Light on the Hill, Volume II

Miller, Russell


HOW BEST TO UTILIZE THE ACREAGE that comprised the Medford-Somerville campus did not become a matter of really serious concern to Tufts until relatively recently in its history. At its greatest extent the grounds had consisted of more than 200 acres, but after much of the property had had to be sold off before World War I when the institution fell upon hard times, it had shrunk to 120 acres (the same size as in 1866). It remained substantially that same size when Wessell became president. The last addition, not significant in terms of acreage, had been made in 1950, when the trustees purchased eight lots adjacent to "College Acres" across the street from Cousens Gymnasium.

The first suggestion that a comprehensive land-use plan be provided was made by the Board of Overseers in 1906. It came to nothing, probably for two reasons: There seemed to be no pressing need for such a plan at the time; and the trustees, who had turned the recommendation over to their executive committee, had instructed them not to prepare any plan that would involve any expenditure of funds. Acting President William L. Hooper recommended in 1913 that an overall plan for the future development of the campus be undertaken. He believed it could be made a special project of the civil engineering students. However, nothing was ever done in that direction.

Until 1925 the college depended on its own resources for what campus planning there was. Much of it was done by Edwin H. Wright, an alumnus (1894) who had joined the civil engineering department in 1919. Before becoming a faculty member he had had some twenty years' experience in a Boston architectural firm, so it was considered unnecessary to use outside assistance. President Cousens called upon him extensively to advise on the best location for such structures as gates and fences. Wright was co-designer, with a colleague, of the Pearson Chemical Laboratory. In 1921 Wright prepared a master


plan for both campuses which included "a Student Social Center" for the Medford campus which had to wait for over half a century. The Boston architectural firm of Andrews, Jones, Biscoe, and Whitmore was employed as consultants in 1925 and served in that capacity for several years until stringent economy measures made continuation of the relationship impossible. While they were consultants they designed many buildings on the campus, including Cousens Gymnasium in the early 1930s.

With the coming of World War II but little attention was paid to campus planning. In 1957 Wessell called for the development of a master plan and the establishment of a five- to ten-year maintenance schedule for each building. Almost all had suffered from wear and tear during and after the war and were much in need of repairs brought on by over-use. In 1954 Jan T. Friis was appointed Planning Engineer for both campuses, a position he held until retirement in 1960. Arthur A. and Sidney N. Shurcliff, landscape architects and town planners, were employed in 1955 to prepare long-range plans for site development and sketches for a new central heating plant.

The growing importance of planning was reflected in the title held by Donald W. Korth, Jr., who was appointed Director of Physical Plant and Coordinator of Facilities and Planning for both campuses in 1966. Korth resigned after eight years of strenuous work and was succeeded by Lawrence L. Ketchem whose responsibility was limited to the Medford campus. By then the university was responsible for a grand total of approximately 130 buildings. Korth's appointment had coincided with the announcement of yet another master plan which was to cost $35,000 to prepare and take at least ten months to complete. The planning was done by Walter F. Bogner, as coordinating architect from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Dan Kiley of Vermont, a landscape and planning architect. Pietro Belluschi, former Dean of the MIT School of Architecture, was selected to review the plans, which took somewhat longer than a year to complete.

Tufts, during the years between 1952 and 1955, embarked on a building program of unprecedented magnitude. It saw no less than seven buildings simultaneously under construction and still others were in the planning stage. Six were on the Medford campus and one (Posner Hall), a dormitory, was constructed in Boston for Tufts medical and dental students. As Wessell hastened to explain, the intent of this great surge of construction was not to expand the institution but to improve the quality of life within it. Four of the major buildings in Medford, all planned during the Carmichael era, had been completed by the opening of school in the fall of 1954 and


two others were still under construction but within sight of completion. Some new buildings, like dormitories, intended to be self-amortizing, were financed in large part by low-interest federal money borrowed under the Housing and Home Finance Agency established in 1950. In almost all cases the actual costs of construction exceeded original estimates. University reserves, always rather slender, had to be supplemented by current receipts to finance capital expenditures. Even then, the operating budget remained in the black for every year of the Wessell administration.

Preceding the completion of the six major buildings in Medford was the construction of a not very prepossessing and strictly utilitarian one-story cement-block structure erected in 1953 as an office headquarters for a Systems Coordination (engineering) project of the United States Naval Research Laboratory. A PhD degree in Systems Analysis had even been authorized by the trustees in 1952 but none was ever awarded. After a short stay on the campus the naval unit departed and the building was used for several years to house the Eliot-Pearson School. After the first section of their building was constructed in 1962 the Systems building remained vacant and was used for storage until occupied during part of 1970-71 by the History Department after Braker Hall had been damaged by fire. It housed the university day-care center, beginning in 1971.

Construction of a new men's dormitory of modified Georgian design and named Carmichael Hall in honor of the former president, had been authorized in 1952 and was well under way in 1953. It was financed by a combination of a federal loan of $ 1,065,000 and general funds. It was opened in the fall of 1954 and was dedicated on Homecoming Day, 13 November. It was the first men's dormitory to have been constructed at Tufts in more than twenty-five years. Designed by Arland A. Dirlam, a Tufts alumnus, it was intended originally to have housed primarily students in the two ROTC programs, with a capacity of 280. Included was a central kitchen and student, faculty, and presidential dining rooms.

