The News is to be congratulated for its editorial regarding the high stone wall of the Grove Street Cemetery along Prospect Street (“Tear down this wall,” Oct. 14). The plan developed by Robert A.M. Stern ARC ’65, the dean of the School of Architecture and architect of the new residential colleges, which proposed inserting seven short sections of iron fencing in the wall along Prospect Street was indeed flawed and much too timid. It would have left 95 percent of the wall intact and would have done little to improve the bleak and barren cityscape that now exists in that block.
The News is right; what is needed is a bolder plan — one that, while respecting the need to separate the cemetery from the city that surrounds it, makes it at least visually accessible to passers-by. One way to do that would be to replace what’s there now with a low stone wall topped by several feet of wrought-iron fencing along the entire block. The preservationists and plot-holders who rejected Stern’s proposal would no doubt reject this one as well. Before doing so, however, they might walk along Grove Street between Prospect and York streets and observe how much more attractive the cemetery wall in that block — a low stone wall topped with wrought-iron fencing — is than the one that runs along Prospect Street.
The writer is a professor of political science.