Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Medford Campus, 1852
|Tufts' campus in Medford, Massachusetts, is the original location of the university on its founding in 1852.Originally comprising twenty acres of land donated by Charles Tufts, the campus was located on Walnut Hill, one of the highest hills north of Boston. Over the years, through the acquisition of additional acreage adjacent to the original campus and the sale of other parcels, the Medford campus achieved its current boundaries.|
The original campus was centered on what is now known as the academic quad, consisting of Ballou Hall and the buildings which were constructed around a lawn at the top of the hill. A road ran through the middle of the quad, curving down to Professors Row. A handfull of houses were scattered along Professors Row, aptly serving as residences for faculty. The lower campus, downhill from the quad and adjoining Powderhouse Boulevard, was occupied by pasturage, farm fields, and a large man-made pond, known as the "Artificial". Originally Tufts owned the land stretching from Powderhouse to Broadway as well, but it was sold off in 1912.
In the 1920s Tufts hired the landscaping firm of Frederick Law Olmsted to consult on the growth of the campus. Then under the direction of Olmsted's son, Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., the firm brought Olmstedian ideals of landscape design to the campus, spearheading the design of Memorial Steps and the surrounding area. Olmsted recommended that the unused lots on the slope behind Ballou Hall be preserved as open space. Olmstead created a master plan for the campus over the next fifty years which grouped men's dorms in the area of Ellis Oval and included a teaching hospital for the medical school, which would be relocated from the Boston campus. For many years the Olmsted brothers essentially served as the managers of the campus grounds and even hired the first full-time buildings and grounds employee.
In addition to the central administration for the university, Medford campus is the home of the , the College of Engineering, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
Source: TA Summer 1999