One building authorized in 1945 but not constructed until nine years later was Hodgdon Hall, named for Frederick C. Hodgdon, a Tufts trustee and the third largest benefactor up to that time. The new women's dormitory, originally to have been named Frothingham Hall in honor of a member of the first board of trustees, was built to house 150 students (and cost considerably more than estimated). The cornerstone-laying took place on Alumni Day, 12 June 1954. It was equipped with a small cafeteria and dining room for the convenience of the residents. A perennial source of annoyance were the paper


thin walls between rooms which, with only a single row of cinder blocks separating them, created a potential for noise which reached an alarming decibel level.

The cornerstone-laying of Harold E. Sweet Hall, on the northern slope of the campus, was held later in the same afternoon as the ceremony for Hodgdon Hall. Built to house the two ROTC units, ground had been broken in the fall of 1953. The building was financed largely with reserves derived from overhead payments on government contracts, supplemented by funds from the Fletcher estate. It was named in memory of a long-time alumni trustee and chairman of the board for more than twenty-five years. Originally the building was to have been constructed on College Acres, across from Cousens Gymnasium, but the site had to be abandoned because of the depth necessary to reach a solid base. The area was filled-in land which had been formerly a clay pit where brickmaking once took place, before Tufts acquired the property. The new quarters made possible the release by the ROTC units of space in Cousens Gymnasium for the use of the Electrical Engineering Department. After the departure of the Air Force ROTC from the campus the


west wing of Sweet Hall, a U-shaped building, was occupied in 1971 by the College Within and later by the graduate school. After the departure of the Naval ROTC unit, the east wing became the headquarters of the Personnel Office.

A building which met a long-felt need at Tufts was the Edward E. Cohen Arts Center, most of the funds for which were donated by a well-known Boston leather merchant and philanthropist who had also made gifts to the medical school. Cohen had offered $125,000 to build an auditorium bearing his name but World War II made use of the gift impossible at the time. The building, designed like so many others by Dirlam in the 1950s, was constructed on the south side of the campus and was dedicated on 21 September 1955. In spite of gifts of additional funds from the original donor, more than a quarter of a million dollars of general funds had to be used to complete the structure. Completion of this building, as well as two others under construction, was delayed for several weeks because of two destructive hurricanes which struck the area in the late summer of 1954 and did an estimated $100,000 damage to the campus, including the loss of some thirty trees. An explosion occurred in Robinson Hall because of shorted power lines. Much damage was done because of the flooding of basement rooms in the still unfinished arts center. Water seepage caused by faulty engineering design was still plaguing the building in the 1980s. The Cohen Arts Center, the new home for the Music, Drama and Speech, and Fine Arts Departments, contained a much-needed multi-purpose auditorium (then the largest on the campus) seating 628, classrooms, offices, and an art gallery. The building was connected with Jackson Gymnasium by Alumnae Hall, planned in 1949, authorized in 1952, and constructed the same year as Cohen. It was financed largely through the efforts of the Jackson College Association of Tufts Alumnae. The women's gymnasium was the headquarters of a dance group which was growing in size and popularity.

The facilities of the new building were particularly welcome to the three departments which occupied it. The Music House (later the Research Building), next to the Boston and Maine Railroad, had once been the home of the Chemistry Department. At the time facilities in Cohen were made available, the Music Department shared quarters in the Music House with the engineering laboratory in hydraulics. The old building, intended as a "temporary" structure when erected in 1894, had also previously housed the theater workshop. The Drama Department had to be content for their productions with continued use of the Arena Theater, the former women's gymnasium vacated in 1948. The Fine Arts Department had, for a decade,


occupied one shabby room in Ballou Hall. Because additional funds had to be drawn from Tufts' own resources to supplement the Cohen gift and complete the structure in the spring of 1955, all of the new staging facilities so hoped for by the Drama Department were not provided. The stage in the auditorium of the new building was completely inadequate for dramatic productions, and the long-standing need for a modern drama center went unrealized. It had finally become a high priority item in a proposed enlarged arts center planned for the 1980s. One tenured member of the Drama Department who resigned to accept a position at another institution gave as one of his reasons his disappointment in the failure to provide adequate facilities.

In 1954, as new buildings were being constructed or completed, Wessell put on the agenda the restoration and complete renovation of Ballou Hall, the oldest academic building on the campus. It had been a multi-purpose structure from the outset. Although ostensibly an administrative headquarters, parts of its upper floors were still being used for classroom purposes in the early 1950s, a full century after the institution had opened. Although some remodelling had


taken place as recently as 1950, there had been no complete overhaul of the building since it was constructed. As soon as the decision had been made to make it a centralized and totally administrative building, the trustees, in the spring of 1955, authorized an anticipated expenditure of $125,000. But within six weeks after work began, the amount necessary to carry out the renovation had risen to $225,000. Within a few more weeks the estimated cost had climbed to $300,000. Then, serious structural weaknesses were discovered in the interior of the building that required an even greater outlay. By the time the renovation was completed and the building was re-dedicated on Alumni Day, 9 June 1956, the bill totalled slightly more than half a million dollars. Some $375,000 had to be taken from endowment to help finance it. This included the architectural services of the New York firm of McKim, Mead, and White.

