HSBA History

The Harvard Square Business Association:
The Past Seventy- Five Years

Debra Reynolds
Cambridge Historical Society
2 May 1985

The Harvard Square Business Men’s Association was organized in April of 1910. The Association was formed to address the difficulties encountered by Harvard Square businessmen due to the subway construction. The open-cut construction employed by the subway contractors meant that dirt and clay were tracked throughout the square and into the stores. Of Course, street construction also impairs traffic flow, and Harvard Square businessmen faced a loss of business because of the congested conditions of the street. The dirt and congestion kept shoppers away from the square, and it also made “business as usual” a difficult prospect: it was hard to keep stores and merchandise clean, and it was also difficult to make deliveries promptly. In response to these difficult and changing conditions, the Harvard Square Business Men’s Association was formed. The Association hoped to help its members increase their business through an exchange of ideas and knowledge on “the science of doing business.”(1)

It is interesting to note that the organization was formed as a response to problems with transportation: in this case, the subway. Harvard Square has always been a transportation center first and a commercial center second. Harvard Square was already well-established as a transportation center by the late 1700’s, because roads that began in Harvard Square led out to Concord, Arlington, Lexington, Watertown, Newton, and Belmont.(2) Harvard Square also had a direct link with Boston after 1662 when the bridge at the foot of Boylston Street was built across the Charles River.(3 ) Due to these links with Boston and the outlying suburbs, Harvard Square became a hub first for the horse car lines and later for the subway and bus lines. But commercially, Harvard Square proper lagged behind other parts of the village. Winthrop Square was the original Cambridge marketplace, and it was not until 1812, when Harvard Square was chosen as the site for a market house, that the square began to stand on its own as a commercial center.(4)

The formation of the Harvard Square Business Men’s Association as a result of transportation problems established a link between the Association and Harvard Square traffic problems that endures to this day. Through the 1920’s, the Association was concerned for the most part with subway problems. But by the mid-20’s, other traffic problems emerged. Parking regulations and traffic laws came under scrutiny of the Association. Through the thirties, and on into the sixties, the Association exerted most of its efforts toward suggestions for improved parking and traffic flow in the square. Since the seventies, the Association has begun to take a broader view of its responsibilities to its members and has branched out into other concerns besides parking problems.

This is not to imply that the Harvard Square Business Men’s Association has done nothing but to study traffic routes and bus lines over the years. Rather, the Association has been involved in various projects, many of which had aided the community as well as the businesses. Throughout its history, the Harvard Square Business Association has had the good fortune to have among its member’s well-informed and concerned, if somewhat conservative, businessmen. Many of these members served several terms as officers of the Association, and perhaps it is due to the slow turnover of officers that the Association has been able to pursue projects which have been spread over several years. Charter member of the organization, such as George G. Wright, Edwin R. Sage, and Frederic A. Olssen took their responsibilities toward shaping the business climate in the square very seriously. Because the Association’s membership roles have been endowed with a steady supply of dedicated people like these three charter members, the Association has continued to grow over the past seventy-five years. The Harvard Square Business Association now supports a permanent office, something that was only a matter for occasional discussion and wishful thinking in the 1920’s. Perhaps the organization also continues to grow because Harvard Square has really become “the business center of Cambridge.”(5)

Harvard Square Business Men’s Association: 1910 – 1972

As already mentioned, the Harvard Square Business Men’s Association was formed in 1910. The Association outlined as its general purpose, “to promote the commercial and industrial interests of Harvard Square and to maintain uniform and just principles of trade.”(6) To achieve this end, various committees were appointed, and each committee studied one aspect of business affairs in Harvard Square. The Association also began a tradition of dinner meetings during its first year, “to develop the social character of the organization.”(7) On these occasions, speakers addressed the members on topics of interest to the business community. For example, Mr. George S. Smith, president of the Boston Chamber of Commerce, spoke on the “Advantages of Concerted Action for the Retail Trade” during one of the first dinner meetings.(8) The Association’s officers, committee chairmen, and directors met for a directors’ meeting each month to discuss issues and recommendations and to determine the agenda for the Association’s meetings. Every April, officers, chairmen, and directors were nominated by the directors and elected (or re-elected) by the Association at their annual meeting. This organizational format, established in 1910, remains virtually unchanged today.

