Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Curtis Hall, 1893


was constructed in 1893 as a multi-purpose building in part to compensate for the loss of the dining hall from , which was to be taken for additional dormitory rooms. The architect of the building was George A. Clough. The new building, known for some ten years as the Commons building, was intended to have, besides the men's dining room, two or three stores and rooms for students. The dining hall was for many years known as the Dive. In 1904, the building was renamed for James Otis Curtis, Medford shipbuilder and Tufts trustee from 1856 to 1890. On April 2, 1977, the building was heavily damaged by fire caused by faulty wiring.

One of the original purposes of the building and one which has been in continuous use is the Post Office, which had previously been located in a small wooden building at the same site. For many decades, it served the needs of the entire institution as an independent unit, with all mail addressed to "Tufts College, Massachusetts." Among the other concessions the building has housed have been a bicycle repair shop, the Bookstore, a restaurant, the Tufts College Publishing Association - publishers of the Weekly and the Tuftonian, the Tufts College Press, the Maintenance Department carpentry shop, and the Department of Civil Engineering's Strength of Materials Laboratory.

The dining hall housed in Curtis was at various times a cooperative enterprise under student management, College operated, and a private concession. About 1900, a meal ticket good for three meals a day for a full week cost $3.50, prompting student complaints about high prices.

During World War I, the main building was a mess hall for members of the Student Army Training Corps unit stationed at Tufts. During World War II, it was a Navy mess hall, serving well over 500 at a time. The upper floors served as housing for both students and employees, and in the 1950s, four Jackson sororities were assigned rooms in the building.

As of 1999, continues to be used as a multi-purpose building. The US Postal Service maintains an office there, and in 1997, use of the building for dining purposes resumed after a hiatus with the opening of Brown and Brew, a coffee house run by Dining Services. Rehearsal space for student performing groups is located in the building. Offices for the Tufts Daily and the Observer are both located there, as well as other student publications, such as the Zamboni. It is also the home of WMFO, Tufts student-run radio station, and TUTV, the student-run television station. The Center for Engineering Education Outreach and the Center for Connected Learning and Computer-based Modeling are both located there. Finally, the Office of the Protestant Chaplaincy is housed in .

Source: BG4; FAS

Subject terms:
  • 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.
This object is in collection Subject Temporal Permanent URL
Component ID:
To Cite:
TARC Citation Guide    EndNote
Detailed Rights
View all images in this book
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
 List of Sources