Among the internal changes were the restoration of the original second-floor chapel which was used for faculty meetings and other official functions, and was dedicated in 1957 as the Coolidge Memorial Room in honor of Richard B. Coolidge, long-time treasurer of the corporation. Stairways were also relocated and reconstructed, and a self-service elevator was installed. On the exterior the original chimneys were rebuilt and some were made operative again after many years of disuse. During reconstruction, most of the administrative offices were housed temporarily in a very crowded Packard Hall.

The frenetic pace of building consruction and reconstruction of the early and mid-1950s slowed only slightly during the next few years. The steady increase in enrollments of both men and women made additional living space an absolute necessity. The need was made even more urgent by the attempt to carry out the long-standing policy of making the student body as residential as possible. But the trustees and the administration wanted to maintain as long as they could a "collegiate" atmosphere and avoid the image of Tufts as a trolley-car institution.

Expansion of institutional property for living purposes during the 1950s and 1960s took two forms: acquisition of residences adjacent to the campus, and the building of additional dormitories. Between 1954 and 1959 fourteen houses were purchased by the university and used as faculty residences. By 1956 the number of faculty families in university housing had risen from thirty-three to forty. During the same period (1954-59), five former private residences were acquired for use as graduate student accommodations and three others were acquired for use by undergraduate women. To meet the housing needs of women, between 1959 and 1966 two new dormitories and two new dining halls were added. Bush


Hall, built in 1959 to house 108 undergraduate women, was named for Edith L. Bush, sister of one of Tufts' more prominent alumni, Vannevar Bush, and Dean of Jackson College for more than a quarter of a century. Haskell Hall, opened in the fall of 1965, was named for Harold and Ruth Haskell, both members of the Class of 1906 and benefactors of the institution.

As the number of Jackson dormitories on the south side of the campus brought a substantial increase in student population, new dining facilities had to be provided. Dewick Dining Hall, opened in 1959, was built to feed 300. Cora Polk Dewick, a member of Tufts' first graduating class to include women (in 1896), was also the first woman to serve on the Tufts board of trustees. In 1961 this dining hall was supplemented by the Elmore and Etta MacPhie Dining Hall, built at right angles to Dewick Hall and serviced by a common kitchen. It was used at first by women students in the College of Special Studies. It contained a conference room with a capacity of about thirty, and was used mostly by the trustees and for faculty committee meetings and similar gatherings. This dining hall was named for a husband and wife team (both alumni). Both had been Tufts trustees, Mrs. MacPhie having succeeded her husband after his death.

With the provision of expanded dining facilities and the continued demand for housing for women, Tilton Hall was added in 1962. Named for John P. Tilton, the first Tufts provost and senior vice-president, who had died in 1959, the new dormitory was built to house 144, and was dedicated on Homecoming Day, 13 October 1962. The architectural firm which designed the building was Perry, Shaw, Hepburn, and Dean.

Housing for men was also significantly increased between 1959 and 1966. Miller Hall was constructed in 1959 on the northern edge of what had been the site of a municipal reservoir constructed in 1865, abandoned, acquired by Tufts in 1944, drained, and filled in. The building, christened on Homecoming Day, 31 October 1959, was named for George S. Miller, associated with Tufts in many capacities, beginning with his enrollment as a freshman in 1903, and present at the ceremony. The construction attracted much attention because it was the first use on the campus of pre-cast concrete floor slabs which were hoisted into place by hydraulic jacks. The structure, built to house 238, was known among the students as the "Miller Hilton" because of its appointments. It vied with Carmichael Hall at the end of what became an open quadrangle. That dormitory, with its lighted cupola, was rather loosely referred to as "a glorified Howard


Johnson's." The basement of Miller Hall became the headquarters for a computer center in 1972.

The south side of the quadrangle was occupied by Houston Hall, constructed in 1962. The new dormitory was named for Clarence ("Pop") Houston, the first Vice-President for Development and a former Director of Athletics. Designed by Perry, Shaw, Hepburn, and Dean, it had the same architectural features as Miller Hall. Haskell Hall (for women) and Wren Hall (for men), both occupied in the fall of 1965, were the last dormitories to be constructed during the Wessell administration. Wren Hall bore the name of Frank G. Wren, Dean of the Faculty for a record thirty-two years. The five-story structure, built into the northern slope of the campus below the site of the old reservoir, was of innovative interior construction. Intended to house 220, it consisted of twenty-two separate suites for ten students each. Each suite had six bedrooms surrounding a central lounge and adjacent study room. One educational objective of this arrangement was to bring together individuals majoring in different fields of study by avoiding the hospital-like corridor arrangement in Carmichael Hall and some other large dormitories.

Two other types of physical plant improvements characterized the Wessell era. One was the contruction of new academic buildings and the other was the provision of new or improved service facilities. In the former category was a new building for the College of Engineering. Wessell had first called for one when he outlined the more immediate physical needs of the institution in 1954, knowing full well that overcrowded Robinson Hall, built in 1900, the Bromfield Pearson building (1894), and the Howe Memorial Laboratory (1901) were grossly inadequate. Part of the Mechanical Engineering Department had overflowed into the old Music House, and the Electrical Engineering Department had been installed in a wing of Cousens Gymnasium in 1939, where it remained. The Chemical Engineering Department was located in the Pearson Chemical Laboratory; like the Electrical Engineering Department, it remained in its old quarters after the new engineering building was constructed.