Over forty businessmen were in attendance at this first organizational meeting of the Association in March of 1910, and one month later forty –two businessmen became member of the Association. The following officers were elected at the first official meeting in April: George G. Wright, president; Arthur R. Henderson, vice-president; Frederick A. Laws, secretary; George H. Kent, treasurer; George H. Holmes, auditor; and Thomas Hadley, director for three years. An advertising committee, in a report tendered in September, 1910, suggested that businesses refrain from making charitable contributions, stop advertising in periodicals which were not published regularly, and contribute five dollars toward an Association advertising fund. Despite their stance on charitable contributions and donations, the committee pointed out that they did not mean individuals should no longer give to their church or fraternal organizations. The credit committee asked all businesses to give them a list of delinquent accounts which would be compiled and circulated among all members. Members would then be asked to refrain from extending credit to persons with delinquent account in other member’s businesses.(9)

Other issues discussed during the first year’s meetings of the Association included the removal of the courthouse from Brattle Square and the installation of a boat landing at the foot of Boylston Street. The organization also began to involve itself in transportation issued and called for the widening of Brattle and Palmer streets in Harvard Square and an upgrade of the condition of Boylston Street. Members claimed they were losing business because of the poor conditions of the road. The organization also allotted seventy-five dollars to publish the “Bulletin of the Harvard Square Business Men’s Association”.(10)

During the first decade of the Harvard Square Business Men’s Association, issues of major concern included a dispute with Harvard University and the paving of Harvard Square. The dispute with Harvard University occurred because the Harvard Cooperative Society was named as purchasing agent for the university, and businessmen felt that they would no longer be able to sell to the University because of this. The paving issued generated a considerable amount of debate because members favored wood paving blocks which were bed for the horses.(11) During this decade, the Association’s only community project was to sponsor band concerts in the square, which were discontinued due to lack of interest.(12)

In the March, 1913, meeting of the association, traffic issues began to be discussed in a serious way. The subway dominated the discussion. Businessmen were concerned because stores were empty and because the subway construction had made a mess of the square. Furthermore, they felt that the subway station was too big and blocked views of their businesses. Finally, members thought they were losing business because everyone was underground, and they wanted more surface cars. In particular, they called for the establishment of an electric car line from Harvard Square to Allston, Brighton, and Brookline. The Association also addressed the problem of surface congestion. They wanted streets in the square, especially Massachusetts Avenue, widened, and they wanted building lines and zoning regulations established. They businessmen hoped to establish a “quiet” character for the square as would become a “collegiate square.”(13) The Committee on Future Development of Harvard Square published these recommendations in its 1913 report.(14)

During 1913-4, the association was also instrumental in getting electric lights for the square .(15) The businessmen began to get involved in city affairs, and protested government inefficiency and called for more businessmen on the city council.(16) During 1915, George Wright turned the presidency over to John Amee. In Wright’s final report he said that the subway station should not be allowed in the center of the square and would never have been built there if business interests had been better organized. This was the first skirmish in what was to become a long contest between the Harvard Square Business Men’s Association and the Boston Elevated Railway Corporation.(17)

The Harvard Square Business Men’s Association experimented with several advertising ideas during this time. One was a window dressing contest, which was won by Brock Brothers’ Hardware.(18) Another was a “Dollar Day” sale, which was deemed a great success.(19) During a later “Bargain Day” sale in the square the subway issue was revived. The bargain day sale had evidently caused a riot in the square with which police could not cope, and Boston Elevated personnel were concerned that the subway structure might be toppled. George Wright was heard to remark, “that he didn’t give a rap if such a disaster did occur, for perhaps the desired improvement in the structure might then follow.”(20)

