Detail of entrance from the southwest at 55 Shattuck Street , Harvard School of Public Health Inscriptions on verso: "Mr. Drinker." "Miller, Harvard, G.E.S., '37." Stamp on verso: Harvard Medical Library. “55 Shattuck Street,” OnView: Digital Collections & Exhibits, accessed May 3, 2021, https://collections.countway.harvard.edu/onview/items/show/6201.
This building was originally the Collis P. Huntington Memorial Hospital Building (info courtesy of Harvard Planning’s eMuseum):
The Collis P. Huntington Memorial Hospital was constructed in 1912 under the oversight of the Harvard Medical School and the Cancer Commission of Harvard University. The Hospital was founded to further the study cancer in humans. Funding for the building was given by the widow of railroad magnate Collis Potter Huntington. The building, located on the corner of Van Dyke Street and Huntington Avenue was designed by Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge.
The hospital continued in this location until 1941 when it was deemed insufficient and research activities were moved to a wing of the Massachusetts General Hospital. The building was occupied by the Harvard School of Public Health from 1946 until 1968. It was demolished in June, 1969 to make room for construction of the Sebastian S. Kresge building. The address at this location had been known as 695 Huntington Avenue which was changed to 1 Shattuck Street in 1955.
Now for a brief history of the building while it was part of HSPH. From the 1946-1947 course catalog:
In 1946, the Rockefeller Foundation made an additional grant to the School of Public Health of funds to be expended during the succeeding ten years. To provide additional space for the School, the Collis P. Huntington Memorial Hospital Building, located at Huntington Avenue and Shattuck Street, was made available. On July 1, 1946, the School of Public Health was separated administratively from the Medical School and became independent in respect to budgets and faculty appointments. The School will continue to cooperate closely with the Medical School in teaching and research as it does with the School of Engineering and other Schools of the University.
From the 1946 annual report (see attached photos, pg 44-46):
The addition to the School of the Huntington Building has provided space to house three departments: Epidemiology, Nutrition, and Public Health Bacteriology. However the School is still cramped for space… Both buildings now in use by the School were originally designed as hospitals, and while every effort has been made to readapt them to the needs of the School, they were not intended for this purpose and are still far from satisfactory. (pg 44)
…it may be stated that during the first year of its reorganization the Harvard School of Public Health has made satisfactory progress in carrying forward the University’s plan for its development…the new funds and space provided have made it possible… (pg 45)
And from the 1952-1953 Annual Report (see attached photos, pg 15-16):
Our two buildings at 55 Shattuck Street and 695 Huntington Avenue are greatly overcrowded… (see image to keep reading, pg 15)
The School’s building at the corner of Shattuck Street and Huntington Avenue is the home of the Departments of Nutrition, Epidemiology, and Microbiology. (pg 16)
There is a great aerial view of all HSPH-owned buildings in the course catalogs (this specific link is to the 1960 catalog), and also a 1968 drawn map. You can see the Countway clearly in that drawing. The 1972 map clearly shows Kresge now occupying the space of what used to be the Huntington Building.
Bird's-eye view of the Huntington Avenue construction site for Harvard School of Public Health's New Research Buildings. Inscription on verso reads "1-19-61". “Construction Site for Harvard School of Public Health's New Research Buildings,” OnView: Digital Collections & Exhibits, accessed May 3, 2021, https://collections.countway.harvard.edu/onview/items/show/6200.