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COLLECTION Identifier: HUV 563

Photographic views of Quincy House, 1957-1970s

Established in 1958, Quincy House is one of the houses in Harvard University's House system and was the first built since the original seven were developed in the early 1930s. It consists of four parts: New Quincy, Stone Hall (formerly named Mather Hall, then Old Quincy), the library known as the "Qube," and the commons, which is attached to New Quincy. Stone Hall was built in the Georgian Revival style in 1930, and the other three buildings were built in the International Style in 1958. The Photographic views of Quincy House provide a visual record of one of the houses in Harvard University's House system, as well as its grounds and surrounding area from 1957 to the 1970s. The collection contains reproductions of architectural drawings and gelatin silver photograph prints.

Dates

  • Quincy House, 1957-1970s

Researcher Access

Open for research.

Extent

0.5 cubic feet (66 photographs)

The Photographic views of Quincy House provide a visual record of one of the houses in Harvard University's House system, as well as its grounds and surrounding area from 1957 to the 1970s. The collection contains reproductions of architectural drawings and gelatin silver photograph prints. Images in the collection have been primarily contributed by the Harvard University News Office and the Harvard Alumni Bulletin, and some were given by students.

Exterior photographs show Quincy House and the grounds from a variety of angles. The images show Stone Hall (formerly Old Quincy and Mather Hall), New Quincy, and the library, known as the "Qube." Images also show the groundbreaking and construction of New Quincy. A series of images depict the 1965 fire in New Quincy. Interior images depict the "skip-stop" style in which the suites were built in New Quincy, as well as the dining hall and library. A series of images shows the first House Master (now Faculty Dean) John M. Bullitt moving into the Master's residence with the help of workers. Another series of images show the variety of subject- or language-themed tables that students could eat at during meals to learn more about a topic, including the Africa table, the German language table, the French language table, and the Hebrew language table. Images also show students waiting in line a dinner and being served meals by the kitchen staff and studying in the library.

Historical Note

Established in 1958, Quincy House is one of the houses in Harvard University's House system and was the first built since the original seven were developed in the early 1930s. It consists of four parts: New Quincy, Stone Hall (formerly named Mather Hall, then Old Quincy), the library known as the "Qube," and the commons, which is attached to New Quincy. Stone Hall was built in the Georgian Revival style in 1930, and the other three buildings were built in the International Style in 1958. The architectural firm Coolidge, Shepley, Bulfinch and Abbott designed Stone Hall, while a later iteration of the same firm named Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson and Abbott designed the newer buildings. Quincy House was named in honor of Harvard University President Josiah Quincy III, who served from 1829 to1845, and he also was also a mayor of Boston, congressman, judge, businessman, and author.

The House system was established in 1930 by Harvard University President Abbott Lawrence Lowell with the goal of supplementing the students' education with intellectually, culturally, and socially stimulating living environments, as well as creating a sense of community among students. The Houses accommodate between 350 and 500 students, and at the end of their first year, students are assigned to a House, and they live there through the end of their undergraduate career. Each House typically has a dining hall, common rooms, a library, and recreational spaces. Originally, seven houses were created between 1930 and 1931, with a combination of pre-existing buildings and new constructions. There are now twelve residential houses, plus another house for non-resident and graduate students.

By the 1950s, the rising student population caused severe overcrowding in the House system, leading to the construction of new Houses, including Quincy House, which officially opened in 1959. Mather Hall was transferred from Leverett House to Quincy House, and it began to be called Old Quincy. Its name changed again to Stone Hall after major renovations in 2013. The construction of New Quincy, the commons, and the library began in 1958 and were completed in 1959. Although the buildings were constructed in a new architectural style, International Style, the designs stayed true to Harvard tradition by using limestone and brick instead of the stucco usually used in the International Style, having a large inner courtyard, and limiting the height of New Quincy. Quincy House is seen as part of Harvard's transition from old to new architecture.

Notable residents include Ross Douthat, Seth P. Waxman, Phil Bredesen, Rob Cohen, Nelson Denis, Lou Dobbs, Douglas Feith, Jamie Gorelick, Tom Ridge, Ron Kind, Peter Sagal, Suzanne Malveaux, Anthony Brown, Tony Hsieh, Pablo S. Torre, Robert Kirshner, and Lucy H. Koh.

Arrangement

The Photographic views of Quincy House has a legacy arrangement reflecting over 100 years of interfiling individual photographs of the structure from many sources into one collection. The images are arranged into eight folders, with the photographs loosely arranged in chronological order.

This collection is part of the Harvard University Archives Photograph Collection: Views, in which Archives staff compiled images, whether acquired individually or removed from larger collections, and arranged them in categories based on locations, buildings, or landscape features for ease of reference.

Acquisition information

These images were acquired by the Harvard University Archives from the late nineteenth century through the late twentieth century.

Online access

All of the images have been digitized and are available online. Links accompany detailed descriptions.

Related Materials

Collections in the Harvard University Archives
  1. General information by and about Quincy House (HUB 1724.2)
  2. Harvard University Archives Photograph Collection: Views:http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.ARCH:hua21004
  3. Records of Quincy House, 1967 (UAV 721.380)
  4. Records of residential life in Quincy House, 1959-2005 (HUD 3724)
  5. See also Harvard University's Visual Information Access (VIA) system for more images of Quincy House from the Harvard University Archives.

References

  • Bunting, Bainbridge. Harvard: An Architectural history. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1985.
  • Education, Bricks and Mortar: Harvard Buildings and Their Contribution to the Advancement of Learning. Cambridge, Mass.: The President and Fellows of Harvard College, 1949.
  • "The House: The History of Quincy House at Harvard." Quincy House, accessed April 14, 2016. http://quincy.harvard.edu/house-life

Inventory update

This document last updated 2016 April 27.
Groups
  1. Harvard University--Buildings--History
  2. Harvard University--Buildings--Photographs
  3. Harvard University--College students--Social life and customs
  4. Harvard University--Student housing
  5. Harvard University--Student housing--Photographs
  6. Quincy House (Cambridge, Mass.)
Topics
  1. Architecture--Massachusetts--Cambridge--20th century
  2. College buildings--Massachusetts--20th century
  3. Student housing--Massachusetts--History
Formats and genres
  1. Gelatin silver prints
  2. Photographs
  3. Photograph collections

Processing Information

This finding aid was created by Amanda Shermanin March 2016.

Description of the Photographic views of Quincy House, 1957-1970s, was supported by the Harvard Library's Hidden Collection initiative.
Link to catalog
Title
Photographic views of Quincy House, 1957-1970s: an inventory
EAD ID
hua19016

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository

Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.

Contact:
Pusey Library
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2461