Once the subway issue resurfaced (no pun intended), it could not again be put down. The general manager, Edward Dana, of the Boston Elevated, discussed the financial problems of the subway system with the businessmen, but the businessmen wanted the structure removed, money or no money.(21) By 1923, George Wright had returned to the presidency and under his leadership the association presented a “Petition for the Removal of the Surface Structures used in Connection with the Cambridge Subway in Harvard Square” to the state senate.(22) Three plans for reducing the subway structure were presented and argued back and forth during 1923-5.(23) The plan of Professor Charles B. Breed of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (24) which essentially consisted of razing and replacing the structure with a smaller one that was simply a roof which rested on eight piers was finally accepted. The cost was estimated at $30,000.(25) The Boston Elevated continued to stall on the subway issue, and Wright suggested that the Elevated was costing the taxpayers a lot of money and should be taken over by the state.(26) In November of 1926, Secretary N. Russell Cazmay reported that the city had the money to cover the cost of removing and replacing the subway structure, and was waiting for the state.(27) In 1928, the structure was finally replaced.(28)

The Association was not only concerned with the subway structure. During this decade, Wright, who returned to the presidency from 1924-7 after a stint as chairman of the Municipal Affairs Committee, still guided the Association’s efforts. Wright was full of ideas for improving the square. He argued for the preservation of the Common (there was some interest in developing the Common as a soldier’s memorial), and he began a successful campaign to get the overhead wires in the Harvard and Brattle Square areas buried. Planners, businessmen, and public officials were invited to speak at the monthly meetings in hopes of generating new ideas for the square’s improvement.(29)

While it appears that Wright was a one-man planning committee for Harvard Square, the businessmen rallied behind Wright on the subway issue, as we have already seen, and on the issue of traffic and parking. By the twenties, parking problems in the square had reached crisis proportions and the Association proposed and ordnance which limited parking in the square to twenty minutes. Wright, then chairman of the Municipal Affairs Committee, found out that some of the businessmen who had proposed this ordnance were attempting to get permits which would allow them to park all day in the square, and he resigned from the Association.(31) The Association quickly recanted and Wright returned to the organization.

As a result of the death of Wright in 1928 and the beginning of the Depression, the Association entered the new decade with less that characteristic vigor. Under the leadership of Edwin R. Sage, Howard H. Fiske, and Frederic A. Olsson, the organization was incorporated and had grown to include 185 members, although attendance at the dinner meetings in the early thirties generally numbered between thirty and forty-five .(32) Women occasionally attended these meetings and could become associate members, but the name still remained the Harvard Square Business Men’s Association

Major concerns for this decade included the installation of traffic lights, problems with buses that stopped in the square and added traffic congestion, and, of course, traffic flow and parking locations.(33) Vigorous debate ensued over the possible use of one-way streets to relieve congestion in the square.(34) A new rotary plan for the square was suggested by the Cambridge Police and endorsed by the Association.(35) The Association also recommended the installation of parking meters in the square.(36) In addition, they began work on establishing a public parking lot in a vacant lot in Brattle Square, but it was to be several years before either of these things happened.(37) At any rate, the Association finally voted in June of 1936 to leave the traffic problem to the traffic authorities, but this resolution was extremely short-lived.(38)

By the late thirties, attendance at the dinner meeting averaged seventy to eighty people, and the meetings were being held almost every month. A June outing which included a golf tournament and dinner at a suburban country club was instituted. Members were also encouraged to invite their wives and employees to the November dinner meeting for an evening of entertainment, dinner, and dancing. These evenings were very popular, as evidenced by the November, 1936, meeting which was attended by 216 people, but they were given up after a few years.(39) The organization also began sponsoring Christmas decorations in the square during this time in cooperation (or non-cooperation) with the Boston Elevated.(40)

