Campus & Community

Winter wisdom

Houses on River.

The towers of Eliot and Lowell Houses are pictured along the Charles River after a 2019 winter storm.

Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer

3 min read

Portraits of snowy Harvard at rest, both past and present

Winter scenes are often bare and still and austere. When you’re braving the biting winds or wet snow, winter is often “heads-down” weather. Yet playing in the snow provides childlike fun. And catching snowflakes is always a heads-up joy.

This winter, more than others with the pandemic emptying much of campus, has prompted a contemplative mood. This photo gallery shows winters past and present, from a 1994 photo of Weeks Bridge to images of Harvard Yard shot earlier this month. Three were taken by Gazette photography interns who braved harsh New England winters while turning in lovely images.

One photo is of a monk passing the Charles River and Newell Boathouse. He walks purposefully through the snow, with his dog following close behind, both peering at what’s ahead. After the turmoil and sadness of 2020, this is a season for taking stock, of looking back. But, like the monk, we’re also stepping forward, knowing that 2021 will write its own storybook.

Snow in 2008.

In 2008, snow makes patterns in the courtyard of Eliot House.

Photo by Matthew Craig

Memorial Church in snow.

A window of Lamont Library frames Memorial Church after a 2008 winter storm.

Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer

Snowy day in 2007.

Pedestrians stand out against the new-fallen snow on Massachusetts Avenue along Wigglesworth Hall in 2007.

Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer

Yard in snow 2008.
Gate with snow in 2013/

Two compositions in black and white.

Photos by Jon Chase (left, 2008) and Stephanie Mitchell (2013)/Harvard Staff Photographers

John Harvard in snow.

A late October snowfall in 2020 made the John Harvard Statue look especially austere.

Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

Students walking in snow.

Students cross Harvard Yard along paths dug through the record-breaking snowfall of 2015, when the area drew more than 108 inches.

Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

Walking a dog in snowy March.

Brother David Allen from the Society of Saint John the Evangelist walks his dog, Leah, through John F. Kennedy Park in 2000. Typical March weather that year brought the storm and cold one day after a day that saw temperatures in the 70s.

Photo by Gail Oskin

Snow in 1994 on Weeks Bridge.

A solitary figure walks across the Weeks Footbridge during a 1994 storm.

Photo by Mary Lee

Canada geese cluster along the banks of the frozen Charles River in 2011.

Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

Field and street: In 2017, a pedestrian walks alongside the gates of Harvard on Massachusetts Avenue. In 2001, Leverett House residents take to the snow for a game of football that scores all the way around.

Photos by Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer

The final snowstorm of 2020 blankets Johnston Gate, framing the statue of Massachusetts Sen. Charles Sumner, who graduated from the College in 1830.

Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

Snow frosts Lowell House and the Malkin Athletic Center in 2017.

Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

Playing in snow 2014.
Skiing in snow.

Dawn Slack, staff assistant in the Wellness Program at Harvard, pulls her son, Eliot Slack-Lin, and Quinn Waddell by University Hall in 2014. Snowshoer Wendy Ong and her dog, Rudy, in matching teal attire, pass through Harvard Yard in 2020.

Photos by Rose Lincoln (left) and Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographers

Yard with snow 2007.

Crimson punctuates a trodden path in Harvard Yard in 2007.

Photo by Dominick Reuter

Steps with snow.

In 2020, a pair gazes up the snow-laden steps of Widener Library.

Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

Winter night in 2005.
Stormy walk in snow.

People pass through an archway into Harvard Yard during a 2005 storm.

Photos by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photograher

Sunset with snow and ice on the river.

Sunset along the Charles in 2020.

Photo by Aaron Ye