Harvard Square Developer Sets off Opposition Over Historic Park

For Williamson, the changes are not enough.

“Now somebody comes along and wants to put a cheap three-story addition on an already pretty atrocious building,” Williamson said. “If you look at his most recent revised’s not a change really much at all. He’s not getting the message.”

Dhanda is hopeful that his new plans will get approved on Thursday at the Cambridge Historical Commission hearing, after which his next step in development would be to seek a special permit from the Cambridge Planning Board.

“I know some people have opposition to almost any development in Harvard Square, but I think the Historical Committee has commented at the last meeting that they agree this should be a project. And I think that was a major step,” Dhanda said.

However, many activists said they are not completely opposed to development.


“One could imagine a building that would be complimentary,” Williamson said. “This ain’t it.”

Dukakis noted that the height of the proposed addition was prohibitive.

“I think anything beyond one floor would be too much and I’m sure that most of the others are feeling the same way,” Dukakis said.

As the Historical Commission prepares to discuss the addition for the third time, opponents of the project are confident that Dhanda will not get the certificate of appropriateness necessary to move on.

“I think they’d really be going against the tide if they approved it,” G. Pebble Gifford, the former president of the Harvard Square Defense Fund said. “I doubt they’re going to drag it out much more after this.”

—Staff writer Ivan B. K. Levingston can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @IvanLevingston.

—Staff writer Celeste M. Mendoza can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @CelesteMMendoza.


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