Hasty Pudding Club Finds New Home

Elan A. Greenwald

The Hasty Pudding social club will soon move to its new home on Garden Street, taking over a former Harvard administrative building.

After 115 years at 12 Holyoke Street, the Hasty Pudding has another place to party.

The Institute of 1770, the graduate board that oversees the four groups affiliated with the organization, has leased a “clubhouse” at 2 Garden Street.

The lease comes as the College embarks on a $25 million fundraising drive to finance renovations for the 12 Holyoke building, which the University bought from the alumni group three years ago.

According to an official statement released yesterday by the Institute of 1770, the decision to search for additional space came “in light of Harvard’s decision to renovate 12 Holyoke.”

The new space will not be subject to College regulations.

“I think the College owning the [Holyoke Street] building changes the relationship with the club,” Dean of the College Benedict H. Gross ’71 said. “If they get their own building, that’s their own business.”

When the University purchased the Holyoke Street site in the spring of 2000, the social club applied for and received official College group status—on the condition that they open their punch process to the general College population in order to comply with the University’s anti-discrimination statutes.

Previously, only those invited by current Pudding members would be considered for membership.

The Hasty Pudding Theatricals will remain at the 12 Holyoke St. location, but the Garden Street facility will house a range of artistic and social activities, according to the Institute of 1770 statement.

The new clubhouse “will provide excellent space for social gatherings, meals, offices, rehearsal spaces for the Kroks and the Pitches, and general recreational activities,” graduate board member Desmond G. FitzGerald ’65 wrote in an e-mail sent to members of the club yesterday.

But how the space will be used by the other three groups affiliated with the Hasty Pudding—the social club, the Krokodiloes and the Pitches—remains unclear.

Pitches President Melissa M. Borja ’04 said she had not been aware that the Institute of 1770 was looking for a new space.

But the Pitches’ office will remain in 12 Holyoke for the time being, she said, adding that she is optimistic about the prospects offered by the new site.

“It seems like it will bring positive changes, from what I’ve been hearing so far,” Borja said.

Members of the Krokodiloes and the Theatricals could not be reached for comment, and student members of the social club declined to comment, deferring to the Institute of 1770.

The announcement of the lease comes as the Social Club prepares to initiate the students who punched the club this fall—the fifth “open punch” since the club became a college-recognized group.

The Club will initiate the new members tomorrow night at the Inn at Harvard, followed by a post-party at the Holyoke Street location.

This July, the College approved $100,000 in safety upgrades on the Holyoke Street building in the wake of nightclub disasters in Chicago and Rhode Island. Alan Symonds, technical director of college theater, said those upgrades should be complete by the end of this month.

“The work is moving right along really rapidly,” he said. “A lot of progress has been made. I am very optimistic.”

The $25 million renovations, originally slated to start in May 2002, have yet to begin. The Theatricals will use Holyoke Street for this spring’s show.

—Staff writer David B. Rochelson can be reached at rochels@fas.harvard.edu.