Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Eaton Hall, 1908
|Eaton Hall was originally constructed in 1908 to serve as the college library, and then consisted only of the east wing of the building as it now stands. It was built with a gift of $100,000 from the Carnegie library foundation, and was one of the first of the college libraries to be built with Carnegie funds. Henry Davis Whitfield and Beverly Sedgwick King were the architects of the building.|
The Carnegie gift, made to Tufts in the winter of 1904, was obtained largely through the influence, beginning in 1901, of Rev. Frank Oliver Hall, and alumnus of the Tufts Divinity School (1884), a member of its faculty (1898-1940), and recipient of an honorary Tufts D.D. in 1905.He was a Universalist clergyman.
Less than one third of the so-called "Carnegie Libraries," including the one at Tufts, ever bore his name. The Tufts building was designated as "Eaton Memorial Library" at the request of Carnegie's wife, Louise Whitfield Carnegie, in memory of Charles Henry Eaton, her pastor in the largest Universialist church in New York City. Eaton was a Tufts alumnus A1874, a graduate of the Tufts Divinity School (1877), and a recipient of an honorary Tufts D.D. in 1887.He officiated at Mrs. Carnegie's wedding in New York City in 1887.Eaton was also a lecturer in the Tufts Divinity School (1886-1888) and an Overseer of the Corporation (1899-1902).
In 1950, the War Memorial Library wing was added to form the western wing of Eaton Hall. Designed by Arland A. Dirlam, it nearly doubled the size of Eaton Library with a large reading room, and two lounges. The building was dedicated on December 7, 1950, Pearl Harbor Day, in memory of Tufts alumni who served in the armed forces in wartime.
With the completion of Wessell Library, Eaton ceased in its role as college library.
As of 1999, Eaton Hall houses the Departments of Anthropology and Sociology, Classics, Political Science, and the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. The reading room is used as a computer lab, and most of the main floor rooms are used as classrooms.