Campus & Community

This month in Harvard history

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October 1836 — In the “North American Review,” Henry Russell Cleveland, Class of 1827, aims a verbal wrecking ball at Harvard’s buildings:

“We would cite these as very perfect specimens of no known order of architecture; vast brick barns, destitute alike of symmetry, ornament, and taste; and with all their plain and uncouth proportions, there is a sort of horrible regularity and squareness about them, which heightens their deformity. Four of these edifices [Massachusetts, Hollis, Holworthy, Stoughton] are guiltless of any attempt at elegance of architecture, and, making no pretensions, perhaps hardly deserve to be noticed.”

University Hall fares no better in Cleveland’s eyes: “We doubt whether the world contains any other architectural abortion, to be compared with this.”

October 1874 — The Harvard Athletic Association forms, with Benjamin R. Curtis, Class of 1875, as president. For almost 20 years, this undergraduate group oversees competitions of running, leaping, boxing, wrestling, and gymnastics.

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