Walking Tour of Faculty Houses

Some pleasant Saturday afternoon before the first snow falls, put on a pair of comfortable shoes and take a walking tour of Harvard's faculty houses. Most of the homes are located in an area to the northeast of the Yard, bounded by Kirkland St. on the south, Francis Ave. on the west, and Irving St. on the east.

The most impressive home, however, is Elmwood, the President's official residence. The house, which formerly belonged to James Russell Lowell, is located about a mile west, up Mt. Auburn St. near Fresh Pond.

The dean of the Faculty resided in the house, which is situated on over two acres of land, until John T. Dunlop became dean under President emeritus Pusey. Then, when President Bok took office in 1971, he moved to Elmwood, and the President's house on Quincy St. was renovated for Corporation offices.

But most of the faculty houses center around Francis Ave. Harvard owns four homes on this shady, treelined street, and many other faculty members live in privately owned residences here.

Most of the houses are large and well-preserved. Landscape enthusiasts will love 138 Irving St., a stocky house which sits on a slightly elevated tract of land. Richard Zeckhauser, the tenant, has done much of the exterior work which gives the property its impressive appearance.

A short walk from 138 Irving St. is the current residence of Charles U. Daly, vice president for Government and Community Affairs and author of the report which outlines the University's divestiture plan. Don K. Price, dean of the Kennedy School of Government, resided in the rambling structure before Daily.

Just up the street from Daly, at 95 Irving St., Chase N. Peterson rents a house from the University. Peterson's residence formerly belonged to the family of William James. Peterson said that W.E. DuBois and James used to walk home from the Yard to the house on Irving St.

Around the corner at Kirkland Place, the University owns another home of historical importance. Daniel J. Robbins, director of the Fogg and a resident at 9 Kirkland Place, said that the house was built in 1855 by Issac Cutler. It is included in the guide to Cambridge architecture. Robbins described the home as one with "simple, early Victorian character."

Not all the houses approach the beauty of the ones located in the Francis Ave. area.

Harvard owns property at 17 South St., next door to the Harvard Advocate building and across the street from the Indoor Athletic Building. The home is a small structure, slightly run down. Ernest Wallwork, a visiting scholar at the Divinity School, lived there last year.

But the dilapidated structures are few and far between. Most of the homes are worth more than $50,000; some, like Elmwood, are worth more than $250,000.

And if the walk doesn't tire you out, think about the combined value of the 29 properties. The total is over $2 million, calculated from outdated assessment records.