This is the second of a series of reports written to aid the Freshman in their selection of a House for next year.
Adams House, named in honor of the family that has contributed so much to the development of Harvard and the nation, is composed of two buildings of the former Gold Coast connected by a third section built several years ago as the culmination of the House Plan. The most centrally located of all the Houses, it fronts on Bow Street, one block from Massachusetts Avenue.
The two original portions of the House, Randolph and Westmorely Halls, were erected at a cost of more than $200,000 each, not in the dormitory tradition of architecture, but as living quarters for the more affluent students of the period just prior to the inauguration of the House Plan. The interiors of Randolph and Westmorely, while not as "modern" as those of some of the houses, have the speciousness and grandeur germane to an are when the art of living was perfected to a degree. The new central portion of the House, Russell Hall, has the interior style of the newer houses, thus giving the applicant for rooms a choice that is to be found nowhere also in the college.
Adams House embodies more unique advantages than any other unit of the House Plan. Its central location, while not possessing the vista enjoyed by the Houses on the river's edge, affords a convenience to all the activities of the college that is unequalled. The Widener Library, for instance, is only a stone's throw from Adams House, whereas from several of the other houses it takes three times as long to got to the Library as it does to get to Boston.
Adams House is the only one with its own swimming pool. The pool, built several years ago at a cost of more than $76,000, and containing a pumping, heating and purifying system with a capacity of 1000 gallons an hour, was pronounced by Ann Pennington, who dedicated it, do be the finest private pool in which she had ever swam. The House also has six of the a squash courts in the University building next door reserved for the exclusive use of House members.
In educational facilities, Adams House sets the pace for all the units of the plan. on its staff is the largest number of tutors of any house, and the staff covers the largest number of tutorial fields, having, for instance, the only available tutor in Sociology. The House library is particularly complete, and is especially strong, as is the tutorial staff, in the division of History, Government, and Economics.
In social facilities Adams House is out-standing. In addition to two luxuriously appointed Common rooms and two music rooms, it has an attractive ladies' lounge that is unique in the House Plan, and a gentlemen's retiring room that is the largest in the country north of Radio City. The House's lavish schedule of entertainment so far this year has included seven dances and a Christmas banquet.
An important feature of the House is its dining hall system, independent of the centralized university system. This arrangement, which minimizes bureaucratic congestion, permits of a management of the dining hall to accord with the specialized demands of the House that is truly unusual; this factor is of especial importance in consideration of the fact that one-third of the student's working hours are spent in the dining hall.
In intra-mural athletics, Adams House is well up at the front. Its performance during recent seasons in swimming, squash, basketball, and golf has been particularly outstanding.
The membership of the House embraces of highly congenial grouping and balancing of cosmopolitan interest made possible by the central assignment committee system, and in it the student is assured of finding an enjoyable background for his college career.