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University Hall

University Hall

At the heart of Harvard Yard, University Hall houses important administrative and meeting rooms — notably, the offices of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. This major restoration transformed an aging landmark into a functionally modern, code compliant building.

Harvard University
Cambridge, MA
30,000 sf
Photography by © Peter Vanderwarker

The large, symmetrical building was designed in 1813 by Charles Bulfinch, primary architect of the United States Capitol and the Massachusetts State House. A neoclassical icon, University Hall is one of the most important historic structures in New England.

Work included extensive historic restoration and discreet insertion of all-new mechanical and electrical systems, with respect for the building’s historic context, proportions and materials. Lifts and concealed ramps were integrated within the building and with the landscape of Harvard Yard.

Significant structural repairs included the restoration of spalling exterior granite and reconstruction of sagging entry stairs. In the original basement, excavation increased headroom for meeting rooms and offices, and provided a new sub-basement level for mechanical equipment.


  • 2000 CMAA New England, Private Project of the Year
  • 2001 Cambridge Historical Commission Preservation Award