Unlike the other undergraduate residences at Harvard, Currier House on the Radcliffe Quadrangle is named solely for a woman.
Audrey Bruce Currier House opened in 1970, named after a Radcliffe alumna who had died in a plane crash. The architects, Harrison and Abramovitz, surveyed students about their desires for housing, and so pioneered small clusters of dorm units, each with upstairs bedrooms and a downstairs living room. Currier also was planned to include freshmen, to benefit from a mix of ages.
Shaped like an E with sloping, green courtyards between the arms, it was the first Harvard undergraduate dorm to house faculty members, and even had a child-care center. Other unusual features included sewing rooms and a laundry in the solarium, a photography studio, a music-dance facility, and a skating court. It now houses men as well as women.
But all of Currier’s four pavilions are named for women graduates. Resident Nadia Farjood ’13 said, “It is inspiring walking through the doors of Currier and seeing the faces of five women, all distinguished alumnae of Radcliffe College, to my left. Most wall space at Harvard is devoted to images of men, and I am proud to live in the only House named after a female.” Farjood is a director of the Athena Program, a gender-empowerment program associated with Harvard’s Phillips Brooks House Association.
Inside Currier, common spaces have offbeat names such as “the Fishbowl,” “the Treehouse,” and “the Mousehole.” Four groups of 10 single bedrooms surround the largest in-suite common rooms at the College. These suites, less aptly named at Currier, are known as “the Ten Men.”
The House that Currier built
Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer
Let's hear it for the girls
Currier House housemates Rachel Bervell (from left), Nadia Farjood, Jeanette Schnierle, Jordan Ashwood, Sarah Mumanachit, Karina Herrera, and Melissa Naidoo cheer on their House, the only housing facility named in honor of a woman.
Audrey Bruce Currier
Currier House's namesake, alumna Audrey Bruce Currier, died in a plane crash — depicted here in this New York Times article.
A photograph of the entry court at Currier House was published in this booklet, which was distributed at the Currier House dedication in 1971.
A photograph of the House master's living room at Currier House displays enviable mod furnishings — look at those chairs!
Currier House architects, Harrison and Abramovitz, surveyed students about their desires for housing, and so pioneered small clusters of dorm units, each with upstairs bedrooms and a downstairs living room.
Shaped like an E with sloping, green courtyards between the arms, Currier House was the first Harvard undergraduate dorm to house faculty members, and even had a child-care center.
A Radcliffe newspaper from 1968 shows the excavation for Currier House. The newspaper is preserved at the Schlesinger Library.
Lines from a speech by Audrey Currier's brother are saved at the Schlesinger Library at Harvard. He spoke at a dedication of the building in 1971.
Each pavilion at Currier House is named for a prominent woman.
Women and men residents of Currier House in yearbooks from the early 1970s. In 1972, full coeducational dormitories were instituted at Harvard.