Beginning in the 1940’s, the Harvard Square Business Men’s Association began to take a greater interest in world affairs. This was perhaps due to their own frustration with their inability to resolve the parking and traffic problems in Harvard Square, but probably also due to the far-reaching effects of World War II. The monthly meeting attendance continued to be about seventy people, and they heard speeches such as “Canada’s Mechanized Army,” “The Russian Situation,” and “France 1942: Fighting and Resisting.”(41) The businessmen were up an arms themselves over the “dimout” which was in force in 1942. The dimout was observed by the Association, and they were concerned that they were losing business because of the lack of uniform enforcement of the regulation. This decade also marked a period of charitable contributions by the organization to the Red Cross and the United Wat Fund Drives.(42)

Parking and traffic problems were still discussed during these years. The city was threatening to sell the Brattle Street lot which the organization was operating as a public parking lot, and the parking meters could be obtained because of the war.(43) The organization also opposed any further commercialization of the platform around the subway entrance and opposed any more development of one-way streets in the square.(44) But for the most park, the forties were a time of complacency and the Association took little action toward correcting the problems of Harvard Square.

Fittingly enough, the Harvard Square Business Men’s Association opened the fifties with a shipment of parking meters which was received in January of 1950.(45) The Association also began making plans for its fortieth anniversary celebration, and Edwin R. Sage and Edwin B. Powell, the only two remaining charter members, were made honorary lifetime members of the Association. (46) The Association also discussed the establishment of a uniform loading and unloading time for trucks in order to keep them out of the square during its busiest hours, but the members decided it was impossible to establish such a regulation. They also discussed, once again, the possible purchase by the Association of the Brattle Street lot for a public parking lot, but that idea was tabled.(47) The Association was, of course, still opposed to the sale of the lot by the city.(48) In the meantime, they were having trouble getting the parking meter regulations enforced, and a committee was appointed to study off-street parking to see if there were any other solutions to the parking problem.(49) Then in 1956,the Association approved a sixty day trial period in which all day parking on both sides of Boylston Street from Eliot Street to Memorial Drive was restricted.(50)

The businessmen played a part in what was perhaps the most important development in the square during this decade. In 1959, Harvard University, which had cultivated its relations with the Association over the years, petitioned for a zoning change in order to build the 100-foot high Holyoke Center. The Harvard Square Business Men’s Association backed Harvard’s request for a zoning change, and Harvard Square took its place in the modern world with its first high-rise building.(51)

The businessmen perhaps did little toward solving parking problems in the square during this time, but they did manage to inform themselves on world affairs during their monthly meetings. The Cold War was evidently of great interest to the businessmen, and they had many talks on the subject. For instance, in January, 1953, a Civil Defense spokesperson talked on “Our Progress in Civil Defense.” Other speeches that related to the Cold War included “The Present Situation in Russia,” January, 1953; “Inside the FBI,” March, 1954; and “Keeping Abreast of Russia’s Nuclear Tests,” January, 1959. But the members of the Association also enjoyed themselves during the monthly meetings; the Harvard University football coach was one of their favorite speakers and members were often treated to “moving pictures” of recent games.(52) The Association also continued its traditional June outing, and had so much fun during their June, 1953, outing at the Colonial Country Club (during which the policemen beat the businessmen 42-7 in the softball game) that they were asked not to return. The Association felt that it was because of the conduct of some of their guests that they were asked not to come back, and the businessmen resolved not to invite those guests the next year.(53)

The Association’s members continued to enjoy themselves in the 1960’s. A film, “Highlights of the Harvard Football Games for the 1959 Season” was shown at their January, 1960, meeting. But, despite the exciting program, the sixties marked a low point for the Association as attendance at monthly meetings dropped from an average of sixty-five members to an average of forty members. Only thirty-two members showed up for the annual meeting in April, 1960, during which officers were elected and plans were made for the Association’s fiftieth anniversary celebration in the fall. Perhaps because of this lack of interest, the Association began holding more sporadic dinner meetings. The speeches during this decade revolved around planning issues in Harvard Square. For example, the businessmen heard a talk on survey and traffic plans for Harvard Square by the President of Harvard Trust Company in February, 1962, and a talk on Harvard University’s plans for Harvard Square by the assistant to the President in December, 1962. The businessmen had evidently decided to leave traffic and parking problems to the professionals and went as far as voting in April of 1966, to leave the parking situation alone.(54)