Unlike many other structures built in the 1950s and 1960s, the funds for the construction of the new building were raised from private gifts rather than partially supported by federal loans. The largest single gift came from the Charles Hayden Foundation and the largest gift from an individual was made by Arthur J. Anderson. The necessary $1.4 million was raised through the volunteer services of Edward D. Sabin, an engineering graduate in 1920. Because of the nature of the funding, numerous parts of the building were


named for individual donors. The building itself, dedicated on Alumni Day, l0 June 1961, bore the name of Arthur J. Anderson, an engineering alumnus of the Class of 1912, an insurance executive, Swedish consul in Boston, and at the time of the dedication, the chairman of the board of trustees.

Described as "the most lavish classroom building on the campus," it housed the Departments of Civil and Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Graphics. The structure contained, besides nine classrooms in the four-story building, laboratories on the ground floor, and the customary offices. There was also space for housing the school's digital computer center (named for engineering alumnus Vannevar Bush); the Richard H. Lufkin Memorial Engineering Library; and a faculty lounge furnished by the Class of 1933 and named in honor of Harry P. Burden, a former dean of the school. A tablet in the foyer carried the names of sixty-nine individual donors; other plaques were scattered about the building.

As part of the same Alumni Day ceremonies the William Leslie Hooper Lounge was dedicated in the Electrical Engineering Department. The lounge was financed through the efforts of Edwin B. Rollins, an alumnus of the Class of 1901 who was celebrating his own sixtieth reunion that year. He had been a student under Hooper, who had been the first chairman of the department and had served for two years as acting president after the resignation of Frederick W. Hamilton. The Hooper Laboratory, which had been named in honor of the electrical engineer in 1940, was re-named Halligan Hall in 1983.

The greatest building triumph of the Wessell administration was a new central library, opened in September 1965. Eaton Memorial Library, built in 1906 and financed by a gift from Andrew Carnegie, but not occupied until 1908 because of a lack of funds to equip and staff it, had long since been outgrown. Many years before 1950, when the Alumni Memorial Wing was added, the library had deteriorated badly because of the passage of time and over-use. The wing, used as a reading room, alleviated the problem of congestion somewhat, but by no means solved it. It had a seating capacity of only 176 and was heavily overtaxed. Several dining halls had to be pressed into service as supplementary study areas.

Although the need for a new central library had been acknowledged for many decades, actual planning did not start until about 1958. Out of the effort came the largest building yet constructed on the campus. The new structure was named by consensus as well as formal action, in honor of the outgoing president. Wessell had constantly urged the building of a new library and called it "Tufts' most


pressing need .... There is no such thing as a first-rate university with a second-rate library." The chronic lack of funds had prevented filling the need until the mid-1960s.

The new library was the major project to be financed out of a $7.5 million fund-raising campaign (the Tufts University Program), announced in 1958. Partial funding was also provided under the Higher Education Facilities Act. The estimated total cost of the structure was slightly more than $2.1 million, and the total project, including architect's fees, furnishings, and equipment was $2.9 million - the largest sum yet expended on an academic building at Tufts.

Over half ($4.1 million) of the total goal of the development drive had been raised by the time ground was broken for the new building - the largest sum yet raised by the institution in so short a time. A mass ground-breaking ceremony with no less than 200 shovels used for the occasion was held on Alumni Day on 9 June 1962, preceding Tufts' 106th Commencement the following day. Construction began in January 1964 and the building was opened on schedule little more than a year later. Such a skeleton chronology gives but small indication of the lengthy and intricate planning which had gone into the new structure and of the problems of location and architectural design which had to be surmounted. One of the first steps was the selection of a site, and various architectural firms were called in as consultants. The Boston firm of Campbell and Aldrich (later, Campbell, Aldrich, and Nulty) prepared an evaluation of possibilities in the winter of 1960. Seven sites (some overlapping) were considered, including the land on which West Hall stood, the tennis courts across from the president's house, and the slope below Goddard Chapel and Eaton Library. There were doubts about the feasibility of this last site because the large building called for would be likely to dominate the area, dwarf other buildings, and "destroy the character of the hillside." The final decision to use the eastern part of the slope below the old library, made in 1962, created a major design challenge.

The firm of Campbell and Aldrich was originally selected to design the new library, but their proposed plan calling for a threeor four-story building was considered unsatisfactory. So in January 1963 the executive committee of the trustees authorized a limited competition to prepare a design. Four Boston-area firms, including Campbell and Aldrich, were invited to compete in accordance with rules established by the American Institute of Architects. The governing criteria were site planning, building design, and cost of construction. The competing firms were Campbell and Aldrich; Perry, Shaw. Hepburn and Dean; Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson and


Abbott; and The Architects Collaborative. Two other firms were selected as alternates in case one of the four declined. Walter Bogner, chairman of the School of Design at Harvard, was retained as adviser and presented pertinent information to the competing firms in April 1963. After the entries were received they were submitted to a five-person jury consisting of William F. Keesler, chairman of the trustee Building and Grounds Committee; President Wessell; C. Russell DeBurlo, a Tufts vice-president and the Comptroller at the time; Lawrence Anderson, an architect; and Hideo Sasaki, a landscape architect. A statement of requirements was prepared by Joseph S. Komidar, the University Librarian, aided by Keyes Metcalf, Librarian Emeritus of Harvard. They also reviewed the entries with an eye particularly to functional efficiency. It was significant that the jury was weighted heavily with university personnel rather than with professional architects.

