Harvard Square is a triangular plaza at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, Brattle Street, and John F. Kennedy Street, near the center of Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. The term "Harvard Square" is also used to delineate the business district and Harvard University surrounding that intersection, which is the historic center of Cambridge."If you think it's a good idea to preserve the architecture of historic places, then Harvard Square presents a quandary. It's always been in a state of constant change. If you really want to preserve its essential character, shouldn't you wish it to keep changing? Does that qualify as preservation? Change it does, sometimes so fast it feels like a time-lapse film. Charles River Bank becomes Harvard Trust becomes BayBank becomes BankBoston becomes Fleet becomes Bank of America. Tweedy undergraduates in preppy jackets and ties give way to Goth-clad teens with pierced tongues. Mom-and-pop stores bite the dust, displaced by brand-name outlets that make today's square into a predictable outdoor mall. We're looking west on Mass. Ave. at snapshots of the square at two moments in its history. The 1906 photo was made for a postcard, one of a series put out by the Detroit Publishing Co. The square then was like a spider in his web: It was a hub for electric trolleys, powered from a network of overhead wires, that connected it with Newton, Watertown, Arlington, and Boston. Behind the closest trolley, we can see the triangular façade of the Harvard Cooperative Society. The Coop took over a building that was built in 1841 as the Cambridge Lyceum, a public lecture hall whose guests are said to have included Nathaniel Hawthorne. Today's Coop building replaced it in 1924, but its triangular pediment is probably the architect's homage to the old lyceum. Ghosts of the past linger in other ways. To the right of the Coop, in the newer photo, is the aluminum-finned façade of the Bank of America. That façade was applied in the 1950s, in an attempt at modernization, over the face of a brick neo-Georgian building of the 1920s, which in turn replaced the mansard-roofed dorm we see in the old photo. The ghost is the 1920s façade, parts of which you can still see if you look through the fins. It's as if the old building were behind prison bars. Cambridge city planners are doing a study of the square, hoping to improve it as a pedestrian environment, with wider sidewalks and easier street crossings. Further change, in short, is on the way." -Robert Campbell and Peter Vanderwarker, "CITYSCAPES - A History of Change," Boston Globe, 26 September 2004