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The Forces that Will Shape the Future of Harvard Square

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The Forces that Will Shape the Future of Harvard Square

  1. 1. My Freshman Year Dorm Harvard Square Around the T The mixed use of retail spaces 4D MOVIE Church St THEATER Palm HARVARD UNIVERSITY GROW YOUR OWN FOOD BAR er S t Brattle St. START- UP BOSTON LABS CELL PHONE FREE CAFE THE WORLDBy Albert Ching | MIT Masters of City Planning Candidate, 2012 | Intro to Urban Design and Development Assignment #1Source: Google Maps Aerial View of Harvard Square. Retrieved October 24, 2011 from Google Maps website: www.maps.google.com
  2. 2. 1898 2009 1996 1990s 1958Source: Albert Ching. Taken October 15, 2011 in Harvard Square
  3. 3. HYPOTHESIS In many ways, Harvard Square Asia around the T is a leading indicator of how many of the most important places in the world have and will The World evolve into the future. It was put on the map by a great institution, Internet connected to the local world Historic MIT outside by transit investments and inextricably linked to the global Harvard world by the internet. While forces retail form like nostalgia may attempt to Harvard preserve not just the form but alsoFixed street S q u a r e University the uses of the space, the power of retail economics will likely keep its grid a r o u n d uses attentive to a rapidly Tran changing clientele. That clientele t h e T spo will be a increasingly Asian, both rt Nostalgia Boston tech savvy and tech wary, inclined Retail to recycle as much as to consume, and will make more of their Economics purchases through the smartphone than at a cash Digital technologies register. While the physical form of the Square will remain largely the same, digital technologies will redraw the boundaries etched by the founders of Newtowne almost 400 years ago.
  4. 4. PAST | 1631s to 1950s | An original, transit-oriented developmentPRESENT | 1950s – today | Retail economics overpowers nostalgiaFUTURE | Today and beyond | The mixed use of retail spaces
  5. 5. THE PAST An original transit-oriented, development 3! 1631 – 1950’s 1910s Opening of subway Harvard Streetcar & Subway Transport 4! Retail Association 1911 Despite the growing prominence of Harvard, the Square was a sleepy village for Creation of Harvard almost 300 years. It wasn’t until the electrification of the horsecar and later the Square addition of a prominent subway line in the late 1800s which significantly increased 2! Businessman’s commuter traffic and started the development of the retail square that we know Association today. An original transit-oriented development, the Square was not left to market 1880s forces but its retail character was scripted intentionally by business owners and Electrification of Harvard itself (something that MIT should be doing for Kendall Square today). the horsecar1! 1631 Founding of Harvard Square by Massachusetts Bay Colony; original street grid lay 1636 Founding of Harvard University
  6. 6. Original Harvard Square Street Grid, 1635 Overlayed with Current Google Maps Street Grid, 2011 1!Founding ofNewtowne1630sHarvard Square orNewtowne as it wasoriginally called was the firstplanned town in NorthAmerica, chosen by the Dunster St was the principal streetProprietors of the with the first meeting house on the SW corner of Mt. Auburn and the ferryMassachusetts Bay to be landing down souththeir capital in 1631.The street grid establishedin 1631 is still in use today.In 1636, Harvard Universitywas established. Source: Cambridge Historical Commission (1999). Originally appeared in Final Report of the Harvard Square Historic District Study Committee. Retrieved on October 24, 2011 from Cambridge Historical Commission website, Page 1: http:// www2.cambridgema.gov/historic/hsqhistory1.html Route to the sea (or the Charles River) Source (Overlay Image): Google Maps View of Harvard Square. Retrieved October 24, 2011 from Google Maps website: www.maps.google.com
  7. 7. Harvard Square Streetcar Station Postcards, 1900s-1920’s 2!Electrification Diagram of Harvard Square Streetcar Routesof the horsecar1880s-1910sThe electrification of thehorsecar, also know as thestreetcar, transformed HarvardSquare from a purely local to aregional destination. As a majorinterchange point for 5 suburbantowns, the Square would take inup to 20,000 commuters on itsbusiest summer Sundays.That congestion on the surface is Source: Albert Ching. Drawn on October 18, 2011what would precipitate the needfor the next transportinvestment. Look, there were automobiles back then too! Source: eBay. Retrieved on October 24, 2011 from eBay website: http://www.ebay.com/itm/ CAMBRIDGE-MA-Harvard-Square-Old-Postcard-/350489888717? _trksid=p4340.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DSIC%26its%3DI%252BC%26itu%3DUCI%252BIA %252BUA%252BIEW%252BFICS%252BUFI%26otn%3D15%26pmod%3D200530005650%26ps %3D63%26clkid%3D3669084619401838596#ht_1252wt_1265