The Harvard Square Business Men’s Association evidently began to be pressured by its female members for representation, because in October, 1961, the Association voted to elect a woman to its board of directors during the next election. However, this did not happen. The women members took a further blow in May of 1968, when the Association voted not to change its name to the Harvard Square Business Association.(55) The Association was facing problems in other areas also; they felt that the square was not being cleaned properly, they wanted parking regulations enforced, and they wanted more police protection in the square.(56)

In May of 1970, the Harvard Square Business Men’s Association became even more concerned about police protection as riots broke out in Harvard Square. But trouble always seems to bring people together, and August 5, 1970, 132 members came to a special meeting to discuss the riots, panhandling, Sunday Concerts on the Common, and the congregations at Holyoke Center. The apathy of the sixties disappeared as the Harvard Square Business Men’s Association and the police began working together once again for the improvement of Harvard Square. In the October, 1970, meeting, Dr. John Spiegel, of Brandis University, discussed the history of violence in the United States and suggested that Cambridge attempt to stay out of the headlines. He also recommended that a third force be established as a liaison between the police and the radicals.(57)

During the winter of 1970, the Association joined forces with Mr. Richard Dow and the Harvard Square for People organization to develop the “Brattle Walk”. The “Brattle Walk” was to be a pedestrian mall on Brattle Street, but by April 1972, the businessmen had withdrawn their support of the mall, and the mall did not become a permanent feature of Harvard Square. Discussions were also held on the extension of the subway to Alewife and the possibility of a new station on Brattle Street, but in spite of these subway developments, parking was still uppermost on the Association’s list of concerns.(58)

Harvard Square Business Association: 1972-Present

On September 7, 1972, Harvard Square Business Men’s Association changed their name to the Harvard Square Business Association. With this name change has come a change in the perception of the role of the Association toward its members. The Association’s brochure states that it “is a non-profit professional organization actively engaged in shaping the future of Harvard Square and in serving the interests of the business community located here.”(59) The Harvard Square Business Association includes as its areas of concern membership drives and activities, marking and promotion, care for the Square’s environment, special events such as the Octoberfest, community relations, surveys and publications, finance and budget, and of course traffic and parking.(60)

Membership in the Harvard Square Business Association has grown to approximately three hundred people. Harvard Square businessmen comprise the majority of the membership, but employees and people outside of the Square may also join. Perhaps due to this growth, the Association changed its structure somewhat in 1983. Ms. Sally Alcorn is presently employed as a full-time executive director for the Association, and the Association has a permanent office located at 18 Brattle Street in Cambridge. Ms. Alcorn is presently assisted by Mr. Jeffrey Scholten who works on the various advertising campaigns of the Association. Ms. Alcorn oversees the publication of the Association’s monthly newsletter, organizes the meetings and outings, and directs the day-to-day operation of the Harvard Square Business Association as well as the special events.

The Harvard Square Business Association has put greater emphasis upon advertising campaigns than did its predecessor. The Association has sponsored the “Octoberfest” on Columbus Day weekend for the past ten years. In 1979 and 1980, the Association took part in the “T’rrific Sales” (1979) and the “Red Rider Sale Days” (1980), both sponsored by a group called Merchants on the Line. More recently, the Association has begun sponsoring a “Mayfair” celebration on the Cambridge Common.

The Association has not lost sight of its other responsibilities to its members. A remedy for the critical parking situation in the square remains a top priority. For example, they have worked with Harvard University, the owners of the new University Place, to get some of the public parking facilities of that complex made available before the complex’s garage was totally completed. With the passing of Proposition 2 ½, and the loss of services that followed, the Association has also worked to keep the square clean. Merchants are encourages to sweep their sidewalks each week on street-cleaning day to help keep the square clean. The Association also worked with Harvard Graduate School of Design on a study of “Development in the Harvard Square Overlay District.”(60) And through it all, the Association has continued to sponsor Christmas decorations and banners in Harvard Square.

