Cambridge City

Policy Order
POR 2016 #283
Oct 31, 2016 5:30 PM

That the City Council go on record in support of asking the Cambridge Historical Commission to initiate a landmark designation study process on the Harvard Square kiosk.


Department:City Clerk's Office, JDSponsors:Vice Mayor Jan Devereux, Councillor Nadeem A. Mazen, Mayor Marc C. McGovern, Councillor Dennis J. Carlone
Category:Policy Order


  1. Printout



The “Out of Town News” kiosk in Harvard Square is one of Cambridge’s most beloved and iconic structures by virtue of its distinctive architectural features and its prominent location on the public plaza opposite Harvard Yard and the Coop; and




Sheldon Cohen, the founder of Out of Town News is honored in the adjacent island for establishing the kiosk as an emporium where well-known individuals ranging from Robert Frost to John Kenneth Galbraith to Julia Child acquired magazines and newspapers of the day; and 




The kiosk was completed in 1928 as the original entrance to the new Harvard Square T station, and now sits next to the T’s main entrance, where thousands of people pass daily; and




The kiosk was designed by Clarence H. Blackall, the architect of the Wang and Gaiety theaters and of Boston’s first steel skyscraper (the 1893 Winthrop/Carter building), which is currently under review for landmark status and whose roof line and masonry bear a striking resemblance to that of the kiosk; and




The kiosk was the site of important incidents in Cambridge Social History, most notably the 1970 Harvard Square Anti-War Riot; and




The kiosk, which is owned by the City of Cambridge, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978; and




As of October 25th, nearly 800 people have signed an online petition and some 200 have signed local petitions circulated by the Our Harvard Square advocacy group, asking the City to landmark the kiosk so that its essential architectural features are preserved during its proposed renovation and repurposing; now therefore be it




That the City Council go on record in support of the Cambridge Historical Commission initiating a landmark designation study process on the Harvard Square kiosk.


Meeting History

Oct 31, 2016 5:30 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft