Wednesday, December 26, 2007

M.I.T. In J.P.

This is an interesting what-if... what if M.I.T. had moved to Jamaica Plain?

Boston Daily Globe July 17, 1903

Tech's Plans.

Institute is Casting About for a Home.

Cassidy Estate, Watertown Looked at Favorably.

It Contains 2,500,000 Feet, Fronts the Charles.

Plot in Jamaica Plain Also Taken Under Consideration.

There is little doubt that it is not the intention of of trustees of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to enlarge the present buildings at Copley sq, as has been frequently asserted, for the board has for several months past been casting about in search of a suitable location upon which to remove.

One site in particular is said to have caused Pres Prichett to remark that it is what he desires, and this location has several times been inspected, the last time less than a month ago, when a party of 22 went to an estate in Watertown in a special electric car and spent some time in looking over the ground.

It was in connection with this particular site that a well-known real estate dealer was called in to make a proper valuation for the benefit of the trustees. The trustees are also said to be considering the choice of a plot consisting of about 30 acres in Jamaica Plain, and they have also looked over the land in Cambridge owned by the Charles River Embankment company.

The reason held out as to why nothing has yet been done in the matter of some one of these three locations is that financially the institution is unable to come to direct business until after after the sale of the present site supplies it with sufficient funds to purchase a location elsewhere.

It is claimed that it is the desire of the trustees of the institute to locate on the banks of the Charles river in a spot removed from the noise and roar of city traffic, and yet within easy access of the city. Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge and other famous universities are located on the banks of rivers, thus affording the students opportunities for recreation as well as adding to the beauty of the site.

[skip boring Watertown talk]

Rumor has for some time had it that the trustees of the institute were to remove to a plot at Jamaica Plain, and it has even been said that a bond was given as proof of good faith on the part of the trustees. This plot is bounded by Jamaica way, Lakeville pl, Perkins and Centre sts. It contains about 30 acres and is known as the old Curtis farm. In connection with this property Charles F. Curtis makes the statement that he has never in any way been approached by the trustees of M.I.T. or by any agent for them.

The land over in Cambridge is known as a fine location for such a purpose, although not generally considered as desirable as the other two mentioned.

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