The Harvard Square Business Association developed, as we have already seen, from a concern over transportation and its possible negative effects upon business. Under the energetic direction of George G. Wright, the Association set out in 1911 to correct the problems of Harvard Square. These problems were caused by the Square’s lack of parking facilities, the non-cooperation of the Boston Elevated, and the confusion generated by the congestion of vehicles and pedestrians in Harvard Square.

Seventy-five years later, these same problems have, as Wright predicted in the 1920’s, only became more complicated. It is to the Harvard Square Business Associations credit that they have never totally given up on the traffic and parking problems; instead, their persistent devotion to the problem has resulted in many more parking places in the square than there would otherwise have been. But it is even more to the Association’s credit that they have been able to go beyond this constant source of frustration during the last two decades. The Harvard Square Business Association has more than made up for this deficit in the organization’s other services to its members. Through participation in sales and special events sponsored by the Harvard Square Business Association, the members have helped to maintain the image of Harvard Square as a unique and exciting place in which to eat, to shop, or to simply watch the people go by.

End Notes

(1)Committee on Advertising, Harvard Square Business Men’s Association, Bulletin of the Harvard Square Business Men’s Association, (April, 1911), p. 7.

(2)Bulletin, p. 3.

(3)Old Cambridge

(4)Old Cambridge; Charles Sullivan, Director, Cambridge Historical Commission.

(5)Bulletin, p. 3.

(6)Bulletin, p. 9.

(7)Bulletin, p. 9.

(8)Bulletin, p. 9.

(9)“Harvard Square Business Men,” Cambridge Chronicle (referred to as CC in future references), September 24, 1910, pp. 9, 12-13

(10)For Articles in the CC relating to the activities of the Association during 1910-11, see: “Harvard Square Business Men’s,” September 24, 1910, p. 9; “Business Men’s Association,” October 22, 1910, p. 12: “Harvard Square Business Men hold dinner at Dunster St. Café,” November 12, 1910, p. 12; “Business Men Dine and Talk,” November 19, 1910, pp. 9, 12; “Harvard Square Business Men,” January 14, 1911, p. 12: “Harvard Square Business Men,” January 21, 1911, p. 12: “Harvard Square Business Men,” March 4, 1911, p. 12: “Harvard Square Merchants Alert,” March 25, 1911, pp. 12-13. Also see the Bulletin of the Harvard Square Business Men’s Association in the Appendix.

(11)“Business Men Send Protest to Pres. Lowell of Harvard,” CC, May 6, 1911; “ Business Men’s Association,” CC, January 13, 1912, p. 12: “Object to Wood Paving,” CC, January 27, 1912, p. 12.

(12)See articles in the CC on August 17, 1912, p. 10, August 31, 1912, p. 6; and September 7, 1912, p. 6, for more information on the band concerts.

(13)“Improvement of Harvard Square Involves Enormous Expense,” CC,

(14)Harvard Square Business Men’s Association, “Report of Committee on Future Development of Harvard Square, 1913.”

(15)“Harvard Square Merchants Are Waking Up,” CC, April 9, 1913, pp. 9, 12; “Harvard Square’s Great White Way,” November 15, 1913, p. 12.

(16)“Harvard Square Business Men,” CC, January 11, 1913, p. 14: “Business Men Hold charter Talk-Fest,” CC, January 1914, pp. 1, 5; “Business Men Elect Officer,” CC, April 25, 1914, p. 12: “Triangular Lot Again in Dispute,” CC, November 21, 1914; “Harvard Square Business Men,” CC, November 21, 1914, p. 14; “Harvard Square Business Men,” CC, January 2, 1915, p. 5; “Harvard Square Business Men,” CC. September 9, 1915, p. 3; “Harvard Square Business Men,” CC< December 7, 1918; pp. 1, 4.