The winner of the competition, by unanimous vote of the jury, was Campbell and Aldrich, announced on 1 June 1963. The firm solved the problems posed by the sloping terrain by constructing a


low three-tiered building partially recessed into the hillside, with only 25 percent of the building equipped with windows. Although many trees had to be sacrificed to make way for the new building, grass plots were built on the various terraces which made the structure blend harmoniously into its surroundings without dominating them as had been feared. The building was constructed with buttress-like design of reinforced concrete faced with Indiana limestone, and tied in with the campus mall on the top of the hill by a series of low walls and steps.

The interior of the structure, air conditioned and humidity controlled, and furnished with state-of-the-art equipment, more than doubled the square feet available in the old library, and more than doubled its seating capacity. The floor of the open-stack book area, with a capacity of approximately half a million volumes, and the public areas, were covered with wall-to-wall carpeting. Every detail of the interior, projected to serve between twenty and twenty-five years, was worked out meticulously by the University Librarian, with advice and assistance from others.

The beauty of the new library was enhanced with the installation of two works executed by Carl Milles, the Swedish sculptor. One was the first bronze casting of an elephant. It was shipped from Stockholm, and presented as a gift of the Class of 1915 and dedicated on 5 June 1965 on the occasion of their fiftieth reunion. The elephant had been created about 1948 but was not cast until discovered among Milles' work after his death in 1955. The sculpture was installed in the outer courtyard leading to the main entrance to the library and served as a centerpiece of what was known as the Milles Jumbo Fountain. It was designed so that water from the trunk showered on the figure of a graceful youth mounted on the elephant's back. The sculpture was chosen to represent the college mascot, the mounted hide of which was on display in the lobby of Barnum Museum. The Class of 1915 included in their gift not only the sculpture but the benches, landscaping, and spotlighting of the courtyard.

A second Milles sculpture, also fabricated in Sweden, was a reduced replica of "Man and Pegasus," the gift of the Wessells and selected by them; it was given in honor of their parents. It was installed in the lobby of the new library in 1968 and was placed on a pedestal in the center of one of the three planters under the skylights. It was mounted on a simple shaft designed by Campbell, Aldrich, and Nulty as a replica of the shaft on which the original stood in Milles Garden. They also designed the base of the Milles Fountain.

Wessell Library was dedicated on Alumni Day, 4 June 1966, as part of Alumni Weekend festivities. In that same year the building was awarded first honors, one of seven national award winners for architectural excellence in a design award program for colleges and universities. The competition, in which 258 buildings were entered, was conducted jointly by the American Institute of Architects, Educational Facilities Laboratories, Inc., and the Bureau of Higher Education of the United States Office of Education.

The problems associated with the Nils Yngve Wessell Library as a physical entity over the years were all soluble, although at times they reached serious proportions and sometimes created major inconvenience as well as minor irritation. The decision to recess the building into the hill side created problems of leakage and seepage, aggravated because the contractor used large boulders to fill in the space, and they damaged the waterproofing material. Several attempts to remedy and several thousand dollars worth of materials and labor were required to make repairs. Failure of the air conditioning equipment, which occurred more than once, made the sealed building uninhabitable in a matter of minutes. Those students prone to decorating their surroundings with graffiti found the new library an especially tempting target and prompted the librarian to call attention to it in annual reports. Before the Wessell Library was five years old, students began to complain of insufficient study space, with protests most vociferous during the times of academic crisis known as mid-term and final examination periods. In the absence of a campus center the students tended to use the library as a social headquarters, and its size and design made policing it a difficult problem.

But, all-in-all, the largest monument to the Wessell administration met admirably the demands made upon it. It was not only one of the most attractive and unusually designed structures on the campus but was functionally efficient, as befitted a modern library. It was not until 1984, almost twenty years after it had been opened, that refurbishing and some interior rearrangements were made to brighten what one outside consultant had called its "fading beauty," and to increase its capacity. The twenty to twenty-five year projection for the library turned out to be amazingly accurate. Long before his retirement in 1981, after twenty-five years at Tufts, Komidar had initiated the planning for an eventual wing. In fact, one of the specifications that he recommended when the competition was being arranged in 1963, was that a method of enlarging the building be included in the specifications. This became one of the principal agenda items for the 1980s.

