Tag Archives: Harvard

Agassiz House, Radcliffe (1904)

The Elizabeth Cary Agassiz House, on the campus of Radcliffe College in Cambridge, was built in 1904 as the school’s student center. The building was named for the first president of Radcliffe, which is now part of Harvard University and is called the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. (more…)

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Greenleaf House (1859)

A Federal-style house, built in 1823, once stood at 76 Brattle Street, but was moved in 1858 to 19 Ash Street to make way for a new mansard-roofed mansion, completed in 1859. The new house was home to Mary Longfellow Greenleaf, sister of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and was purchased by Radcliffe College in 1905. At first used for music classes, after 1913 it became the residence of the president of Radcliffe College, and more recently of the dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

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53 Dunster Street, Cambridge (1841)

At 53 Dunster Street in Cambridge is a former house, built in 1841 and now owned by Harvard University. The builders, William Saunders and Stephen S. Bunker, interestingly made the house three stories, unusual for Greek Revival-style houses of the period.

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54 Dunster Street, Cambridge (1900)

At 54 Dunster Street in Cambridge is a former Harvard clubhouse, built in 1900 and designed by A.J. Russell. It now houses the Harvard Office of Career Services.

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Fay House, Radcliffe (1806)

Radcliffe College in Cambridge was founded in 1879 to educate women, who were then not yet allowed at Harvard. The college bought its first building in 1885: Fay House, an 1806 Federal-style mansion. Built by Nathaniel Ireland, who made iron work for ships, the house was later owned by Joseph McKean, professor of rhetoric and oratory at Harvard. After McKean’s death in 1818, the house had several tenants, including Edward Everett in 1820-1821. The house was also home for a time to Francis Dana, Jr. His daughter, Sophia Willard Dana Ripley, kept a girls’ boarding school in the house and among her students was the first wife of Thomas Wentworth Higginson. For fifty years after 1835, the house was occupied by the family of Judge Samuel Phillips Prescott Fay.

After its acquisition by Radcliffe, Alice Longfellow, one of the College’s founders, donated funds for the remodeling of Fay House in the Colonial Revival mode, work completed in 1890 under the direction of her cousin, the architect Alexander W. Longfellow, Jr. He also oversaw the further expansion of the structure in 1892, with the addition of a third story, skylit library, porches, and more classroom and laboratory space. As additional buildings were constructed in the development of Radcliffe Yard, Fay House continued as an administration building for the College and now for its successor, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The building has recently been renovated (pdf).

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Emerson Hall, Harvard (1905)

Emerson Hall, located in Harvard Yard in Cambridge, is the home of the University’s Philosophy Department. Named for Ralph Waldo Emerson, the building was designed by Guy Lowell and was completed in 1905. The noted psychologist and philosopher, William James, taught in Emerson Hall when he was at Harvard. Over the entrance of the building is the Biblical inscription: “What is man that thou art mindful of him?” (Psalm 8:4).

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Weld Hall, Harvard (1872)

According to the Official guide to Harvard University of 1907:

Weld Hall, containing 53 suites of rooms, of which 22 are single and the rest double, was built in 1871-72, at a cost of about $87,000. It was given by William Fletcher Weld in memory of his brother, Stephen Minot Weld, of the Class of 1826, a benefactor of the College, a member of the Board of Overseers from 1858 until his death in 1867, and one of the first to conceive the idea of Memorial Hall. It contains a common-room for the general social use of its occupants.

Given as a gift around the same time as Matthews Hall, Weld Hall was designed in the English Queen Anne style by the firm of Ware & Van Brunt. The dorm is notable for its two towers with clerestory windows, lighting the stairs, although these were enclosed as a precaution against fire in 1962. Famous residents have included John F. Kennedy, Michael Crichton, Daniel Ellsberg, Christopher Durang, Ben Bernanke and Douglas Kenney.

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