University Building Campaign Reaches Height as Straus, McKinlock, Fogg Museum and Shaler Lane Are Completed
New Chapel, Natatorium, and Indoor Athletic Plant Are Now Proposed
The University's extensive building campaign which started some two years ago, and the completion of which is not expected for some two more years, is, with the opening of college this fall, at its height. The campaign, if it be considered in its entirely comprises some 16 structures and of those not already completed when college closed last spring the greater number are ready for occupancy now, or will be during this year.
The high lights of the building program are the new Business School, a college in itself, the completion of President Lowell's plan for "cloistering" the Yard the erection of another Freshman dormitory, the building of a new art museum, and the start of work on the new John W. Weeks footbridge across the Charles below the Freshman dormitories.
Classifies College Buildings
Perhaps the best way to review the construction that has take place, is taking place, and will take place, is to divide the projects into classes, arranged according to the time of their completion.
In the first class stand buildings that were first occupied by the Seniors who graduated last Spring buildings that stood ready for occupancy a year ago. There are three such buildings, and together with another one, belonging to the group that will be ready this Fall, they comprise the famous plan for cloistering the Yard first proposed two years ago by President A Lawrence Lowell and now carried out. In the second group are buildings that are now practically completed, and will be used by the college men who are returning to their work this Fall. There are five such projects. Next in order are buildings for which ground has already been broken and which will stand completed before the class of 1927 has been graduated. Three units come under this classification.
To Build New Chemical Plant
The remaining three groups comprise buildings for which ground has not yet been broken, but which are more or less assured for the very near future. In the first group are buildings for which money is already on hand and on which architects are now working to complete the final plans that will satisfy everyone--a new chemical plant to take the place of the antiquated Boylston Hall.
The next group is made up of projects for which drives for funds now exist. The Law School expansion scheme and the plan for a church that shall be a war memorial to the Harvard dead come under this classification and their sponsors are busily engaged in raising the necessary funds, architects already having drawn tentative plans.
Many Projects Are Hypothetical
And in the final group are projects about which there has been considerable talk, and which are bound to materialize before many years have rolled by but for which no funds have been raised and for which even no definite sites have been chosen. The new gymnasium to take the place of the venerable Hemenway, now some 50 years old, and the plan for a swimming pool belong to this class.
Of the buildings in the first class, those that have already seen service during the last year two are dormitories and the other is the Bursar's office Lehman Hall. All three of them are built along Massachusetts Avenue in the Yard, with the purpose of shutting off from this sphere the noise of trolley cars and increasing automobile traffic on the Square, in other words, "the cloistering program" that President Lowell initiated two years ago. Lionel and Mower are the two dormitories built in the northwest corner of the Yard, and flanking Holden Chapel the first religious center of the University, on both sides. Mower, together with Phillips Brooks Brooks House, Stoughton Hall and Holden form a quiet quadrangle that seems miles away from the bustle of Massachusetts Avenue, and Lionel forms another such quadrangle with Holden, Hollis and Harvard Hall.
Lehman Hall Shelters Yard
Lehman Hall, the new Bursar's office, now about a year old, and belonging to this same group, is situated at the corner of the Yard, directly opposite subway entrance at Harvard Square. Like all the buildings erected for the purpose of rendering the academic sanctity of the Yard soundproof, it is built within a few foot of the Yard fence, and accomplishes its purpose in spite of the fact that the Square and Massachusetts Avenue at this point are about the noisiest places in Cambridge if Central Square is excepted.
Lehman Hall is the last of the group of buildings that were completed a year ago. With them, with the exception of the spot opposite Matthews Hall, the whole Yard was cloistered, and the final screen, Straus Hall, is the first buildings of the second group--those buildings that are now completed, and which will be occupied for the first time this September. With it is cloistering plan is fulfilled.
Straus Completes Third Quadrangle
Straus Hall is another Senior dormitory, and is located on Massachusetts Avenue between Lehman Hall on the south, and Massachusetts Hall on the north. With these two buildings and Matthews, the new dormitory forms the third quadrangle along the western end of the Yard. Like Widener Library, the latest, and what is likely to prove the last dormitory built in the Yard, is given in memory of victims of the sinking of the Titanic, now more than 10 years ago. The building if the gift of three sons, Jesse Isidor Straus, Harvard '93; Percy S. Straus, Harvard '97, and Herbert N. Straus, Harvard '03, and is in memory of their parents Mr. and Mrs. Isidor Straus.
It is planned to have Straus as a social center for the two halls that are nearest to it, Massachusetts and Matthews, neither of which have common rooms, and with this in view, a large room, situated in the middle of Straus and having an outside entrance detached form the steps that lead to its suites, has been built. In this room, which is to be the memorial proper, will be hung a portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Straus.
McKinlock is Ready for Occupancy
Next to Straus in its order of completion is McKinlock Hall, the latest of the dormitories and which belongs also to the group of buildings that will first be occupied this Fall.
