Alternative Facts?


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Cheryl Brown's picture

...nah, not really

  • Harvard Square Theater
  • Harvard Square Theater
  • Murals
  • Charlie Chaplain and Marilyn Monroe...

I was reading an interesting article in the Cambridge Chronicle about the old Harvard Square Theater. 

The building is located on Church Street and I walk past it every week on my way to class. 

It has always caught my eye because of the beautiful nostalgic murals painted on the building's exterior.

The artwork reminds me of simpler happier times.  Just puts me in a good mood. 

So when I read the March 2nd issue of the Cambridge Chronicle expecting to read "good news" I was quite surprised to read about how the Cambridge City Council "voted unanimously to have the city manager notify the owner (Mr. Chan) with 30 days to declare long term plans for the property saying that "I think it's completely ridiculous Cheung said he's been completely reckless, completely unresponsive, did not even bother to attend the meeting" (referring to the owner of The Harvard Square Theater) with the council member Cheung going on to say "I am completely fed up" suggesting that the council consider recommending that the property be taken by eminent domain. 


I mean seriously,

Am I understanding this article correctly?   

Not only does this seem illegal, it seems unethical. 

A property owner purchases a property, maintains a property to code, but does not return your phone calls, their property can be taken for eminent domain?

But this was not even the most unsettling thing to me, what bothered me the most was how blasting the owner calling him unresponsive and "reckless" made front page, but buried deep inside the paper the Chronicle goes on to say that "the council received correspondence from a representative of Mr. Chan (Harvard Square Theater owner) alluding to a spring launch of Church street plans, "There are, I suppose plans in the works,but I would like to know more about them" Devereux said.  Vice Mayor McGovern said that the city has to be "more aggressive" with how it deals with situations where property is left vacant for long periods of time.

So which is it? 

The owner is unresponsive and refuse to submit plans OR the council received plans from the owner that they are not satisfied with?

I'd rather not believe that anyone is intentionally engaging in "alternative facts". 

But, Mr. Chan, the owner of the old Harvard Square Theater building, does not appear to be the reckless one in this scenario.


Kristina Kehrer's picture

I am with you on this one. This story bugged the heck out of me. I guess my first response was "who do they think they are." But I will leave it at that. Thanks for writing this.