Hey, there! Log in / Register

Harvard Square might get more restaurant space as part of Harvard plan to de-uglify alley between the two Coop buildings

Cambridge Day reports the university is looking at new ways to make Palmer Street better. One proposal: Retractable bollards on timers to be raised at key times to keep ride-share drivers out.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 


Ad:


Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

Since the Palmer street building is/was only capable of selling t shirt crap, why don’t they just tear it town and put in a park?

up
14

Always a park with the suburban raised. That's their solution time and time again.

Harvard Square is the city.

You want a park, go up to the Common up the street or down to the river and watch the rowers go by.

Dance around the maypole there and pretend you are Joan Baez at Passim 60 years ago but stop trying to turn the city into the place where a useless gazebo goes.

up
46

I grew up a half mile from Harvard square and only live in Waltham because I can’t afford anything closer. So what exactly do you want your cities to be? A whole bunch of stores that have now moved online? A three story building that sells nothing but t shirts made in China? You’d rather have an empty movie theater that has put its neighbors out of business? How about a nice little park where people can gather over their lunch breaks? What exactly do you want a city to be?

up
24

It's not just one building, it's a half-dozen. A bunch of the storefronts are occupied and productive, so knocking the whole thing down would displace a whole bunch of stuff including Cardullo's, Joe's, Otto, and the liquor store. It's also above the bus tunnel, so demolition would need to coordinate with MBTA and probably take a really long time, disrupting the entire Square for the duration. Unfortunately, while a park may or may not be nice, there are already a bunch of parklets in the area that aren't exactly overused; it's unlikely that a park would justify the significant costs of demolition.

up
14

OK, so we've heard from the person who wants a park, and the bitter old man with a compulsive need to present himself as the defender of some hackneyed imagined Real Boston. Any other suggestions?

Let me save you the trouble of a rebuttal, John: "Ha ha, I was [doing Boston shit] while you were in [wherever you assume I'm from but have never been to because it's outside 128] and therefore [shut up I am the arbiter of all wisdom]."

up
30

 

up
34

No really. Go. (Not You Ron).

up
16

Haven't lived there since I was 4 or 5 years old, and I like it here, despite some of the company.

Seriously dude it's possible to say something like "I think there shouldn't be a park there because there's already a lot of parkland in the area" (and hell, I even agree with that part) without gratuitously adding two paragraphs about how much the original poster sucks. All you're doing is making yourself feel better by hanging out your own insecurities. Your shtick got stale quicker than Magoo's.

up
17

60 years ago, Passim didn't exist. That was the Club 47. Also, I don't believe Joan Baez ever played at Passim.

up
15

Harvard Yard itself is a park...

up
21

I'd like to see a curio shop like the one that used to be on Church Street. Did it even have a name?

up
13

Ain't nobody paying Harvard Square rents with curios.

up
48

"That's where the trust fund comes in!"
--Soon-to-be Harvard Square curio store owner

up
22

It's been "under renovation" for at least three years now, and all the T-shirts and stuff that used to be there are now taking up space in the main building that used to be books.

up
14

That's where I used to buy records, real records, every two weeks when I got my paycheck.

up
26

Yes, I remember the record department at the Harvard Coop well. It was legendary. Jordan Marsh in downtown Boston also had a massive record department that took up much of the ground floor in the old annex building on the now defunct Avon Street.

up
18

If I remember correctly, Avon Street was renamed Avenue de Lafayette when Lafayette place went up in the early-mid 1980s.

And yes, I was a frequent cassette tape buyer at the Harvard Coop before its first transformation in the 1990s. Then, Tower Records took that function over before it closed in 2006.

up
13

With Tower Records' entry into the Boston market and was really disappointed when they did so with interiors similar to the Gap vs their original down and dirty west coast appeal. That said, Disc Diggers in Davis Square was the best record shop I had seen locally (this was 1990s).

up
15

Record stores were my kryptonite in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. I probably went through ten to fifteen tape players, had a collection of over 300 cassettes, and disposed of thousands of AA batteries.

I visited Disc Diggers and never came away disappointed (or without a purchase!).

up
13

All the 90 minute maxell blank cassette tapes I burned through.

up
10

They used to have a good board game department. That's the first place I ever saw any that weren't made by Parker Brothers, Hasbro or Milton Bradley.

up
18

.... back in 1970-74. Of course, Minuteman and Discount Records also got a piece of the action....

Thoss were the days.

up
16

Recently discovered Stereo Jack’s near Ball Square on a wander around the ancestral homeland (Somerville). What a find! Great jazz selection and Lindell’s Bakery steps away!

up
16

The building on Palmer Street, across the street from the back door of the main Coop building, appears to be the building they're talking about in the Cambridge Day article. As I understand, it's owned by the Coop, and this article appears to say that Harvard U. will buy it from the Coop.

Back in the old, old days, it used to be the Coop's Book Building. Regular books on the first floor and part of the second; records (remember them?) on the second; textbooks on the third. The main Coop building then had things like office supplies, typewriters (remember them?), cameras (remember them?), home furnishings, and clothing of all kinds, including shoes, underwear, suits, and sport jackets. At one point they also had the upper floors of a building on Church Street (across from Passim), where they had posters, art prints, framing, and games and puzzles.

Every Saturday they had a big Sidewalk Sale -- remainder books and records, etc. -- and Palmer Street was closed off. If weather was bad they had the sale inside their loading dock.

Then maybe 20 years ago they redid the Coop and put books in the main building. The Palmer Street Coop had souvenirs on the first floor; office supplies, greeting cards, etc., on the second, and still textbooks on the third.

In the most recent rehab, they emptied the Palmer Street building entirely, but kept space that they're renting on Brattle Street. Almost the entire building appears to be souvenirs and insignia clothing; I'm told they still have a few books hidden on some upper floor. And nobody buys hard copy textbooks any more.

It was after the latter rehab that I decided not to renew my Coop membership of 50+ years.

up
30

In the 1970s and 80s, students didn't need to go downtown to Jordan Marsh or Filene's because the Coop sold almost everything they needed.

MIT had a smaller branch with similar merchandise, and its own Sidewalk Sales.

up
29

I've "only" been here 16 years this summer, but that's long enough to remember when both Coops were at least good bookstores. This whole conversation makes me wonder what, in 30 or 40 years, people will remember fondly from 2024 Boston. (Hopefully their first thought is not about how there used to be running water and electric service in this area.)

up
10

Would be kind of cool if they could get rid of the bridge over Palmer Street and replace it with a zip line.

up
29

that sells, and more importantly buys, used violins. Seems there's a demand for that at Harvard.

up
17

I got that reference! .jpg

up
11

Harvard owns a lot of the square, is this troubling?

up
10

Record department and public bathrooms after Mug & Muffin closed.
Or merely if you preferred to avoid cigarette smoke.
A coffee and cigarettes kind of a place...