Other structures of less magnitude were completed in the early and mid-1960s. The trustees of the Lincoln and Theresa Filene Foundation announced in the spring of 1961 the award to Tufts of a $200,000 grant (later increased by $50,000) to construct a new headquarters for the work being carried on by the Tufts Civic Education Center. It was immediately renamed the Lincoln Filene Center for Citizenship and Public Affairs. Construction began during the summer of 1961 and was completed early in 1963. During the course of excavation, sections of the water pipes leading from the old reservoir on top of the hill were uncovered. The ground floor of the new structure, which adjoined Braker Hall, became the headquarters of the Department of Education. It was unceremoniously dubbed "Filene's bargain basement" - a reference to the famous discount section in one of Boston's largest department stores. The principal conference room in the new wing was named in 1963 in honor of Sidney Rabb, owner of the Stop and Shop grocery supermarket chain.

In 1954 the Nursery Training School of Boston, which had affiliated with Tufts three years earlier, moved its operations from downtown Boston to the Tufts campus, where it first occupied the building near Cousens Gymnasium being vacated by the Systems Research Laboratory. The school, renamed the Eliot-Pearson School for Nursery and Kindergarten Teaching in 1955 in honor of its founders, soon outgrew its quarters, and in 1962 leased university-owned land near the lower end of College Avenue, on the site of the old Stearns estate. The school constructed a one-story brick building in 1962 at a cost of $225,000 and dedicated it that fall. Campbell and Aldrich were the architects.

After the merger with Tufts in 1964 as the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study, all of its property was transferred to the institution. A small administration building was added in 1965. Meanwhile, the students lived in a number of small dormitories on the edge of the campus, all previously private dwellings acquired by the university, and some of which had been former Jackson dormitories. Further additions to the Eliot-Pearson School buildings were yet to come.

In 1963 ground was broken for a new wing added to the northwest corner of Barnum Hall, and financed by a combination of funds supplied by the Dana Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Tufts University Program completed the same year. The individual whose name the building bore was Charles A. Dana, a lawyer and industrial executive whose benefactions to colleges and hospitals ran into the millions. The $750,000 Dana Biology Laboratory at Tufts, which was occupied in the spring of 1965, was designed


by Perry, Shaw, Hepburn and Dean. Architecturally, with its vertical, modern appearance, concrete structure, and recessed windows, the building contrasted sharply with Barnum.

The building needs of the Fletcher School had become acute by 1960. One of the most urgent concerns was the cramped library, installed with the rest of the school when it opened in 1933 in what had been Goddard Gymnasium. Thanks to the munificence of Stephen P. Mugar, operator of the Star Market grocery chain and Brigham's ice cream retail chain, and money from other sources, funds were made available in the early 196os for improvements. Working drawings for the building, named in Mugar's honor, were completed in 1962. Construction took place in 1963, and the new facilities were open for use in the fall of 1964.

One building had to be torn down in 1963 to make way for the new structure which was built at the rear of Goddard Hall, and was designed by Perry, Shaw, Hepburn and Dean at a cost of more than half a million dollars. The casualty was Dean Hall, a small dormitory for men erected in 1886 and not known for its architectural beauty. It had been designed by George A. Clough of Boston and part of the brick structure was being used in the early 1960s to house the overflow from Fletcher School activities. The new building consisted of enlarged library quarters, faculty offices, and faculty and graduate lounges, and two dining rooms and a cafeteria, all serviced by a common kitchen. The Frank G. Wren faculty dining room was named for the same individual as the men's dormitory opened in 1965. The Roscoe Pound Dining Room, primarily for the use of Fletcher students, was named for the first Professor of Public and International Law when Fletcher had opened, and who had been the recipient of seventeen honorary degrees.

The Arthur Michael Chemistry Research Laboratories building, dedicated on 14 May 1965, represented yet another much-needed improvement to campus facilities. Connected by walkways to the Pearson Memorial Chemistry building, the new award-winning structure, with striking architectural lines, was designed by The Architects Collaborative of Cambridge. The architects would have been distressed to know that the building was mistakenly identified by a newcomer to the campus as an incinerator. The building was named for a pioneer organic chemist who served for nearly thirty years on the Tufts faculty and received three honorary degrees from the institution, although he never possessed an earned degree. Each of the three floors above the ground was equipped with a large laboratory, equipment room, offices, and a private laboratory for two researchers. The top floor was occupied by the Walter F.


Rockwell Chemistry Library, with space provided for eventual installation of a mezzanine. Rockwell was a prominent industrial engineer and Tufts alumnus. One of the most unusual features of the building were exterior fume-venting columns which ran the height of the building. Experience soon indicated that this design feature was less functionally workable than planned, and had to be partially redesigned.

The property of what was originally a small distributing firm at 530 Boston Avenue, known as the Quality Cheese Co., was acquired in 1964. It was used jointly by the Physics and Psychology Departments. Known unofficially and somewhat loosely as "the cheese factory," and officially as Bacon Hall, it was named for George P. Bacon, Professor of Physics and one-time Dean of the Engineering School.

Although the Bouve-Boston School had been affiliated with Tufts since 1942, there were, except for student housing scattered along the fringes of the campus, no office, classroom, or gymnasium facilities provided until 1951. The school headquarters until then were located on Huntington Avenue in Boston. In 1950 the Tufts trustees had donated land on the north side of the campus on which a building to house the school could be constructed. Tufts was to have the first option to purchase the land and building, constructed by Bouve at a cost of $225,000, if it ever came on the market. A dormitory for Bouve women, Ruth Page Sweet Hall, had been built in 1956-57 and occupied in 1958. The land on which the dormitory was constructed had been sold to Bouve in 1955 for $1.00, with the understanding that it would revert to Tufts if the school ever left the campus.

