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Memorial Hall, Cambridge

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#51 of 69 in Things to do in Cambridge
Architectural Building · Landmark
Memorial Hall, immediately north of Harvard Yard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is an imposing High Victorian Gothic building honoring Harvard men's sacrifices in defense of the Union during the American Civil War‍—‌"a symbol of Boston's commitment to the Unionist cause and the abolitionist movement in America."
Built on a former playing field known as the Delta, it was described by Henry James as consisting of

three main divisions: one of them a theater, for academic ceremonies; another a vast refectory, covered with a timbered roof, hung about with portraits and lighted by stained windows, like the halls of the colleges of Oxford; and the third, the most interesting, a chamber high, dim and severe, consecrated to the sons of the university who fell in the long Civil War.

James's "three divisions" are known today as (respectively) Sanders Theatre; Annenberg Hall (formerly Alumni Hall or the Great Hall); and Memorial Transept. Beneath Annenberg Hall, Loker Commons offers a number of student facilities.

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  • This building rises just outside of the Harvard Yard. It is immense and an impressive architectural wonder located next to a nondescript science center. If you wonder what happens inside, check out....  more »
  • I have to agree partially with another reviewer: this is not a tourist attraction. It is an attraction for those with an appreciation of fine architecture of any era and style. The dining hall...  more »

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