The foundation and brick interior of the basement of the President's new house on Quincy street will soon be completed, and work on the superstructure has been started. The residence will probably be finished the latter part of September, and its complete cost will be about $80,000. The evolution of the houses occupied by the College presidents from the frugal home of President Dunster to the present modern and convenient residence which is under construction for President Lowell is an interesting one.
President's House in 1642.
The first president of the College, Henry Dunster, contrived with a great deal of personal labor and sacrifice to build a President's house in 1642. In 1654 his differences with the colony leaders in matters of religion necessitated his leaving this house. Some of the presidents who succeeded him resided outside of Cambridge, so the Dunster house was afterwards either unoccupied or let out for rental. President Chauncey, the second president, lived on his own estate, and during the terms of his successors the Dunster house fell into disrepair. President Mather (1692-1701) was requested to take up permanent residence in Cambridge and the Dunster house was repaired for his use in 1700. It was torn down while President Leverett was in office (1707-1724).
Building of Wadsworth House.
Wadsworth House was built for President Wadsworth in 1726 by a decree of the General Court which set aside a thousand pounds for the purpose. Before it was completed the College Corporation was called upon to contribute eight hundred pounds additional. This old house with its generously spacious, colonial interior is still well preserved, and is now used as a dormitory. It was the residence of Presidents Wadsworth (1725-1737), Holyoke (1737-1769), Locke (1770-1773), Langdon (1774-1780), Willard (1781-1804), Webber (1806-1810), Kirkland (1810-1828), Quincy (1829-1845), and Everett (1846-1849). President Sparks, the next head of the University, lived in his own home on the corner of Kirkland and Quincy streets, where a little stone building now stands, housing a small theological school. His house, a large square one, has been moved over into the middle of the well-spaced lawn adjoining. President Walker lived in the "Shaler House" which has just been moved from Quincy street to make room for President Lowell's new house, and Dr. Peabody, who was acting President for a short time, lived in the house across from the Union, now occupied by Professor Palmer.
President's House at Present.
The house in which President Lowell is living at present was the home of Presidents. Felton (1860-1862), Hill (1862-1868), and Eliot (1868-1909). For a short time at the beginning of his term of office President Felton lived in a house which stood on the corner of Quincy street and Broadway, where the Nelson Robinson, Jr., building now is.
The new "President's House" will be about the tenth in the history of the College, counting private residences occupied by presidents, and the sixth in existence at the present time
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