  8. 8. 3! Harvard Square Rapid Transit Station, 1927Here comes thesubway1910s Harvard Square Subway Opening Headline, 19112 Takes 9-10The Harvard Square subway line minutes todaywas started in 1909 and completedin 1911 at a cost of $11.75 milliondollars ($275 million dollars today).Interestingly, Harvard Squareretailers feared that the new transitline to Boston would actually drawaway business from Harvardtowards the other towns inCambridge. (Boy were they wrong!) Source: NY Times (1912, March 24). Cambridge Subway Open. Retrieved onIt was this fear and the new October 24, 2011 from Harvard Square Business Association Archives website:opportunity of thousands of http://www.harvardsquare.com/CMSPages/commuters that would lay the Getfile.aspx?guid=968188c8-b223-4533- ac52-4c73d6d2ecedfoundation for the distinct retailvision that now characterizesHarvard Square. Source: MIT Rotch Visual Collections. (between 1954-1959). Harvard Square Subway Station Entrance. Retrieved on October 24, 2011 from Flickr website: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mit-libraries/3441852660/
  9. 9. First Harvard Square Business 4! Man Association Bulletin, 1911The unique retail Proposal to Build High Rises in the Square That Was Ultimately Defeated, 1968vision1910sThe Harvard Square Business Man’sAssociation was founded in 1911 inresponse to the threat of the subway butthe retail association along with Harvardsaw this moment as an opportunity to Source: Harvard Square Business Men’s Association (1911, April). First Issue. Retrieved on October 24,blend the form of the Square with the 2011 from Harvard Square Business Association Archives website: http://www.harvardsquare.com/fabric of the surrounding university to CMSPages/Getfile.aspx?guid=26c5161f-2953-4e9a-create a unique retail experience. afda-bbc38b07fd10“In an ideal metropolitan area, both the"collegiate square" and the "centre of a Special Harvard Square Zoninghigh-class residence district" should be Overlay Which Limits Heights"quickly reached from the city, but . . . to 60 Feet, Todayquiet in use and appearance”(Cambridge Historical Commission,1999)Since then, any development proposalsto significantly change the character of Source: Cambridge Historical Commission (1999). Originally appeared in Final Report ofthe Square (especially by building up) the Harvard Square Historic District Study Committee. Retrieved on October 24, 2011have been vehemently opposed and from Cambridge Historical Commission website, Page 4: http://www2.cambridgema.gov/ historic/hsqhistory4.htmltoday, Harvard Square is governed byspecial zoning guidelines to preserve its Source: Retrieved on October 24, 2011 from Dept of Cambridge Community Development website: http://historic character. www2.cambridgema.gov/cdd/cp/zng/zmap/ zng_map.html#zomapSource: Cambridge Historical Commission (1999). Originallyappeared in Final Report of the Harvard Square HistoricDistrict Study Committee. Retrieved on October 24, 2011from Cambridge Historical Commission website, Page 1:http://www2.cambridgema.gov/historic/hsqhistory1.html
  10. 10. Retail economics THE PRESENToverpowers nostalgia1950’s - PresentHarvardRetail EconomicsInternetNostalgiaWhile the physical form of the modern Square was largely setdecades before, the retail uses within the Square have evolveddramatically over the past 5 decades. The protest era of the 1960’sand 70’s ushered in a set of utterly distinct retailers – the largestconcentration of independent bookstores in the world, tailors, andtobacco shops.Unfortunately, as the Square has become a prime retail haven, thosesmall shops that have served the community for decades have givenway to a flurry of higher-margin banks, cell phone stores, andnational food chains who serve not just the students on campus butalso a significantly large and growing visitor population.According to the Harvard Crimson, a student newspaper, “Despitethe common misperception, there is no “master puppeteer” runningHarvard Square, and many of the property owners, includingHarvard, do their best to ensure that the Square remains unique. Ifanything, the consumers are responsible for these changes, whichreflect a changed Square customer more than they do a changedepoch” (Harvard Crimson, 2011).Source: Harvard Crimson Staff (2011, May 26). More Than a Square. Retrieved on October 24, 2011from Harvard Crimson website: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/5/26/harvard-square-squares-businesses/
