Cover and title page: Bulfinch Hall engraving; the Social Fraternity of Phillips Academy annual exhibition invitation, 1828; Phillips Academy Archives & Special Collections.
BUL FINCH HALL REBORN An Account Of The Building & Its Transformation Over Time
David Chase PHILLIPS ACADEMY 2013
THIRD ACADEMY BU ILDING 1818–1819 Built With A Lead Gift From LT. GOVERNOR WILLIAM PHILLIPS JR. Asher Benjamin, Architect
Known Over Time As The Classical Academy Brick Academy Beanery Bulfinch Hall
Converted Into A Gymnasium 1866
Gutted By Fire 1896
Restored & Expanded As The Academy Dining Hall 1902 Guy Lowell, Architect
Renovated For The English Department 1936–1937 With A Lead Gift From EDWARD S. HARKNESS Perry, Shaw & Hepburn, Architects
BULFINCH HALL Restored & Expanded 2012
With Lead Gifts From THOMAS C. ISRAEL ’62, P’94 OSCAR L. TANG ’56
With Additional Support From China Parents Henry Cho ’83 Class Of 1957 King Family Korea Parents Aisha & Gbenga Oyebode, P’13 Stanley S. Shuman ’52, P’87, ’88 Stephen F. Snyder ’56, P’83 Leo S. Ullman ’57, P’88 X.D. Yang ’83 Yichen Zhang ’82 Eric L. Zinterhofer ’89
& Class Of 2011 Kyoo Wan Cho & Sook Hyun Han, P’14 John & Alice Huang, P’14 George Shenk & Georgia Lee, P’12 Catherine D. Wiener ’11 Ann Beha Architects
THE ACADEMY I S G RATEFU L TO A LL D O N O R S WH O H AV E SU PPO RTED TH E 2 01 2 BULFI N CH H A LL REN O VATI O N PR O JE C T
Abbot Academy Association
Christopher D. Cameron ’11
Theresa N. Faller ’11
H. Dan Adams ’57, P’97
Catherine G. Cannon ’11
Kristen T. Faulkner ’11
Eun Young Jeon, P’14
William Adams ’11
Elizabeth S. Carrolo ’11
Manuel Fernandez ’11
Stanley D. Jia, P’10, ’12
Jeannine E. Anderson ’11
Shelby L. Centofanti ’11
Benjamin R. Field III ’57, P’86
Pamela B. Johnson, W’57
Prim Chanarat ’11
John R. Finney ’57
Gi Yong Jung & Hyun Wook Kang, P’14
Dominick P. Chang ’11
Thomas H. Fox ’57
Matthew C. Appleby ’11
Angelica Jarvenpaa ’11
Richard W. Bailey ’11
Charles Chao & Connie Tu, P’14
Peter K. Bang ’11
David & Barbara Chase, H’38, ’48, ’12
Ryan J. Gaiss ’11
Gerrit M. Keator ’57
Chiara A. Baravalle ’11
Henry K. Cho ’83
Taylor M. Garden ’11
Byung-Kook Kim ’78, P’04, ’07
Nicholas P. Kearns ’11
Denzil Bernard ’11
Kyoo Wan Cho & Sook Hyun Han, P’14
Lewis Girdler ’57
Byung-Pyo Kim ’79 &
Rishabh Bhandari ’11
Mike Cho & Cate Song, P’12
Stella M. Girkins ’11
June H.S. Kim, P’05, ’13
Jesse G.R. Bielasiak ’11
Seong Sik Choi & Eun Joo Lee, P’13
Brian M. Golden ’57
Chung Sub Kim & Joo Yun L. Kim, P’14
Thomas N. Bissinger ’57
Rona Choo ’11
Francis B. & Judith B. Gummere Jr. ’57
Alan F. Blanchard ’57, P’90, ’94
Mongwon & Inhwa Chung, P’14
Linda N. Blanken ’11
Meghan A. Collins ’11
