Campus & Community

This month in Harvard history

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May 1904 – Harvard and MIT take a third stab at joining forces, but negotiations come to a halt in October 1905, after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rules unfavorably on a related proposal to sell MIT land on Boylston St. in Boston.

May 1921 – After numerous delays since cornerstone-laying (June 1912) and groundbreaking (July 1914), the Germanic Museum opens its new home on the corner of Kirkland St. and Divinity Ave. Some 57,000 visitors stream through between May 1921 and September 1922. The building (designed by Dresden architect German Bestelmeyer) becomes a Cambridge landmark, known successively as the Germanic Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum (so named in February 1950 for the related families of St. Louis brewers who had for decades been its greatest benefactors), and Adolphus Busch Hall (mid-1980s).

Founded in 1901 and opened in 1903 in a College gymnasium, the Museum operates under the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures until 1930, when it becomes affiliated with the Fogg Art Museum and begins assembling collections of the highest international stature.

In 1991, the Museum formally opens its current $7.5 million home in Werner Otto Hall (named for the principal donor, the German founder of Otto Versand [the world’s largest mail-order marketers], which owns Spiegel of Chicago), an addition to the Prescott St. side of the Fogg. The Busch-Reisinger is the only North American museum exclusively devoted to the art of Northern and Central Europe.

n May 15-18, 1934 – In the New Lecture Hall (now Lowell Hall), “New York Herald-Tribune” Editor Walter Lippmann ’10 delivers the 1933-34 Godkin Lectures on “The Method of Freedom.”

– From the Harvard Historical Calendar, a database compiled by Marvin Hightower