  11. 11. It is becoming a matter of general remark that the economicemphasis is changing; it is shifting from how to make thingsto how to dispose of things that are made so that themachine can be kept in constant operation. The problembefore us today is not how to produce the goods, but how toproduce the customers. Consumptionism is the science ofcompelling men to use more and more things.Consumptionism is bringing it about that the Americancitizens first importance to his country is no longer that ofcitizen but that of consumer. -Samuel Strauss (1870-1953), "Things Are in the Saddle," Atlantic Monthly, Nov 1924 Source: Quotations on Consumerism / Overconsumption. Retrieved on October 24, 2011 from University of St. Thomas website: http://www.stthomas.edu/recycle/consume.htm
  12. 12. Harvard Square, 1963 Harvard Square Then: Catering to the Everyday Student Consumer 1940s-60s 22 RESTAURANTS, MOSTLY AFFORDABLE 7 BOOKSHOPS 1 PICTURE FRAME SHOP 1 MOVIE THEATER SEVERAL BANKS SEVERAL MEN’S CLOTHING STORES ASSORTMENT OF HARDWARE, GROCERY, DRESS, APOTHECARY, & BARBER SHOPS Source: Cambridge Historical Commission (1999). Originally appeared in Final Report of the Harvard Square Historic District Study Committee. Retrieved on October 24, 2011 from Cambridge Historical Commission website, Page 3: http:// www2.cambridgema.gov/historic/hsqhistory3.htmlSource: Lotman, Mo. Harvard Square: An Illustrated History Since 1950. Retrieved on October 24, 2011 from The Boston Phoenixwebsite: http://thephoenix.com/boston/arts/89934-photos-harvard-square-1950s-and-beyond/?page=7#TOPCONTENT
  13. 13. STARBUCKS LFSTORES MINT JULEP BORDER CAFE LOEWS CINEMA BODY SHOP FIRE & ICE DADO TEA TISTIK C’EST BON MARKET IN THE CLUB PASSIM / SQUARE OTTO VEGGIE PLANET CVS BANK OF AMERICA HARVARD COOPHarvard CRIMSON CORNERSquare Now: OUT-OF-TOWN NEWS CITIZEN’S BANK NHigher End ED E STRIA R R TEALUWEET S STARBUCKS RESERVE P RRIDO OUTFATN U B XE PINK BERRY OBoutique TAIL C RUSSELL HOUSE I ER CAMBRIDGE SAVINGS RE T DIC ESS MU S VISION HOUSE BRO KSON DO AU BON PAINRetail Oct THE PAPYRUS R’S PIZZERIA UNO’S2011 CVS ALDO LE FOOT SPORTIF WHI VITAMIN SHOPPE 7 CAFES TNE Y’S LUSH MILLION YEAR LEO 18 FOOD ’S P PICNIC LAC RADIO SHACK E 14 STUDENT RETAIL HUNT’S PHOTO NEWBURY 24 SPECIALTY RETAIL COMICS LA FLAMME VERIZON WIRELESS KOFUKU 3 BANKS AMERICAN EXPRESS SEVEN-ELEVEN 4 TOURIST JOHN HARVARD’S FELIPE’S 4 VACANT AUDIO LAB LE’S RESTAURANT 7 HISTORIC RETAIL (BEFORE 1970) STARBUCKS
  14. 14. Retail can be meaningful(and I’m not saying that just tomake Dennis happy)I spent four of the most formative years of mylife at Harvard as an undergraduate and thesmall shops that dotted the Square becamean integral part of my student life, the context Bikram yoga studioand the cause of many lifelong memories. (formerly office of my first jobThe freshman year convenience store runs to as a web surfer)C’est Bon in 35 below temperatures, Fridayevenings listening to CDs at Tower Records,sharing the blooming onion at Chili’s, latenight tomato basil runs to Pinnochio’s,avoiding slick back hair guy at La Flamme, orhangover smoothie and wraps at the Wrap.Perhaps even the biweekly trips to CVS will hita soft spot in my heart. Great retail does notcome from nowhere – and in the case ofHarvard Square, it arose from very thoughtfulintention from business and communitystakeholders. Source: Albert Ching. Taken October 15, 2011 in Harvard SquareYet, 5 years later when I returned to theSquare, I found myself in unfamiliar territory. As I (hopefully) wrap up my final year Maybe it’s not up to me though. AsThe few retail-heavy blocks that surround the in Cambridge, I am worried that my Gavin Kleepsies, Executive Director ofT station had been the site of significant future return trips will be even more the Cambridge Historical Society notes,change, some documented heavily in The jolting, especially as the the global “Harvard Square is constantly changingCrimson like the closure of treasured marketplace begins to price out the and that’s the constant.” The problemindependent bookstores for much maligned local shops for aspatial brands or for students and residents is, “Everyonecell phone service shops. The office where I concepts tested on a population of wants Harvard Square to remain what itspent my first summer after college as a web- multi-talented, multi-lingual, multi- was when they first saw it.”surfer for a financial services firm had national students increasinglybecome in some strange bizzarro-world way, connected to everyplace andthe location of my bikram yoga practice. ultimately to no place at all (like me).
