the cheers of parents at a neighborhood baseball game reach your ears from not far away.

Imagine continuing your relaxing walk, north along a grassy pathway toward the Charles River. You barely notice the noise from cars passing under your feet as the path takes you over a sunken Soldiers Field Road.

You walk to the river's edge where a family of ducks float a few feet from shore, while members of Harvard's crew push their long, slender boat gracefully past. They row around a bend in the river leaving you momentarily alone. Now it's decision time:

Do you walk up river, or down river?

Harvard's Allston planning firm, Cooper, Robertson and Partners has been doing a lot of imagining over the past school year.

Their interim report includes options that would advance the University's commitment to sustainable development as they transform Allston's industrial lands into a place with more plants, more fields, more trees, and better access to them.

All that greenery could be interwoven with new, striking water features. Cooper, Robertson and Partners propose a canal or pond that will not only create a unique sense of place, but also help to manage problematic storm water and drain soggy Harvard playing fields and the community's Smith Field.

Though the Cooper, Robertson interim report presents options, not concrete plans, Harvard officials are confident that their plans will help result in a greening of Allston.

That greening will occur in two senses, both a visual one, as asphalt is replaced with the lawns and plantings that will accompany Harvard buildings, and in an environmental one, as the University's development is guided by the sustainability principles adopted last October.

While it is premature to talk about specific building plans and features, it is nevertheless apparent that, when it comes to its existing asphalt parking lots and current industrial uses, the neighborhood will be changing.

"We're talking about the transforming asphalt to a green and lively landscape," McGregor said. "We're going to try, wherever we can, to make pathways sheltered with trees, with evergreens."

The options unveiled in the report will encourage walking and biking as part of an integrated transportation system that will also feature mass transit links to

Staff photo Kris Snibbe/Harvard News Office Seventy·five trees recently were planted along North Harvard Street in an effort to improve the look and feel around Harvard property in Allston. The trees and other landscape improvements are the first in a series of Harvard·funded community enhancements and programs that were announced by the city of Boston and Harvard University this past winter.

Cambridge and Longwood, as well as improved automobile access to the area.

One option would create a dedicated bicycle lane on North Harvard Street to reserve sidewalks for pedestrians' while another would create indoor space on the Lars

Anderson bridge to encourage walkers and bikers by sheltering them from the weather - perhaps even creating space for kiosks to serve coffee and snacks to pedestrians.

Other options would reconnect Allston with what is perhaps its greatest natural resource: the Charles River. With busy Soldiers Field Road cutting the neighborhood off from the river and the substantial parkland lining it, Cooper, Robertson and Partners examined a variety of options, including one thatwould depress portions of Soldiers Field Road at two sites, near the Weeks Footbridge and the Newell Boat House.

McGregor said that incorporating environmentally sustainable designs into buildings is a task for the next phase of planning, but said there has been some consideration of building orientation into this framework phase, with the understanding that proper sitingwill allow buildings to maximize their south facing in order to take advantage of the sun's warmth, particularly in the winter months and to shade in the summertime.

The Allston development - this phase and those in the future - will be guided by Harvard's six sustainability principles, adopted in October 2004. The principles commit the University to being a responsible environmental steward and to exhibiting that stewardship in its development planning and building operations, in Allston and elsewhere.

Harvard already has taken many steps to reduce its negative impact on the environment, including increasing its trash recyclingrate, running its entire fleet of diesel vehicles on cleaner-burning bio-diesel fuel, and becoming one of the nation's largest university purchasers of renewable energy.

"Operating our campus in an environmentally sustainable way is not only the right thing to do as a citizen and neighbor, it is also an economically sound way to conduct our business," President Summers said when the principles were announced.

As a part of the implementation of the principles, asustainability consultant is working with Cooper, Robertson and Partners as they develop guidelines for future development of Harvard's Allston sites. Those principles ensure that, though many decisions remain ahead, the area will certainly change.

"A metamorphosis is required," the report says, "to a green, welcoming, environmentally-conscious area of the campus that ties seamlessly with athletics and the Business School, and is a good neighbor to Allston residents."

Allston: Interim report 2005


The report presents three different ideas for grouping science buildings.

