During renovation consultations with students, faculty deans, and staff residents at Adams House, the renewal team heard a regular refrain: Keep Adams “weird.”
The request for architects to maintain Adams’ diverse and idiosyncratic character, found in beloved spaces like the pool theater in Westmorly Court and the basement tunnel murals, was heard loud and clear.
The first of three renewal phases, set to begin this summer, kicks off a multiyear project to upgrade amenities and improve accessibility of the House, while preserving its history and artistry.
“The House experience is one of the most distinctive parts of a Harvard College education,” said Claudine Gay, Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “Through House renewal, we are ensuring that our residential communities thrive for generations to come, respectfully aligning these remarkable historic buildings with the needs of today’s students.”
The history of Adams House blends creativity and community. Its commitment to student art, music, and theater range from its functioning Bow and Arrow Press to the longstanding annual Drag Night show. Providing extensive space for the arts has also given students the opportunity and security to be themselves. Adams is a place where “everyone is accepted,” said Sean Palfrey, ’67, who since 1999 has served as faculty dean of Adams House along with Judy Palfrey ’67, the T. Berry Brazelton Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.