McKinlock Hall is situated on DeWolf and Plympton Streets, occupying the entire block. It is a short block south of the next nearest Freshman dormitory. Gore Hall, and forms the fourth building of the group that formerly consisted of only Smith, Standish and Gore. With the Freshman classes now limited to 800 students each year, most of the entering classes will be accommodated in these four large buildings, and the new McKinlock will take care of some 150 of them. A few unlucky applicants will still have to live in the auxiliary dormitories, Shepard and Little Halls, but the number of Freshmen who have hitherto had to find rooms in lodging houses, some of them removed considerably from the college, will now be almost negligible.
This latest of Freshman dormitories is a memorial to George Alexander McKinlock. Harvard '16, who was killed fighting in France. The building is a gift of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George A. McKinlock.
McKinlock Holds Large Library
In general McKinlock closely resembles the other Freshman dormitories, but there are some slight changes. It is built, like Gore and Standish, on three sides around a court, with the open side facing the Charles. But unlike these two, McKinlock's wings are not built at right angles to the main part, but slant out a greater angle. Instead of the usual dining room that is a feature of the other three sister halls, the new building has no dining room of its own, but has, instead, a large library, reserved exclusively for the entering class, and in which all books needed incourses regularly open to Freshmen will be found.
Considerable difficulty was encountered in building the basement and foundation, for these parts of the building are below the level of the Charles, and required steady pumping for weeks while the cellars were waterproofed and equipped with ejector pits to dispose of the sewerage. The building is connected with the other three Freshman dormitories by an underground tunnel, which will not be used by the students, but which serves as a service entrance for the hall "goodies" whose headquarters are three blocks away, is the basement of Smith.
Among the buildings that will be used for the first time this year is the new Fogg Art Museum, now standing practically completed at the corner of Quincy Street and Broadway, directly opposite the southeastern corner of the Yard, and forming, though Quincy Street intervents, a quadrangle with Emerson, Sever and Robinson.
The new museum is said to be the most up-to-date building of its kind, and it will take the place of the old Fogg Museum, now too small to take care of Harvard's increasing collection of masterpieces, and too small to accommodate its ever-growing files, slides and models.
On the front side of the building, that facing Quincy Street, the Fogg Museum is three stories high, and in the rear it rises four stories. Insofar as it is possible the architects have made a beautiful building, but the exigencies of trying to satisfy practically and beauty were too great, and the builders have compromised by conceding beauty to the front part of the structure and reserving the rear for utility. As a result, the rear, fronting on Prescott Street, is little more than a high wall, with plenty of windows, and quite factory-like in appearance.
Beauty Weds Utility in Interior
But if beauty and utility proved incompatible on the outside, they have been blended to perfection in the interior. On the beauty side are such features as the court an imitation of the interior of a monastery at Canonica a da Sangella in Italy and a beamed ceiling in the lecture hall, which has been brought to this country from a French church, dating from the 16th century. On the side of utility there are ventilators under each seat in this same hall, sound proof walls, made so by a special kind of porous plaster used in all the rooms, and indirect lighting at all times in all the galleries. The entire building is of fireproof construction.
There are separate entrances to the museum part on Quincy Street, and the study part of the building on Prescott Street. The study plant includes a large library, classrooms, two lecture halls, one with a seating capacity of 500, the other with room for 100 students. The executive offices of the fine arts department are also located in the rear of the building. Rooms for drawing, a print room and a room for the study of technique are also available.
The largest single cooperation now going on in Cambridge is the new Graduate School of Business Administration.
Sixteen buildings are included in the $5,000,000 group, and they are to be, when completed, an entire college in themselves.
Two other projects will be completed before next June. The John W. Weeks Memorial Bridge across the Charles at the foot of DeWolf Street, and the new baseball cage, named in honor of Dean Briggs, which will be started in October and finished by the middle of February, in time to be available to the ball squad for early spring practice.
New Baseball Cage Rises
The new baseball cage is to be located 40 feet west of Caretaker Dennis En-right's home, and stands on the four eastern tennis courts, just inside the corner gate of the Soldiers Field inclosure. The old cage, built more than 30 years ago, had long outlived its usefulness, and the new cage will be 160 feet square, large enough for even modified outfield practice. Outside the structure will be of gray stucco, to match the Stadium.
Buildings for which drives now exist, but for which funds are not up to their goal, are the War Memorial Church, which is to occupy the site of the present Appleton Chapel, and the improvements that are to take place, when money is available in the Law School buildings.
Among the projects for which there is a demand, but neither money on hand nor a drive, the two most important are probably the swimming pool and the new gymnasium. Both occupy prominent positions in Athletic Director Bingham's program, and only await the necessary cash. Some of this at least will be realized this fall from the sale of football tickets that have been raised in price with the express purpose of supplying money for the University's "athletics for all" policy