Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Barnum Hall, 1884


Barnum Hall was constructed in 1884 with funds donated to Tufts College by P.T. Barnum. Barnum donated the building to house his collection of animal specimens and featured the stuffed hide of Jumbo the elephant. Thus the building was initially known as the Barnum Museum of Natural History. The architect of the original structure was Phillip Rinn.

Announcement of the building of the Barnum Museum, made at the same time as that of the Goddard Gymnasium, was greeted with joy by students. Following the announcement, a huge bonfire was built on the hill while students cheered and rang the bell continuously.

Two wings were later added to the building. In 1894, a west wing was added with facilities for classrooms, laboratories, and a library, funded by a bequest from Barnum's estate. In 1935, an east wing was constructed to provide additional lab space and offices for increasing enrollments. This wing was named for Professor Lambert. The Dana Laboratory was added to the west wing of the building in 1963 to bring the laboratory facilities to the level required by the increasing needs of the Department of Biology.

On April 14, 1975, a fire that began in faulty wiring in a refrigeration unit in the building gutted the Barnum Museum. The collection housed in the building was completely lost, including numerous animal specimens, Barnum's desk and bust, and the stuffed hide of Jumbo. Damage to the east and west wings of the building was not as great, but faculty research materials were lost. The Dana Laboratory was unharmed by the blaze. The building was rebuilt within the original stone facade the following summer, but only to the height of the Dana Laboratory building. The architects of the post-fire renovations were Kubitz and Pepi.

As of 1999, Barnum Hall continues to serve as the location of the Department of Biology.

Source: LOH2, 293-295; BG2.; RNTB1; VFI

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  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
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Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
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