  15. 15. STARBUCKS BORDER CAFE LOEWS CINEMA FIRE & ICEIf a place disappears fromour memory, does it make asound? What is C’EST BONour role as CLUB PASSIM / VEGGIE PLANET 4 out of 30 placesdesigners CVS in 8 years may notto preserve seem like a lot ofmeaning and turnover-- but FLEET BOSTONmemory? juxtaposed next to an institution that HARVARD COOP has remained firm for almost 400 years, it does. OUT-OF-TOWN NEWS TEA ABERCROMBIE & FITCH URB LUX A E OUT N FINAGLE A BAGLE FITE RS DIC BRO KSON AU BON PAIN THE R’S PIZZERIA UNO’S CVS HERRELL’S ICE CREAM NEWBURY 4 OUT OF BUSINESS TOWER RECORDS COMICS LA FLAMME 26 MEANINGFUL LOCATIONS DEVELOPED SEVEN-ELEVEN from 1999-2003 JOHN HARVARD’S My Harvard Square Map LE’S RESTAURANT Oct 2011 STARBUCKS
  16. 16. IS THIS THE FUTURE? Orchard Ion Singapore’s most desired retail location Source: Albert Ching. Taken July 23, 2011 in Singapore (Of course not.)
  17. 17. HARVARD SQUARE 21002011 Source: Albert Ching. Taken July 23, 2011 in Singapore 2100 Source: Albert Ching. Taken October 15, 2011 in Harvard Square
  18. 18. The mixed use of retail spaces 2011 and beyond 4D The further development of the MOVIE smartphone technologies and Church St THEATER robust online shopping will deemphasize retail spaces as Palm mainly places to makeGROWYOUR OWN er S purchases.FOOD BAR While the physical form of the t Brattle St. Square will look the same, the START- area will become subdivided UP digitally by use along a LABS CELL hundred different lines as PHONE FREE retailers become interested in CAFE blurring the line between peoples’ everyday life and their own brands. THE FUTURE
  19. 19. Everywhere is a Store Source: PSFK Consulting (2011). Future of Retail. Retrieved on October 24, 2011 from SlideShare website: http://www.slideshare.net/PSFK/psfk-presents-future-of-retail-report
  20. 20. Retail Spacesas BrandExperiencesStarbucksReserveThis location opened in2011 is only the 3rd locationin the world (besidesSeattle and Dublin). Itfeatures a coffee bar, extralarge study spaces, and ispacked every hour of theday.Source: Albert Ching. Taken October 15, 2011 in Harvard Square
  21. 21. Retail Spacesas Start-UpSpacesHarvard Harvard’s Recently Created Innovation Lab, 2011Innovation Lab Gordon Jones, director of the Harvard Innovation Lab joked that he “would love nothing more than to blow up a building in Harvard Square and put this building there” (Harvard Crimson, 2011). Source: Miraval, Nathalie & Rebecca Robbins (2011, September 16). Innovation Lab Looks to Help Start-Ups. Retrieved on October 24, 2011 from Harvard Crimson website: http://www.thecrimson.com/ article/2011/9/16/jones-harvards-business-ilab/
  22. 22. Retail Spaces asLive ConcertVenuesBest Buy Source: Retrieved on October 24, 2011 from Best Buy Live website: http://www.liveatbestbuy.com/
  23. 23. Retail Spacesas ProtestSpacesVietnam War Vietnam War Protest in Harvard Square, 1967 Source: Unknown (1967, June 11). Retrieved on October 24, 2011 from SuperStock website: http://www.superstock.co.uk/stock-photos-images/4048-1897
  24. 24. Pinnochio’s Harvard Square Sicilian ArtichokeSicilian PepperoniSome things will hopefully always stay the same.

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