After the departure of the school in the mid-1960s, their two buildings were soon put to Tufts uses. The former combined gymnasium and administration building became Lane Hall, dedicated in June 1968. Alfred Church Lane, after whom the building was named, had been a Professor of Mineralogy and Geology for more than thirty years. It was therefore appropriate that the Geology Department move from its crowded quarters in Barnum Hall into the new location. The mortgage on the former women's dormitory was assumed by Tufts and the building was turned into a men's dormitory and rechristened Hill Hall in 1967 to avoid confusion with the former ROTC building (Harold E. Sweet Hall). The renamed dormitory, dedicated at Commencement time in 1968, created about as much confusion of terminology as had the name of the former Bouve dormitory. Although located on Medford Hillside, the dormitory was not named Hill Hall because of its site but in honor of Judge Robert W. Hill, a prominent Boston-area lawyer and Tufts alumnus (1904).


A new element of confusion was introduced when the Hillside dormitory complex was added in the late 1970s.

There were two service structures of importance built during the 1960s which provided new and improved physical facilities. One was construction of an oil-fired central heating plant authorized in 1956, designed by Ralph Williams, and built to service all of the major buildings on the campus. The Howe Memorial Laboratory, built in 1901 and which doubled as a foundry and heating and power plant for the engineering buildings, was razed in 1960 to make way for Anderson Hall. Completed in 1957, the new heating plant replaced the old coal-fired boilers previously in use. During the laying of the steam pipes for the new heating plant the campus, laced with ditches and temporary wooden bridges over excavations, gave the appearance, as one observer noted, of trench warfare during World War I and part of the Maginot Line of pre-World War II days. The torn-up campus became the subject of a humorous song included in "Hullaballou," a highly successful musical comedy produced by the Tufts Women's Club and in which the cast consisted of administrative and faculty members. A few years later, with the construction still in mind, some Tuftonians chuckled when, in an address in Boston by Chancellor Robert Hutchins of the University of Chicago, he defined a university as "a collection of colleges held together by a central heating plant."

The other important service improvement came during the early years of the Hallowell administration in the late 1960s. A new $350,000 Central Service building was constructed on Boston Avenue in 1968. It replaced a decrepit World War II-vintage former army barracks near Cousens Gymnasium which had been moved from an island in Boston Harbor in 1946. The building had been acquired by Tufts as military surplus.

The maintenance staff of the Department of Grounds and Buildings had been unionized in 1944. A brief work stoppage - the first employee strike in Tufts' history - occurred in September 1957 after a threat to do so was made for the second time in four years. The single greatest issue was wages. After prolonged and difficult negotiations the strike was taken, on the demand of the union, to the Massachusetts Board of Conciliation where a satisfactory settlement was reached. Tufts' argument was that a strike or threat of a strike was not a proper bargaining weapon in a non-profit organization. No further employee strikes occurred after "amicable negotiations" had been completed in 1962 with the AFL/CIO Building Service Employees Union.

The Department of Grounds and Buildings grew as the institution increased in size and complexity in the 1950s and 1960s, and by 1964 operated on a budget of $1.2 million. The best known individual associated with the department during that period was William ("Billy") Slater, who became one of the most popular individuals in the Tufts community. In his long service at the institution (forty-two years), he had come up through the ranks to become Director of Grounds and Buildings in 1954. A local high school graduate, Slater was honored on the eve of his retirement in 1979 with a bachelor of science degree in engineering extra ordinem.

As the number of course offerings proliferated and additions were made to administration and faculty, the need for additional classrooms and office space had became increasingly urgent in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The president had suggested the possibility of converting to classroom and office use both East Hall and Eaton Library, even before a new structure was built.

In 1966, after 106 years as a men's dormitory, the interior of East Hall was reconstructed and became an academic building. It housed the English Department (moved from Packard Hall, which was then renovated), the German and Romance Language Departments, and the data processing center which was housed in the basement. The seminar rooms installed at the corners of each floor did much to improve teaching facilities. A commons room on the first floor was designated the Laminan Modern Language Room, with furnishings paid for largely by Mr. and Mrs. Toivo Laminan, through the efforts of Seymour 0. Simches, chairman at the time of the Romance Language Department.

In 1960 the proposal had been made that when a new structure was built to house the main library the old vacated building be used for the humanities and social sciences. However, nothing could actually be done about converting the building until the new library was completed. The firm of Robert Heller Associates was employed in 1965 to prepare preliminary architectural plans and construction estimates for the former Eaton Library. At the same time the trustees decided to redesignate the building as simply "Eaton Memorial" although it was usually referred to as "Eaton Hall." The interior of the structure was completely rebuilt, beginning in 1967, at a cost exceeding a quarter of a million dollars. By 1968 the Departments of Classics, Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology were relocated in the reconstructed building. Besides the four sets of departmental offices there were eight classrooms, five seminar rooms, and a language laboratory. The relocation of the Classics


Department freed up much-needed room for other departments in the Cohen Arts Center. The moving of the Philosophy and Political Science Departments similarly alleviated the housing problem in Braker Hall, which became the domain of the Economics and History Departments. The Sociology Department gladly relinquished its cramped quarters above the university bookstore.