Academic planning to continue


as ideas explored and discussed

While a framework for the Allston campus takes shape over the next year, academic planning will also evolve as concepts are debated and new ideas are proposed by Harvard faculty, students and staffin the coming months.

"We've learned a great deal over the last two years about students' and faculty members' aspirations for our Allston land," saidProvostStevenE. Hyman. "But there's much more work to be done: listening to campus and community, identifying and prioritizing projects and activities, and developing more textured programmatic plans for these projects. This must be a community-wide effort if we are to build upon Harvard's strengths and address our needs for decades to come."

"Planning for a such a complex project is always an iterative process," said Cooper's David McGregor. "Exploring different ideas and having a range of people experience them will help inform the next series of decisions as the University progresses toward the goal of creating a vibrant built environment where people live, work, and play. As Harvard moves forward, this back and forth will help the U niversi ty to imagine its shared future."

Broad consultation will continue in the fall, building on these planniug as- _ sumptions:

Science in Allston

Over the past year, science has grown as a particular priority for Allston and the University as a whole.

In April, the Science and Technology TaskForce, including scientists from Harvard Medical School, the School of Public Health and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, as well as faculty from Harvard Business School, released a set of recommendations for emerging interdisciplinary science initiatives at Harvard in Cambridge, Longwood, and Allston.

New and emerging fields in the sciences are evolving rapidly. If promising areas of new scientific inquiry, such as the Stem Cell Institute, are to advance life-saving research, then new facilities to support those initiatives are an urgent need. If Harvard is to remain at the forefront of the sciences, new interdisciplinary fields that bring the life sciences together with the physical sciences, engineering, and mathematics, will require the new kinds of space that Allston can provide.

Based on the opportunities that exist and the plans of the Harvard faculty for research and teaching, the Science and Technology Task Force recommended a first science building of 500,000 square feetto be followed by an adjacent 500,000 square feet of research and teaching space. Because the process of selecting an architect is a long one, a building committee has been formed to begin the process with the support of a design group and will continue program planning.

Provost Hyman will be consulting with science departments and other faculties about program ideas and possible sites throughout the fall.

Culture and the arts

Studies to date have pointed to arts and culture as critical to the Allston campus experience, valuable for curricular and academic opportunities and a benefit to the broader community. Last year the subcommittee on culture of the Allston Life Task Force identified major issues facing the University's museums and performing and visual arts programs and their related academic departments, and discussed options for meeting their needs.

The subcommittee recommended several steps for further study, which are currently ongoing, including:

• An assessment of the arts physical facilities at Harvard, including an inventory of existing Harvard arts spaces and analysis of their utilization.

• A benchmark analysis of comparable arts facilities at other institutions.

As these studies are completed, further planning and evaluation ofpossible sites will occur over the coming months.

Building on the work of the Allston Life Task Force, a working group of faculty and campus cultural leaders will begin to develop more specific proposals based on the analyses of the task force. Associate Provost and Director of Cultural Programs Sean Buffington will help organize these planning efforts.

New homes for Graduate School of Education and School of Public Health

The Allston planning assumptions proposed by President Lawrence H. Summers in October 2003 point to the possibility of Allston as a new home for the Graduate School of Education (GSE) and parts of the School of Public Health (SPH). Both Schools are developing their own strategic plans for Allston. As these take form, initial site concepts developed by the Cooper, Robertson team show the potential for new and larger homes for the SPH, with appropriate interaction with science, and the GSE with an appropriate adjacency to the Harvard Business School and other program elements, as well as room for further growth for both in the longer term.

The Schools have expressed an interest in exploring possible common facilities and programs among the graduate programs in Allston. An example is a possible graduate student center, or combined technical support facilities. These ideas will be explored further in academic planning and in the Cooper, Robertson framework planning process.

Undergraduate life in Allston

The Task Force on Undergraduate Life found last year that linking undergraduate life to Harvard's future in Allston would advance new academic and programmatic opportunities for stu-

(Continued on next page)

Three options for professional schools are offered in the report. The options are contingent on the outcome of negotiations with Charlesview Apartments.


Allston: Interim report 2005

Th~ report suggests three different options for cultural facilities. The options are contingent on the outcome of negotiations with Charlesview Apartments.

