Dunster Demolition

An update on the first renovation of an entire Harvard House

View of Dunster House, the first residence for upperclassmen to undergo full renewal, from Memorial Drive. Seven weeks after the reconstruction project began, Dunster is almost completely scaffolded, and its iron gate has been removed.

Approximately seven weeks after the construction project began, the renewal of Dunster House is in full swing. The perimeter of one of the oldest dormitories for upperclassmen is almost completely scaffolded; only its iconic red and white tower looks intact. Trees and plants have been removed from the courtyard, and the grass has been covered with gravel to accommodate equipment and the construction workers. The monumental iron gate facing the Charles River is no longer in place—nor is the iron fence that used to separate the House from Memorial Drive. According to the on-site bulletin, workers are currently performing excavation and plumbing activities, selectively demolishing the interiors, and restoring walls, roofs, and chimneys. The dining hall has had some of its panels removed and the library is now empty.

Following the restoration of Old Quincy (now Stone Hall) and Leverett House’s McKinlock Hall, Dunster is the first undergraduate residence to undergo full renewal. (Last fall, the Faculty and Arts and Sciences announced that Winthrop House will be next in the House renovation project.) When Dunster reopens for the 2015-2016 academic year, it will feature horizontal corridors to facilitate movement among the traditional vertical entryways, innovative social and recreational spaces, and better-insulated walls and windows. The residence will maintain its historic neo-Georgian exterior.

During the coming academic year, the Dunster community will be dispersed across Harvard Square. The reconfigured Inn at Harvard will host the House dining hall and administrative offices as well as a number of students and tutors, while House master and co-master Roger and Ann Porter will live a few doors away at 8 Prescott Street; they have already relocated. Ridgely Hall at 65 Mount Auburn Street, Hampden Hall at 8 Plympton Street, Fairfax Hall at 1306 Massachusetts Avenue, and four buildings on Prescott Street will house the rest of the students and tutors.



Read more articles by Francesca Annic...

You might also like

Harvard Overhauls Disciplinary Procedures

To cope with violations of University statement on rights and responsibilities

Harvard’s Development Chief Departs

Brian Lee to step down at end of 2024

Immigrant Workers— America’s Engine?

Harvard economist Jason Furman on immigration and the U.S. economy.

Most popular

Mechanical Intelligence and Counterfeit Humanity

Reflections on six decades of relations with computers

The Power of Patience

Teaching students the value of deceleration and immersive attention

Who Built the Pyramids?

Not slaves. Archaeologist Mark Lehner, digging deeper, discovers a city of privileged workers.

More to explore

Relabeling Medical Definitions for Obesity in the United States

For obesity patients, improved treatments and a nuanced understanding of the disease may lead to better health.

How Was Brooklyn Bridge Park Planned?

Michael Van Valkenburgh and the making of Brooklyn Bridge Park

The Mystery Behind an Incan Tunic

Unraveling an Inca masterpiece’s secrets