Andrew K. Block ’57
Cassandra L. Coravos ’11
Robert N. Bohorad ’57, P’85, ’90
William D. Cox Jr. ’57
Kenneth J. & Judy Brady, P’11
Jared L. Curtis ’11
Il Kim & Jung Pyo Lee, P’13, ’15 Jae Do Kim & Hee Soo Limb, P’11
Haram Han ’03
Patrick N. Brady ’11
Jae Duk Kim ’13
Sang C. Han & Hyun-Soon Choi, P’07
Jae-Ik Kim ’04
Sun Hyup Han ’07
Jae-Yeop Kim ’07
Carolyn G. Harmeling ’11
Jennifer Kye-Hyun Kim ’05
Gregory P. Harvey &
Joon Bae Kim & Jung Eun Kim, P’13
Camilla E. Brandfield-Harvey ’11
Charles V. Danner ’11
Carey Brandfield-Harvey, P’11
Samuel S. Kim ’81 & Jin K. Kim, P’16
Clifton M. Brannan ’11
William B. & Jennifer C. Danner, P’11
Peter M. Heidrich ’11
Sunwook & Haerim Kim, P’14, ’15
Richard H. Brodhead ’64, P’97
Julian S. Danziger ’11
Katrina A. Hess ’11
Tongeun A. Kim ’85 & Jiyeon Kim, P’15
Benjamin T. Brodie ’11
Julia K. Dean ’11
Franziska S. Hofmann ’11
Yang Hyun Kim & Yoon Jung Ku, P’15
Kerstin K. S. Brolsma ’11
Alberto & Maria M. de la Cruz, P’11
Jessica A.L. Holley ’11
Young Min Kim &
Benjamin W. Burke ’11
Alberto G. de la Cruz ’11
Evan C. Hoyt ’11
Young Ju Choi, P’13, ’15
Delaney H. Burke ’11
Jay C. Dolan ’11
Xiao Zhan Hu & Yue Li, P’08
Daphne L. King ’87
Zheng & Shu-Ching Huang, P’14
Geoffrey C.W. King ’89
Jeremy E. Hutton ’11
Stephen C.M. King ’83
Jasmine B. Edison ’11
Caitlin E. Kingston ’11
Ijeoma C. Ejiogu ’11 Steven F. & Susan Elder, P’09, ’11
John H. Ingram ’11
Zachary S. Elder ’11
Thomas C. Israel ’62, P’94
Zachary E. Esakof ’11
Jung Hun Koh ’11 D. Steven Kosovac ’11 Thomas M. Kramer ’11 Advaya Krishna ’11 Nitipat Kulalert ’11 Taekil Kwon & Jane Cha, P’13 Youngse Kwon & Jeehye Yu, P’11
THE ACADEMY I S G RATEFU L TO A LL D O N O R S WH O H AV E SU PPO RTED TH E 2 01 2 BULFI N CH H A LL REN O VATI O N PR O JE C T
Robert L.M. Langworthy ’11
Jonathan Seung-Doe Na ’11
Hunter J. Schlacks ’11
Nathan J. Wagner ’11
Byunchan & Jungmin Lee, P’13
Alexander R. Nunez ’11
Emily A. Scoble ’11
Kellie E. Walsh ’11
Garrett A. Lee ’11
Haley S. Scott ’11
Ralph Weaver ’57
Hwan Lee ’86
Philip C. Olsson ’57
Elina S. Segreto ’11
George M. Whitesides ’57
Jee Eun Lee ’11
Sarah E. Onorato ’11
Gail J. Serrell
Catherine D. Wiener ’11
Jina Lee ’04
A. Samuel Oriach ’11
W. Scott Shambaugh ’11
Joanne M. Wilson, P’11
Kyu Wha Lee & Kihye Kim, P’13
Khadijah Owens ’11
R. Turner Shaw ’11
Andrew D. Woonton ’11
Laura K. Lee ’11
Aisha & Gbenga Oyebode, P’13
Richard B. Lee ’57 SangYup Lee ’95 Won Bum Lee & Eun Jin Chang, P’11 Adam R. Levine ’11 April S. Liang ’11 Hak Kyu Lim & Sun A. Bae, P’12 Ming-chung P. & Suhua S. Liu, P’11 Stephanie C. Liu ’11
Ting Pan ’11 Ying Pan & Jiahong Chen, P’15 Hun-Bae Park & Mi Sa Cha, P’14 Maxwell W. Parlin ’11 Janki K. Patel ’11 Georgia R. Pelletier ’11
