Mather House is located at 10 Cowperthwaite Street.

Mather House

Mather House is located at 10 Cowperthwaite Street. By Gladys M Kisela
Mather may be the River House furthest from the Square, but it's community definitely makes up for it. We took a trip to the "Concrete Jungle" to get you the inside scoop on this house.
By Allison P. Yan

When Alicia Keys sang “Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,” she probably wasn't just referencing New York, but Harvard's very own Mather House as well. While Mather—with its sharp Brutalist architecture—may stick out from the rest of the upperclassmen houses, it also stands out for its strong sense of house community, Happy Hours, #moresinglesmoresex and, well, a lot more.

By Megan M. Ross

All About Housing

A sophomore bedroom in the low-rise section of Mather House
A sophomore bedroom in the low-rise section of Mather House By Gladys M Kisela

Sophomores usually live in the Lowrise, which consists of singles and a common room shared with anywhere between four to six people. The common rooms are usually quite spacious and perfect for hosting parties. Seniors tend to live in the Tower, which has larger singles and amazing river views, but sometimes sophomores can get #blessed with a spot. Juniors and seniors lottery for housing in April, and while sophomore housing is assigned by the housing administrator over the summer, student roommate preference is taken into account.

A sophomore common room in Mather House.
A sophomore common room in Mather House. By Katherine L Borrazzo


Mather is a house with unparalleled community and spirit, which has prompted many, including House Committee co-chairs Lenny Murphy ’18 and Phillip Ramirez ’18, to get more involved with their house community. Freshmen assigned to Mather will have no shortage of events to look forward to, from Mather's Housing Day Happy Hour (what Mather HoCo fondly calls all of their Steins), where they order 30 pizzas every 30 minutes, to Mather Lather. There’s certainly a lot to look forward to. Murphy jokes that when he first came to Mather after getting his housing assignment, he got lost, but once he found the house, he was “blown away by the spirit of the students and the overall sense of community.”

“People might say that Mather is ugly, but the people are beautiful," Murphy said.

Housing Day is certainly a big day for Matherites—last year, Mather residents said they were actually late to the Yard because they were having such a good time bonding in their courtyard before they left. Aside from Mather’s whipped cream traditions and pizza Happy Hour, freshmen can look forward to all of the Mather Happy Hours (Valentine’s Day chocolate fondue Happy Hour, anyone?) in the Big TV room, watching sports games in the JCR, admiring the signed Conan O’Brien poster in the JCR, or just hanging out in the dining hall, which Ramirez describes as the “favorite chill spot of all Matherites…[with a] laid-back coffeeshop vibe, but with better views of the river.”

Mather Dining Hall at dinner time.
Mather Dining Hall at dinner time. By Bridget R Irvine

Besides Housing Day, Mather has a rich and exciting social life. From Mather Lather, pitched by Ramirez as “Cambridge’s annual foam party,” to ragers within Mather suites, it’s clear that Mather House is a social dorm. Mather was the first house to implement the Fast Track party registration system, and has also undergone minor renovations to make common areas more party-friendly, including replacing carpeted floors with tile floors.

Your Questions, Answered

What is one thing you want freshmen to know about your House?

Curtis M. Hsu '19: The inside is more beautiful than the outside.

Matt W. Rodriguez '19: It will grow on you. Trust me.

Patrick R. Tan '18: The walls are very thin.

What superheroes are your faculty deans most similar to?

Phillip M. Ramirez '18: Doctor Mike is Batman, because he has all of his gadgets that he's always tinkering with. He's the hero we need, but not the one we deserve.

Lenny C. Murphy ’18: Christie is Superman, because she is great friends with Batman and they compliment each other very well.

The Junior Common Room in Mather House.
The Junior Common Room in Mather House. By Katherine L Borrazzo

What makes your house special?

CMH: Singles.

Claire A. Criscione '19: A view of the river that beats the view anywhere else.

Nina C. Srivastava ’18: The distance provides a sense of community that other river houses don’t have.

Tell us more about Mather Lather.

LCM: It’s just a dance party in a foam pit. People have a great time. I would like to say that people do not get communicable diseases. It is a very clean space, and if everyone says they have a rash, it is because soap is an abrasive substance.

Anything else we should know about Mather?

LCM: Oh! There is one double in the whole house. But you are never placed into it, you usually lottery for it. It’s a special room: instead of being on the third or fourth floor of the low rise, it’s at the very front of the house.

Mather's Library, complete with spiral staircase and quiet study areas.
Mather's Library, complete with spiral staircase and quiet study areas. By Bridget R Irvine

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