Harvard Yard Photo Tour

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Harvard Yard Photo Tour

Harvard Square
Harvard Square (click image to enlarge). Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin

Harvard Yard is the heart of Harvard University, one of the eight Ivy League Schools. It was built in 1718, making it the oldest part of the university. The yard is home to thirteen of the seventeen freshman dormitories, as well as four libraries.

Adjacent to Harvard Yard and pictured above, Harvard Square is the historic center of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The square functions as a commercial center for students with its clothing stores, coffee shops, and Harvard's main bookstore.

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John Harvard Statue at Harvard University

John Harvard Statue
John Harvard Statue (click image to enlarge). Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin

The Bronze statue of John Harvard, founder of Harvard, is one of the most iconic pieces of art at the school. Created in 1884 by Daniel Chester French, the sculpture is located outside the University Hall offices of the Dean of Harvard. The statue sits atop a six-foot granite plinth. On the right side is the seal of John Harvard's alma mater: The University of Cambridge's Emmanuel College. On the left are three open books representing the veritas of Harvard.

No one knew what John Harvard looked like at the time sculpting began, so a Harvard student named Sherman Hoar, who came from a long line of New England families, acted as the model for the statue.

It has become a tradition to rub the foot of John Harvard for good luck. So while the statue, as a whole, is weathered, the foot remains shiny.

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Widener Library at Harvard

Widener Library at Harvard
Widener Library at Harvard (click image to enlarge). Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin

The Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library is Harvard's primary library within its 15.6 million volume system, which is the largest university library system in the world: The library was built as a gift from Eleanor Elkins Widener and dedication to her son. The library sits across from Memorial Church in the Tercentenary Theatre. The building opened in 1915, and today it houses over 57 miles of bookshelves and 3 million volumes.

Between 1997 and 2004, the library underwent a massive renovation project that included a new air conditioning system, new book stacks and study spaces, a new fire suppression system, and an updated security system.

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Memorial Church at Harvard University

Memorial Church at Harvard
Memorial Church at Harvard (click image to enlarge). Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin

Built in 1932, Memorial Church is located across from Widener Library in the Tercentenary Theatre, a wide grassy area in Harvard Yard. The church was built in honor of the men and women of Harvard who lost their lives in World War I, and the names 373 alumni are engraved in a statue called The Sacrifice by Malvina Hoffman. The statue was dedicated on Armistice Day, November 11, 1932. The building is also home to memorials for fellow Harvard alum who lost their lives in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. During Sunday services, the church features choral music by the Harvard University Choir.

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Tercentenary Theatre at Harvard University

Tercentenary Theatre at Harvard
Tercentenary Theatre at Harvard (click image to enlarge). Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin

At the center of Harvard Yard is Tercentenary Theatre, a wide grassy area framed by Memorial Church and Widener Library. Commencement is held on the theater every year.

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Lamont Library at Harvard University

Lamont Library at Harvard
Lamont Library at Harvard (click image to enlarge). Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin

Located in the southeast corner of Harvard Yard, Lamont Library was the first library created for undergraduate students. It was also created to relieve some of the pressure from the heavy use of Widener Library. The library was built in 1949 in honor of Harvard Alumnus Thomas W. Lamont, a famous American banker. Today, it is home to the main collections for the undergraduate curriculum in the humanities and social sciences.

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Emerson Hall at Harvard University

Emerson Hall at Harvard
Emerson Hall at Harvard (click image to enlarge). Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin

Between Sever Hall and Loeb House, Emerson Hall is home to Harvard's Department of Philosophy. The building was named in honor of Harvard alumnus, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and was designed by Guy Lowell in 1900. Emerson Hall bears over its main entrance the inscription: "What is man that thou art mindful of him?" (Psalm 8:4).

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Dudley House (Lehman Hall) at Harvard University

Dudley House at Harvard
Dudley House at Harvard (click image to enlarge). Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin

Dudley House is one of the thirteen undergraduate houses on Harvard's campus. The house primarily serves undergraduate students who are not living in the residential dorms so that they have a connection to the social, cultural, and dining opportunities on campus. The building has a computer lab in the basement, and the third floor features a game room with a TV, ping pong table, pool table, and an air hockey table. The second floor is home to a common room, which has pianos and other musical equipment available for practice. The Dudley House also has a few dining options, including Café Gato Rojo and the Dudley Café.

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Houghton Library at Harvard University

Houghton Library at Harvard
Houghton Library at Harvard (click image to enlarge). Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin

Houghton Library was constructed in 1942, and it is the main repository for Harvard's rare books and manuscripts. The library is located on the south side of Harvard Yard between Widener Library and Lamont Library. Originally, Harvard's special collections were located in the Treasure Room of Widener Library, but in 1938, Harvard Librarian Keyes Metcalf proposed the creation of a separate library for Harvard's rare books. Today, Houghton holds collections by Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Theodore Roosevelt, and E.E. Cummings to name a few.

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Sever Hall at Harvard University

Sever Hall at Harvard
Sever Hall at Harvard (click image to enlarge). Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin

Built in 1878, Sever Hall is home to a majority of the university's humanities classes. The building was designed by the famous architect H.H. Richardson and is now a National Historic Landmark. The building was built in a style now known as Richardsonian Romanesque, making it one of the most distinctive buildings in Harvard Yard. Sever has large lecture halls, small classrooms, and a few offices, features that make it the perfect location for the humanities department, beginning language courses, and some Harvard Extension School classes.

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Matthews Hall at Harvard University

Matthews Hall at Harvard
Matthews Hall at Harvard (click image to enlarge). Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin

In the heart of Harvard Yard, Matthews Hall is one of the seventeen freshmen dormitories on campus. Built in 1872, Matthews Hall features suites with double and triple occupancy with shared hallway bathrooms. The building is also home to a basement common area that features a study room, kitchen, and music room. Surrounding dorms include Straus Hall and Massachusetts Hall, the oldest dormitory in the country. Famous alumni like Matt Damon and Randolph Hearst called Matthews Hall home during their freshmen year.

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Loeb House at Harvard University

Loeb House at Harvard
Loeb House at Harvard (click image to enlarge). Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin

Constructed in 1912, Loeb House is home to the offices of Harvard's governing board. Loeb House, opposite the Lamont Library, was a gift from Harvard President, A. Lawrence Lowell. Today, the house is used by the two boards (Overseers and Corporation) for their formal meetings. Weddings, private dinners, and special celebrations are also held at the Loeb House.

If you'd like to see more images of Harvard, check out this Harvard University Photo Tour.

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