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Boston's Top 10 : Harvard University (part 2) - Harvard Alumni & Harvard’s “Architectural Zoo”

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Harvard Alumni

  1. John Adams (1735–1826)

    The nation’s second president, although nervous upon entering the illustrious college as a freshman, eventually became enthralled by his studies.

    John Adams
  2. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882–1945)

    Apparently more of a social butterfly than dedicated academic, F.D.R. played pranks, led the freshman football squad, and earned a C average at Harvard before he became the 32nd president of the US.

  3. W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963)

    Founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Du Bois studied philosophy, and said of his experience, “I was in Harvard, but not of it”.

  4. Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809–94)

    The 1861 grad and future Supreme Court Justice was also the class poet, delivering a stirring reading of original work at his Class Day exercises.

  5. Al Gore (1924– )

    After serving as Vice President under Bill Clinton, Gore lost the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush. In 2007 he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his environmental work.

  6. Leonard Bernstein (1918–90)

    The country’s greatest composer and conductor was firmly grounded in the arts at Harvard. He edited the Advocate – the college’s estimable literary and performing arts journal.

    Leonard Bernstein
  7. T. S. Eliot (1885–1965)

    The modernist poet of The Waste Land fame contributed much of his early work to the Advocate. He went on to edit many of those submissions for later publication.

    T. S. Eliot
  8. Henry Kissinger (1923– )

    The International Affairs and Government professor, who graduated from Harvard summa cum laude, became President Nixon’s National Security Advisor in 1969 and Secretary of State in 1973.

  9. Benazir Bhutto (1953– 2007)

    This class of 1973 alumna later became the first woman to lead a modern Muslim state when she was elected prime minister of Pakistan in 1988. She was assassinated in 2007.

  10. Henry James (1843–1916)

    The master of the psychological novel sourced plenty of material at Harvard for his scathing 1886 work, The Bostonians.


Harvard’s “Architectural Zoo”

Prominent modernist architect James Stirling described Harvard as an “architectural zoo” – and with a campus as aesthetically diverse as Harvard’s, it’s a well-deserved moniker. Stirling was himself responsible for the university’s modernist Sackler Museum & Harvard Art Museums opened in 1985. The seemingly ubiquitous architect Charles Bulfinch, whose claim to fame is the Massachusetts State House, left his mark on Harvard Yard with his 1814 University Hall, featuring an ingenious granite staircase that “floats” – supported solely by virtue of its interlocking steps. In complete contrast Walter Gropius, whose strongly linear residential buildings pepper college campuses throughout the northeast US, contributed the Harvard Graduate Center in 1950. Gropius strove to make his industry-informed projects seem welcoming for their inhabitants, but by most Harvard grad students’ accounts, the austere-looking center doesn’t exactly scream “Home Sweet Home.” One of Harvard’s more whimsical buildings is Le Corbusier’s Carpenter Center. A wondrous collection of forms and materials, the center boasts entire walls made of glass and deeply grooved concrete. Surprisingly it is Le Corbusier’s only design in North America.

Sever Hall Trinity Church architect and 1859 Harvard alumnus H. H. Richardson designed Sever and Austin halls. Both halls echo Richardson’s distinctive Romanesque style found on his Copley Square masterpiece.

Harvard’s Top 10 Buildings
  1. Memorial Hall, 45 Quincy St (Ware & Van Brunt, 1878)

  2. Busch-Reisinger Museum, 32 Quincy St (Charles Gwathmey, 1991)

  3. Massachusetts Hall, Harvard Yard (University Overseers, 1720)

  4. Sackler Museum, 485 Broadway (James Stirling, 1985)

  5. Fogg Museum, 32 Quincy Street (Coolidge, Bulfinch & Abbott, 1927)

  6. University Hall, Harvard Yard (Charles Bulfinch, 1814)

  7. Sever & Austin Halls, Harvard Yard & North Yard (H. H. Richardson, 1880 & 1883)

  8. Harvard Graduate Center, North Yard (Walter Gropius, 1950)

  9. Carpenter Center, 24 Quincy St (Le Corbusier, 1963)

    Carpenter Center
  10. Undergraduate Science Center, Oxford St (Jose Luise Sert, 1971)

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