OUR HARVARD SQUARE IS A GROUP OF STAKEHOLDERS WORKING TOWARDS DESIGN EXCELLENCE FOR HARVARD SQUARE AND ENSURING AN OPEN, DIVERSE AND EQUITABLE DESIGN PROCESS.
Started 4 petitions
Finish the Job: Include Harvard Square MBTA Station
HARVARD SQUARE IS AN ICONIC AND IMPORTANT CIVIC SPACE. WITH MORE THAN 12 MILLION PEOPLE VISITING YEARLY, IT IS A PART OF THE LOCAL AND GLOBAL IMAGINATION. UNFORTUNATELY, WE HAVE A BIG PROBLEM. The City of Cambridge and MBTA are in the process of formulating plans to re-design and upgrade the iconic Harvard Square "Out of Town News" kiosk and plaza. This comes at a cost exceeding 7 million dollars of taxpayer money. Harvard Square renovations will affect citizens for months, perhaps years to come during construction. Yet, critically needed upgrades to the MBTA Harvard Square Station head house and entrance have been overlooked and not included in the overall scope of the project. The station is an integral component of the plaza. It is essential that it be incorporated into any plans for this space. The Harvard Square Station, the station with the third highest ridership in the entire MBTA system, is an embarrassment to Cambridge and the region. The "head house" is a rusted eyesore in dire need of replacement with a more befitting and weather-tight structure. Dangerous conditions including the leaking rusted structure, exposed girders, uncovered electrical wires, and the sub-par ADA accessibility beleaguer this "welcome mat" into Cambridge. We Petition the City of Cambridge and the MBTA to complete the job: Immediately expand the scope of the project to include needed, long overdue improvements to the Harvard Square Station and surrounding plaza. Work with the Public, City Council, Consultants and other stakeholders. Allow local merchants, artists and community members to use the Harvard Square Station mezzanine "storefront" space in order to cultivate small businesses and non-profits who cannot afford above-ground retail space in Harvard Square. We look forward to working with you on this immensely important project.
A Taboo on &Pizza's Tattoos
Corporations should not be promoting their brands by tattooing (branding) their employee and client bodies with their corporate logo. This is what the national Pizza Chain, &Pizza is doing. Even worse they publicly label their largely minority employees, “tribe members,” – a term linked to colonialism, according to a commentary offered by Jim Braude on WGBH television news. &Pizza’s corporate branding has crossed the line. We, the undersigned, call on &Pizza to: Abstain from further use of body tattoos in the corporate branding efforts; Desist from referring to employees as “tribe members” or similar terms; Agree to generously contribute to and promote one of the following non-profits addressing racial stereotypes: NAACP, Color of Change, Center for Media Justice, the Southern Poverty Law Center or a similar group.
Bring Back the Harvard Square Theatre and Keep the Spirit of Harvard Square Alive!
Keep the Spirit of Harvard Square Alive!! The Harvard Square Theatre was shuttered on July 8, 2012, and with it a key part of Harvard Square’s vibrancy was lost. The building currently stands abandoned with its luminous history only a memory. Opened in November 1926 as the University Theatre, its lobby faced Mass Avenue, looking straight into the heart of Harvard Square. Its interior was furnished with 1,915 seats and fitted with a 40-foot screen, a balcony with box seats, and a loge section with wicker rocking chairs and velvet cushions. Decorated in a very reserved Italian Renaissance manner, it became well known as an art house, with special screenings and double features, as described in Cinema Treasures and an online essay called “The Lunch Movie.” Major theatre highlights: Alfred Hitchcock’s screening of Torn Curtain; associations with directors Sidney Lumet and Woody Allen; the first live performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Concerts in the Sixties featured performances by David Bowie, Iggy Pop, The Clash, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Joan Baez, and Bruce Springsteen as well as Leonard Bernstein’s famous 1973 lectures (The Unanswered Question) with the “Greatest 5 Minutes in Music Education.” The 1980s saw its entrance moved to Church Street with the lobby becoming a retail space, and the theatre’s interior re-partitioned into four smaller screening areas. The décor is still intact, if now hidden by new construction and dropped ceilings. Urgent: A Policy Order is before the Cambridge City Council pressing the current owner to decide on the theatre’s future within the month. For many of us, keeping this a functioning theatre is key. It would make an ideal mixed use cinema/performance site if even on a smaller scale, a private or collaborative public/non-profit/private endeavor to rejuvenate and enliven Harvard Square during both the daytime and evening hours (with movies, musical performances, and featured lectures). In the current era of Harvard Square commercial blight when soaring rents are forcing out local retailers, we support renovating and re-opening the Harvard Square Theatre as part of broader efforts to: Bring Back the Harvard Square Theatre and Keep the Spirit of Harvard Square Alive!
SUPPORT LANDMARK DESIGNATION FOR THE HARVARD SQUARE KIOSK
For generations, the Harvard Square Kiosk has been the symbol of Harvard Square and one of Cambridge’s most iconic structures. Completed in 1928 as the entry for square’s new subway, the Kiosk has served as a vital Harvard Square landmark for area residents, students, and legions of visitors from around the world. Most recently, the Kiosk has been home to the Out-of-Town News. Our beloved Kiosk is now under threat from Harvard Square Infrastructure Improvements planned with $4.6 million of City of Cambridge public money. The design makeover proposes major changes, including stripping the historic "Kane-Gonic" brickwork wall structure, replacement of window panels with LED-illuminated glass, and the loss of historic iron detailing, woodwork and pendant lighting. In short: we risk losing the Kiosk's most salient characteristics, and thus our shared heritage. The Kiosk was placed on National Register of Historic Places in 1978. However current protections are not enough to save key elements of the building’s historic form and architectural integrity. Granting official Landmark designation now will protect this historic landmark for future generations.