Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Carpenter House, 1940

Tufts University purchased Carpenter House from the Phi Epsilon Pi fraternity in 1968. When Tufts bought the house, it was renamed to honor Russell L. Carpenter, A1924, a former member of the biology department and longtime curator of the Tufts University Barnum Collection. It is located at 8 Winthrop Street on the Medford Campus.

Phi Epsilon Pi acquired the house in 1940, remodeling the sixteen-room house slightly to accommodate between sixteen and eighteen fraternity brothers. The fraternity remained in the residence until the fraternity was closed in 1968 due to a lack of student interest and a high occurrence of drug use in the fraternity residence. Although in 1969, fraternity members tried to rejuvenate interest in Phi Epsilon Pi and reacquire the house, their efforts failed, and the university converted the house into the first home of the Afro-American Culture Center.

The Afro-American Culture Center remained in Carpenter House until 1977. During its stay, residents often had to deal with harassment, especially from members of the local community. In one incident, local teens threw rocks at the house, breaking three windows, and yelled racial slurs at the residents.

In 1977, the Afro-American Culture House relocated to the Capen House on Professors Row. Carpenter House was again converted to serve as a dormitory, and housed mainly upperclassmen. On March 3, 1979, a major fire at the Carpenter House severely damaged the building. Although no one was injured in the blaze, much of the house was demolished.

At a cost of $155,000, Tufts rebuilt Carpenter House, changing the original shape to make it more suited to a dormitory, and students were able to return to the building by September 1979. Since then, Carpenter House has served solely as a dormitory. From 1990 through 1994, Carpenter House was unstaffed, making it a popular residence for upperclassmen. After the house was repeatedly damaged during parties, the university decided to begin staffing Carpenter House again. Carpenter House also briefly served as a home for transfer students in 1993, after a large class of transfers filled the allotted housing facilities.

As of 2001, Carpenter House continues to serve as an undergraduate dormitory.

Source: TW, OBS, TD

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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. The Encyclopedia is an ongoing, constantly growing, online r... read more
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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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