Academic 'planning to con~Jnue as ideas explored and discussed

(Continued from previous page) critical for Schools striving to attract and J define the key design issues that will help tion and, to the extent possible, predict dents and bring enhancements to cul- retain leading students and scholars, hut ensure an integrated public realm and a space needs far into the future. But as tural, artistic, and athletic activities. also for the cities of Cambridge and complementary grouping of buildings. Harvard develops a vision to accommo-

Although decisions have not been Boston. By providing more homes for Thesepreliminaryconceptswillbeshared' date its academic and programmatic made regarding undergraduate houses in students, local leaders believe area insti - broadly among various groups in the fall. needs, such concepts will be woven to-

Allston or their location, the Cooper, tutions can help relieve pressure on the The Cooper, Robertson planning gether with wider community goals.

Robertson team was asked to explore local housing markets. process acknowledges that program and Creating a shared environment that

"what if" concepts for four possible new Taking such housing needs into consid- space needs change over time, and that preserves and enhances the surrounding houses at the river's edge, as well as pos- eration, the Cooper, Robertson team de- sites are developed at different points in community is an important goal that has sible sites for a student center to serve un - veloped several concepts for possible sites. time. To help guide planning in its vari - been articulated in the "First Thoughts" dergraduates. New and expanded athlet- These concepts willbe further refined over ous stages, the Cooper Robertson team guidelines for Allston and in the North ic facilities that would provide increased the next year as discussions with faculty is working with Harvard to develop de- Allston Neighborhood Strategic Plan, a capacity and enhanced programming are and staffand representatives from the sur- sign guidelines that will ensure the in- community-planning effort that has enalso under study by the Cooper Robert- rounding communities progress. Input tegrity of the framework plan and har- gaged representatives from North AlIson team. Feedback from the Harvard from students andfacultyhasbeen and will mony among adjacent sites, and leave ston, the City of Boston and Harvard over

community and North Allston neighbors continue to be invaluable. flexibility to accommodate program the past four years. Harvard has been an

over the coming months will help ad- shifts, tenant preferences, and architec- active participant in the development of

vance concepts for undergraduate facili- Planning for Allston's physical realm tural expression as these components community goals and aspirations for

ties in Allston. develop over time. Harvard in Allston.

The Cooper, Robertson team has de- These draft design guidelines, which In addition to participation in the

veloped initial concepts that would will be shared with the Harvard commu- North Allston Neighborhood Strategic frame a sense of place for the Allston nity for comment, will guide the work of Plan, several recent Harvard-sponcampus, including street and block pat- architects as projects emerge. The delin- sored community meetings have offered tern, open spaces and special places, eationof"FirstThoughts" collected from a forum for neighborhood residents transportation and roadways. various constituencies (see sidebar Page and city representatives to express

Some of these concepts are more fully 5) describes the purpose and importance their hopes and concerns about future developed than others because the vari- of this effort: "The architecture and spa- development. This important dialogue ous underlying program elements are in tial organization of an institution must will continue as ideas and concepts for different stages of development and at an facilitate the teaching and research en- an academic campus in Allston are early stage of engagement with the broad- terprise, portray the institution's acade- sharpened and move toward a final er community. The Cooper Robertson mic mission, and enhance the quality of framework.

team will provide initial concepts for life on the campus." As planning progresses, decisions

building configuration and open space to about Allston as a shared place, a place

Integration with community goals that engages both the University community and the neighborhood of which it is part, will be a critical component of that finalframeworkplan and each future project in Allston. Harvard will propose and present a range of ideas for the Allston community and the City of Boston's consideration as the process progresses.

Graduate and affiliated housing

There is broad agreement among the University community that more graduate, professional and junior faculty housing is needed to accommodate pressing needs and that housing is needed soon. The University overall has a goal to house 50 percent of its graduate and professional school students and individual Schools are striving to meet their own goals.

Such housing in an expensive and tight local housing market is not only

Harvard's academic needs and programmatic aspirations drive Allston planning.

For this reason this initial phase of planning has focused on concepts that meet academic needs, facilitate innova-

The report offers four options for new undergraduate houses.

Options for graduate student and faculty housing. The options are contingent on the outcome of negotiations with Charlesview Apartments.

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