The basement area of the Memorial Wing of the old library, a former periodicals stack area, became the headquarters of the accounting and payroll offices. The old reading room on the first floor remained vacant for several years and was used for a variety of temporary purposes. In 1966 consideration was given to turning it into an educational TV studio center. This proposal was strongly supported by Provost Mead, who was an enthusiastic advocate of using closed-circuit TV for large classes. However, nothing came of this proposal because of the failure of the university to obtain an outside grant to finance it.

The room served as an emergency location for large lectures after Braker Hall was damaged by fire in 1970. There was then talk of using the space as a combined faculty-student lounge, in the continued absence of a campus center, and the architectural firm of Ashley, Meyer, and Smith was requested in 1970 to design the conversion. The work had been completed by 1972 and included a novel "space platform." The makeshift substitute for a campus center continued to be used until 1985, when the long-awaited building constructed for that purpose was completed on Professors Row. Offices and activities of student organizations had meanwhile been located principally in Curtis Hall but had overflowed into part of Eaton Hall.

One of the mundane problems which plagued Tufts in its attempt to maintain a semi-bucolic environment within a relatively congested urban area, was parking. Hundreds of automobiles descended on the campus and surrounding areas each year. As the chairman of the faculty Committee on Student Organizations remarked ruefully in 1960, "Charles Tufts did put a light on this hill but unfortunately not enough parking lots." This problem had been recognized as far back as the Cousens era of the 1930s, but very little was done to solve it. By 1960 there were 1,300 student-operated automobiles registered on the campus, and they competed with administration, faculty, staff, and local inhabitants for parking space. One of the recommendations of Robert Heller Associates, employed in 1965 to draw up plans for the campus, was to institute a system of parking fees which had been authorized by the executive committee of the trustees. The students were required initially to pay an annual $5.oo registration fee, but none was levied on either faculty


or staff until the fall of 1982, amounting to $10, although parking permits had been required (at no charge) for many years. It was not until 1982 that faculty and staff became subject to the same fines as students, when parking problems became the main item on the agenda of a faculty meeting. A joint faculty-student Traffic Commission, in existence for several years, was enlarged at the same time in order to handle the increased business that resulted. A progressively increased parking fee for all was assessed in 1983 to help finance the monitoring of parking and plans to enlarge facilities. Construction of an underground parking garage on the western side of the campus was still at the discussion stage.

As open areas became scarcer and scarcer in the 1960s an attempt was made to preserve as much as possible of the natural beauty of the hilltop. This resulted in the removal and grassing over of the main campus drive during 1966-67. This was considered the first phase of a "Campus Green" development intended to remove most vehicular traffic and turn the campus into a series of pedestrian malls. The unprecedented burst of building activities of the 1950s, continued on a somewhat smaller but highly important scale in the 1960s, made the wise utilization of increasingly valuable space a matter of not only continuing but heightened concern.

In the fifteen-year period between 1952 and 1967 the number of new buildings on the campus averaged one a year. Between 1960 and 1967 the book value had risen from $16 million to $33 million - an impressive figure. In spite of the tremendous increase in the size of the physical plant, the maintenance bill in 1967-68 was only 6 percent of the total budget. Yet there still remained several major projects that had never progressed beyond the drawing board or even gotten to it. All were considered desirable and some were both absolutely necessary and very urgent. Plans for a $6 million science center, to have been financed through the National Science Foundation, were abandoned in 1965. A behavorial sciences building to have housed the Psychology, Sociology, and Education Departments had been recommended in 1955 and had been included in every master plan since then, but had never been constructed. A campaign to raise $3 million for the purpose had even been authorized in 1966 and again in 1967 by the executive committee of the trustees, but no action had resulted. A new Center for the Performing Arts was no closer to realization in 1967 than it had been years before. The campus center, which had been called for as early as 1913, and obviously of particular interest to students, still remained unbuilt. Much more yet remained to be accomplished.

  • Light on the Hill, the second volume of the history of Tufts University, was published in 1986, covering the years from 1952 to 1986. This doucument was created from the 1986 edition of Light on the Hill, Volume II.
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 Title Page
1. Setting the Stage for the Second Century
2. Long-Range Planning
3. Bricks and Mortar 1952-1967
4. The End of Theological Education at Tufts
5. Ever-Widening Curricula for Liberal Arts and Engineering
6. Jackson College: A Search for Identity
7. Defining the Role of the College of Special Studies
8. The Arts and Sciences Faculty I
9. The Arts and Sciences Faculty II
10. The Central Library
11. The Changing Character of the Student Body
12. Fraternities and Sororities at Tufts: A Cyclical History
13. A Beehive of Activity: From Trustees to Students
14. From Wessell to Hallowell
15. The Hallowell Administration: Years of Trial and Tribulation
16. The Hallowell Administration: Continued Trial and Tribulation
17. Educational Ventures, Successful and Otherwise
18. The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
19. Medical and Dental Education I
20. Medical and Dental Education II
21. Taking Stock of the University in the 1960s and 1970s
22. The Mayer Administration: A Preliminary View
23. The Mayer Administration: Consolidation and Expansion