Lowell to Occupy Floor of DeWolfe

Lowell House plans to expand by more than 20 students

Lowell House will occupy a floor of the overflow housing at 20 DeWolfe Street next year, reversing efforts over the past three years to make the House smaller and more contiguous, resident tutors said yesterday.

Between 24 and 28 Lowell undergraduates will occupy the floor, which Kirkland House will be vacating next year, according to Lowell resident tutor Van C. Tran.

The decision comes less than a year after Lowell pulled out of Claverly Hall—a building now used entirely by Adams House—in order to make the House smaller and more geographically compact. At its peak, Lowell had more than 420 students, according to Tran. Last fall, the House had 362 students.

Kirkland House Master Tom C. Conley said last week that Lowell House’s agreement to accept a floor of DeWolfe overflow housing will help enable Kirkland to withdraw from the former apartment building.

“We were not excited about DeWolfe, but we felt a sense of responsibility—a sense of shared responsibility,” Tran said of Lowell’s decision to house students in DeWolfe.

For more than four years, the Kirkland House Masters have wanted the House to be able to leave DeWolfe due to unfavorable feedback from the residents—primarily sophomores—who occupied the building, Conley said.

To avoid a reccurrence of the same situation for Lowell, Tran said that a pair of current Lowell tutors, as opposed to new hires, will be placed in DeWolfe in order to help cultivate a connection between DeWolfe residents and Lowell House.

“We need a strong couple in DeWolfe,” he said. “We don’t want students, especially sophomores, to feel like they don’t belong in the House.”

Associate Dean of Harvard College for Student Life Joshua G. McIntosh would not confirm that Lowell will occupy DeWolfe next year, writing in an e-mail last week that “there is really no news to report related to DeWolfe.”

“I am continuing to work with the respective House Masters on this matter and expect to have more clarity on this issue later in March,” he wrote.

—Staff writer Naveen N. Srivatsa can be reached at