Sandra Macdonald, P’11
Susan Perin, P’86, ’89
Courtney L. Macdonald ’11
Valerie Ogden Phillips ’57 &
Malcolm MacNaughton Jr. ’57
Walter M. Phillips Jr. ’57
Kendall C. MacRae ’11 Ji-ye Mao & Leah Tseng, P’14 Tebogo T. Maqubela ’11
Alfred J. Shuman ’57 &
Michael S. Wopinski ’11
Stephanie J. Shuman, P’84, ’93
Brandon N. Wright ’11
Stanley S. Shuman ’52, P’87, ’88
Gilbert P. Wright Jr. ’57
Henry S. Shyn ’81
Zhigang Wu & Cindy Xin, P’14
Stephen F. Snyder ’56, P’83
Miles S. Pendleton Jr. ’57, P’91 Reuben Perin ’57 &
Brian M. Woonton ’11 Jeanouche Wopinski, P’11
Thurston S. Smalley ’11
Kishan K. Patel ’11
Christopher D. Macdonald &
George H. Shenk & Georgia Lee, P’12 Kyung Sik Shin & Hyo Yeon Shin, P’11
ZhiYue J. Xiao &
Robert M. Stephenson ’57
WenYu W. Li, P’13, ’16
James Sterling ’57 Peter J. Stern ’81 Kangsuk Suh & Kyung Hee Suh, P’12
Wayne K. Yau & Lilly Yau, P’11, ’15
Laura Daniela Pimentel ’11
Seung Muk Yi, P’14
Lucian B. Platt ’48
Katharine E. Taylor-Mighty ’11
Dongho Yoo & Hae Eun Kim, P’12, ’14 Byung Suk Yoon & So Young Park, P’13
Alessandra A. Powell ’11
Kenneth E. Tharp ’11
Kelly T. Powers ’11
Amanda C. Thran ’11
Timothy E. McLaughlin ’11
Haritha Pula ’11
Emily M. Timm ’11
Shannon M. McSweeney ’11 Richard L. Meyer Jr. ’74 & Wesley C. Meyer ’11 Greg G. Miao & Shirley X. Kuai, P’06, ’09 Andrew M. Mitchell ’11 Benjamin C. Morris ’11 Richard L. Munich ’57
X.D. Yang ’83 Allan L. Yau ’11
Oscar L. Tang ’56
Rebecca S. Matsumoto ’11
Sharon Meyer, P’09, ’11, ’14
Xiaohong Xia, P’07
Hayub Song & Jayoung Lee, P’13
Daniel C. Tracy ’57 Chau L. Tran ’11
Kevin Qian ’11
Renat A. Zalov ’11 Austen V.L. Zecha ’57, P’98 Ming Zeng & Hong Jin, P’13 Haitao Zhang & Grace H. Wei, P’12
William B. Reisinger ’11 David F. Remington ’57
Leo S. Ullman ’57 &
Yichen Zhang ’82
Katharine L.M. Ullman, P’88
Eric L. Zinterhofer ’89
Aneissa Urias ’11
Robert E. Remis ’47 & Ruth Remis, P’72 Charles P. Ridgway ’57 John E.B. Roberts ’11
Ashleigh N. Vargas-Aquino ’11
Jakob M. Rohwer ’11
Alexey & Irina Vladimirov, P’11
Christopher P. Rokous ’80
Stephania A. Vladimirova ’11
BULF I N CH H A LL & I TS H ERI TA G E In 2013 we celebrate the expansion and renewal of Bulfinch Hall, a building with as many lives as the proverbial cat.
would continue at school; younger students were sent home. All was lost: not only the building, but the library and students’ books and the school museum containing a diversity of curiosities—a bow and arrow, a Chinese lady’s shoe, a giant turtle shell, a French coin from the reign of Louis XIV, a mosaic fragment from Pompeii, a piece of Plymouth Rock.