(17)“Harvard Square Business Men’s Association Holds Annual Meeting and Election,” CC, May 1, 1915, pp. 10-11

(18)“Merchants Compete in Window Dressing,” CC, April, 1916, pp. 1, 5; “Business Men Hold Annual Election,” CC, April 29, 1916, pp.1, 7.

(19)“Next Monday is Dollar Day,” CC, October 14, 1916 pp. 1, 8; “Dollar Day Proved a Gratifying Success,” CC, October 21, 1916, pp. 1, 4.

(20)“A Real Bargain Day in Harvard Square,” CC, May 10, 1919, p. 9.

(21)“Subway Structure in Harvard Square,” CC, February 7, 1920, pp. 1, 4; “General Manager Edward Dana Talks About Boston Elevated’s Problems,” CC, March 13, 1920, pp. 1, 4.

(22)George G. Wright, “Petition for the Removal of the Surface Structures used in Connection with the Cambridge Subway in Harvard Square” (Senate No. 24), 1923. See copy of this document in the Appendix.

(23)“Harvard Square Business Men Hold A Lively Free-For-All,” CC, November 19, 1923, pp. 1, 4; “Representative Arthur Blanchard’s Plan for New Harvard Square Surface Station,” CC, November 24, 1923, p. 1; “Harvard Square Men Disagree Over Removal of Subway Structure,” CC, February 2, 1924, p. 1; “Harvard Square Subway Structure Can Be Reduced 80 Percent,” CC, March 21, 1925, p. 1; “Harvard Square Business Men Hope to Reduce Subway Structure,” CC, October 24, 1925, pp. 1, 5.

(24)Professor Charkles Blaney Breed was, in 1925, a Professor of Railway and Highway Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He graduated from M.I.T. in 1897 and began teaching there in 1898. He began as an Assistant in Civil and Sanitary Engineering and in 1946, he became an Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering. He was widely known as a consulting engineer, an author of engineering texts, an authority on the elimination of grade crossings, and he often served as a consultant to public utility commissions on problems pertaining to valuations, bridges, traffic control, and pavement design and performance. One of the public utilities he worked with was the Boston Elevated.

This biographical material was provided by the M.I.T. Archives

(25)“Harvard Square Business Men Hope to Reduce Subway Structure,” CC, October 24, 1925, pp.1, 5.

(26)“George G. Wright on Municipal Affairs,” CC, April 22, 1922, pp. 9, 11.

(27)“Mr. Blackwell Talks at Harvard Square.” CC, November 19, 1926, p. 15.

(28)See: Plans for Alteration of Harvard Square Subway Station, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Public Utilities, March 20, 1928.

(29)“Business Conditions in Harvard Square and How They Can Be Improved,” CC, February 14, 1920, pp. 1, 4; “Town Meeting Day in Harvard Square,” CC, November 20, 1920, pp. 1, 4; “Business Men Hear District Attorney N. A. Tufts,” CC, February 12, 1921, pp.1, 5; “Business Men Hear District Attorney N. A. Tufts,” CC, February 12, 1921, pp. 1, 5; “A Wide Range of Matters Discussed,” CC, March 12, 1921, pp. 1, 5; “Remove Overhead Wires,” CC, October 22, 1921, p. 1; “Govenor Cox Spoke Thursday Evening to Harvard Square Business Men’s Association,” CC, January 21, 1922, p. 1; “Registrar of Motor Vehicles Goodwin Talks to Harvard Square Business Men,” CC, February 11, 1922, p. 1; “Removal of Poles and Wires From Streets,” CC, March 11, 1922, p. 9; “Harvard Square Business Men Hear Attorney General J. Weston Allen,” CC, April 15, 1922, p. 1, 5; “Harvard Square Business Men Entertain Vice –President Coolidge, CC, April 21, 1923, pp. 17, 18; “Business Men Vote to Work for a Centralized Post Office,” CC, February 23, 1924, pp. 1, 5; “George G. Wright Again President,” CC, April 26, 1924, p. 1; “Reports of Officers of the Harvard Square Business Men,” CC, April 26, 1924, p. 17; “Dana Discussed Elevated Matters with Harvard Square Business Men,” CC, October 18, 1924, p. 1; “Downey Predicts Harvard Square Boom,” CC, January 24, 1925, pp. 1, 5; “Harvard Square Business Men Hear Expert on Retail Trade,” CC, December 12, 1925, p. 1; “Harvard Square Business Men Hear Water Dept. Officials,” CC, January 23, 1926, pp. 1, 4; “Mr. Blackall Talks at Harvard Square,” CC, November 19, 1926, pp. 1, 5; “Minute Man Will Stop at Cambridge,” CC, November 26, 1926, pp. 1, 5; “Harvard Square Business Men Resent Attempt to Stampede Them,” CC, January 21, 1927, p. 1; “Edwin R. Sage Elected President By Harvard Square Business Men,” CC, April 29,

