Campus & Community

The history of Harvard gates

2 min read

New book outlines the individuality of the many entrances to the Yard

The 25 gates that rim Harvard Yard are works of architectural art, not simply instruments of control.

A new book, “Gates of Harvard Yard” (Princeton Architectural Press, $15.95), celebrates these exquisite essays in brick, stone, and wrought-iron, and bids the thousands who walk through them every day to stop, look, and reflect on their essential contribution to the beauty of Harvard’s campus.

The book’s editor, Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin, was captivated by the gates during his Nieman fellowship year in 2012-13 and co-taught a Wintersession class about them. The outcome is the book, which features color photographs by Ralph Lieberman, sketches by Roger Erickson, and a map by Christophe Beck.

As Nieman Foundation curator Ann Marie Lipinski writes in her foreword: “What ultimately inspires Kamin is the idea that a gate is indeed a physical thing, but also an aspiration — of beginning, of belonging, of entry into something bigger than oneself.”