Bulfinch Hall was built in 1818–1819. It was Phillips Academy’s third schoolhouse. By the 1840s, the “Brick Academy,” as it was then known, became a meeting hall. In the 1860s it was transformed into a gymnasium. Gutted by fire in 1896, the building was patched and used for storage and as warm-up space by athletic teams. Once Borden Gym opened in 1902, Bulfinch was enlarged and fitted out as the school dining hall, only to be replaced in that function in 1930 by what today is Paresky Commons. In 1936, Bulfinch was gutted for a third time and retrofitted as a state-of-the-teaching-arts English department. The 1930s renovation remained essentially unchanged until the summer of 2012, when the project we celebrate began. Bulfinch Hall has been handsomely upgraded and again enlarged to better serve the teaching of English in this new century.
Early in February, part of a residence on campus was transformed into a temporary schoolroom for the seniors. On February 19, the trustees voted to erect a new schoolhouse to be built “with brick and covered with slate.” A building committee was directed to secure plans and cost estimates. Meeting again on March 4, the trustees approved both plan and estimate, voting to begin construction with whatever funds were at hand, supplemented by donations to be raised through the Academy’s first fundraising campaign. A gifts solicitation committee printed and distributed a fundraising circular dated March 25. The appeal concluded: “We do confidently rely that, by your liberality, you will prove yourselves worthy to be enrolled, not only as members, but as Benefactors of Phillips Academy.” Committee members called on alumni and parents in New England and New York. In all, 179 gifts were received. Far and away the largest were donated by Lt. Governor William Phillips Jr., a Boston banker, political figure and philanthropist, the first president of the Massachusetts General Hospital board, and an Andover trustee. He was the last Phillips to play a large role in Andover affairs. A cousin of Samuel Phillips Jr., William Phillips donated a total of $5,000 toward the cost of the brick schoolhouse we know as Bulfinch Hall.
Disaster brought Bulfinch into being. The winter of 1818 was severe, a season of ice-wrecked bridges and buildings consumed by fire. On January 30, a day of bitter cold, the Reverend William Bentley of Salem recorded in his diary that “the boys skate on the surface of the streets and fields.” In Andover that night, the Academy’s second schoolhouse—a frame structure erected in 1785 by the Phillips family—burned to the ground. Sparks from a woodstove caused the blaze. The trustees met the next morning at the home of schoolmaster John Adams (now Shuman Admission Center). “Whereas, by the providence of God, the Academy was last night destroyed by fire,” the meeting minutes report, only the senior class
Lt. Governor William Phillips Jr. (1750â€“1827); portrait copied in 1827 by Francis Alexander (original by Gilbert Stuart); Addison Gallery of American Art. A donor portrait, Phillips is depicted with Bulfinch Hall in the background. President of the Massachusetts Bank starting in 1804, William Phillips was elected lieutenant governor eleven times, holding that office from 1812 to 1823. An Andover trustee from 1791 to 1827, he served as board president from 1821 until his death. In addition to his major gift that made construction of Bulfinch Hall possible, Phillips donated $500 annually to the Academy to support scholarships. When he died, he bequeathed $15,000 to the Academy, which the trustees used to launch a second secondary school on campus, the English Academy & Teachers Seminary.
BU I LD I N G BU LFI N CH By April 1818, materials for the new schoolhouse were being secured and in May architect Asher Benjamin was paid for his design. The site chosen was not where the second academy had stood, close to where the Armillary Sphere now stands. It was on “the height of ground southeast of the house now occupied by the principal,” John Adams. Relocating the schoolhouse put it more directly under the eye of Adams and opened up the full extent of what was then known as the Seminary Common, now the Great Lawn. In the nineteenth century, the campus was dominated by the Andover Theological Seminary, with its primary buildings ranged along the east side of the Common, beyond the path and double row of trees that came to be known as the Elm Walk. The new location was calculated to relate the Brick Academy to the Seminary buildings in its setback from and elevation above Main Street, just as the use of brick related the schoolhouse to the Seminary buildings.