1927, p. 1; “Harvard Square Business Men Hear Two Interesting Speakers,” CC, January 20, 1928, pp. 1. 5; “Business Men Want Fire Engine Brought Back to Brattle Square,” CC, October 26, 1928, pp. 1, 7.

(30)“George G. Wright Expresses Disgust at Action of Harvard Square Business Men, CC, December 16, 1922, p. 7.

(31)Meeting Minutes, April 22, 1936.

(32)“Captian Donahue Discusses Traffic Before Harvard Square Business Men,” CC, November 23, 1928, p. 1; “Harvard Square Men Join Bank Board,” CC, January 11, 1929, p. 1; “Harvard Square Business Men,” CC, March 22, 1929, p. 15; “Harvard Square Association Holds Election,” CC, April 19, 1929, pp. 1, 4; “Harvard Square Business Men Adopt Important Traffic Recommendations,” CC, November 21, 1930, p. 5; “Harvard Square Business Men Discuss Civic Problems in Their Vicinity,” CC, October 30, 1931, pp. 1, 5; “Discussion Over Community Chest Before Harvard Square Business Men, CC, February 26, 1932 pp. 1, 5.

(33)“Harvard Square Traffic Being Ironed Out,” CC, November 27, 1931, Section B, p. 1; “Many Men of Minds Speak on Harvard Square Traffic Problem,” CC, December 4, 1931 Section B, p. 1.

(34)Minutes, May 19, 1936, June 9, 1936

(35)Minutes, March 16, 1937; April 26, 1937; March 28, 1938.

(36)Minutes, December 9, 1936; March 16, 1937; March 28, 1938.

(37)Minutes, June 29, 1936.

(38)Minutes, November 21, 1934.

(39)Minutes, November 28, 1933; October 10, 1934; October 23, 1935; November 18, 1936; December 14, 1937; December 9, 1938; November 24, 1939.

(40)Minutes, January 20, 1942, March 17, 1942; October 20, 1942.

(41)November 26, 1943; February 26, 1946; Minutes, March 18, 1947.

(42)Minutes, April 24, 1944; January 16, 1945.

(43)Minutes, October 31, 1949; November 4, 1949.

(44)Minutes, January 17, 1950.

(45)Minutes, March 14, 1950.

(46)Minutes, October 13

(47)Minutes, January 12, 1953; March 13, 1953.

(48)Minutes, October 21, 1954; November 24, 1954.

(49)Minutes, May 15, 1956

(50)Minutes, April 29, 1959.

(51)Minutes, January 19, 1954; March 26, 1955.

(52)Minutes, December 14, 1953.

(53)Minutes, April 14, 1966

(54)Minutes, May 28, 1968.

(55)Minutes, October 8, 1963; May 7, 1965; April 8, 1969; October 31, 1969.

(56)Minutes, October 27, 1970

(57)Minutes, January 14, 1971; April 11, 1972.

(58)“Harvard Square Business Association,” brochure.


(60)Christopher Chadbourne, Francois Vigier, and Richard Graf, “Development in the Harvard Square Overlay District,” February 10, 1984.