Quick Facts

  • Memorial Hall, located in the triangle-shaped area between Cambridge, Kirkland, and Quincy streets in Cambridge, Massachusetts was designed by architects William Robert Ware, A.B. 1852 and Henry Van Brunt, A.B. 1854. The cornerstone for the building was laid in 1870, and construction was completed in several stages over the next eight years. 
  • Conceived as a memorial to Harvard graduates who fought for the Union cause in the Civil War, the funding and design was managed by a committee of alumni. In addition to the memorial transept and dining hall (now Annenberg Hall), the building project included a theater for public exercises, financed by a bequest from Charles Sanders, A.B. 1802 and College steward, 1827-1831.
  • Control of Memorial Hall was transferred by the alumni committee to the Harvard Corporation on July 8, 1878.
  • Stained glass windows, many of which were commissioned and donated by alumni classes, were installed between 1879 and 1902. The tower, altered in 1897 to include four clocks, was destroyed by fire in 1956; a new tower, dedicated in 2000, was constructed in accordance with the 1878 design.
  • The lower level of Memorial Hall, originally for kitchen and storage use, has also housed laboratories, classrooms, and offices.  The opening of Loker Commons in 1996 added more student space in the lower level, including food service areas. The Queen's Head Pub opened there in 2007.
  • Memorial Hall now encompasses the Memorial Transept, Annenberg Hall, Sanders Theatre, Loker Commons, and the Cambridge Queen's Head Pub.