Al the Fruit Man is worried. The 19-year veteran of the University community who regularly sells his fruit at the corner of 37th Street and Locust Walk may, like other vendors, be forced to move if the administration goes forward with plans to extend the Locust Walk brickwork onto 37th Street. "I was told by one official of the University that I would have to relocate to some other place on campus," Al said. Al, who declined to give his last name, said he is concerned because he and other vendors may have to leave the University area if they are forced off the street. He explained that his current location is one of the few on campus that provides enough customers. "The bottom line is making a living," he said. The planned extension of the brickwork on 37th south of Locust Walk will follow the completion of the Shearson-Lehman-Hutton Quadrangle and the Mack Plaza in the area between Vance Hall, the Aresty Institute, the McNeil Building and the newly completed Lauder-Fischer Hall. Vice President for Facilities Arthur Gravina said that construction on the walk, which will be named after the class of 1962, will begin by spring of 1992 and will require about six months of work. Brickwork north of Locust Walk will be completed later, he said. Gravina added that like Al, the administration is concerned about the vendors in the area, saying that the University may allow the vendors to park and move their wares onto the new walk. "We'll have to figure out how to do that," he said. He added that the administration will work with Al and not surprise him with a decision, but said "it's not his inalienable right to sell fruit on campus." Al said that the gates which have been installed to restrict traffic during construction have already had an effect on sales. "We've all been subjected to a loss in business," he explained. Al said that his business suffered similarly when the University closed Locust Street and converted it into Locust Walk in the early 1960s. "As a result of the landscaping, all the vendors were relocated to the side streets," he said. The walk will extend to the landscaped area under construction at the corner of 37th and Spruce Streets and will feature trees, benches, lighted walkways and bike racks, according to Mark Walton, project manager for the area. Walton explained that the area, when completed, will resemble the area at 37th Street and Locust Walk which features trees forming a canopy. The area under construction will also include a large lawn area in its center, he said. Before construction of the University buildings, Irving Street ran through the area. Walton said that workers in the area have uncovered remnants of the old boulevard and the rowhouses that flanked it, which were torn up to make room for University buildings about 15 years ago.Comments powered by Disqus
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