Boston maker of picture frames and mirrors, $5.40 to gild the weathervane that would top off Bulfinch Hall in 1819. All in, the project cost $13,252.73. Most work was performed by masons and carpenters. Master mason Simeon Marshall was responsible for several buildings on campus, including Pearson Hall— just being completed when work on Bulfinch began. Marshall led a crew of seven masons, assisted by nine hod carriers. Ten carpenters working on the project were led by David Hidden and David Rice. They came to Andover from Newburyport in 1809 to work on Phelps House, married locally and stayed. Like Simeon Marshall, they played leading roles in construction of Pearson Hall; they continued to build on campus through the 1830s, sometimes in partnership, sometimes individually. As built, the Brick Academy measured 40 by 80 feet; it contained one large classroom and two smaller recitation rooms on the main floor and a single meeting hall on the second floor—a layout based directly on that of the smaller 1785 schoolhouse it succeeded. None of the original interior survives, but Asher Benjamin’s exterior design remains: a chaste and appropriate essay in Federalstyle aesthetics.
The Academy treasurer, punctilious Samuel Farrar, supervised building Bulfinch; he oversaw all construction on campus from 1803 until 1840. His account books record every cent spent. Thus we know that Farrar paid Asher Benjamin $15 for the Brick Academy design; that, in addition to his regular salary, Farrar paid principal John Adams $4.75 in May for clearing bushes from the schoolhouse site behind his house; that Farrar paid Mary Upton $1.90 in June for “crackers used at the raising of the Academy” and reimbursed himself $3.00 for twenty pounds of cheese consumed at the same event. Farrar paid seventeen bills for lumber totaling $1,860; stone suppliers charged $903; brick and slate cost $2,378; window glass $311. Farrar paid Stillman Lothrop, a
Bulfinch Hall has been known for a century by the name of Benjamin’s more famous contemporary, Charles Bulfinch. Bulfinch did, indeed, design a building on campus: Pearson Hall. And Bulfinch and Benjamin occasionally worked together. But the laurels for the Brick Academy design belong to Benjamin.
Bulfinch Hall (1818–1819); Asher Benjamin, architect. photograph ca. 1910; Phillips Academy Archives & Special Collections.
Andover Theological Seminary, ca. 1830; James Kidder, artist; Pendleton Lithography, Boston; private collection. This eastward view across Main Street shows much of the Seminary Common (now the Great Lawn) and the intersection of Main Street with Salem Street. The Classical Academy’s Bulfinch Hall is on the far right. Just to its left is the principal’s house, now Shuman Admission Center. On the main campus, the three major buildings are (left-to-right) Foxcroft Hall, Pearson Hall (in its original location), and Bartlet Hall.
TEA CH ERS & STU D EN TS By mid-August 1819, the Brick Academy was nearly finished—finished enough for John Adams and his assistants to begin teaching in the building. The board attended the first Bulfinch Hall Student Exhibition on August 17. The Reverend Jedidiah Morse, a trustee since 1795 and father of graduates Samuel and Sidney Morse, addressed the gathering:
Grave is the Master’s look; his forehead wears Thick rows of wrinkles, prints of worrying cares; Uneasy lie the heads of all that rule, His most of all whose kingdom is a school. Supreme he sits; before the awful frown That bends his brows the boldest eye goes down; Not more submissive Israel heard and saw At Sinai’s foot the Giver of the Law.
Brethren, Youth and Friends:
For all its conservatism, Calvinist rigor, and devotion to the world of ancient Greece and Rome, under John Adams the Academy thrived. During the 1820s and ’30s, Andover produced hundreds of remarkable alumni whose schoolhouse was Bulfinch Hall. In addition to the noted physician and popular writer Holmes, they include the great abolitionist Theodore Dwight Weld; a host of missionaries, Indian rights advocate Cutting Marsh among them; philanthropically inclined entrepreneurs like Gardiner Greene Hubbard, the legal and financial genius behind Bell Telephone and founder of the National Geographic Society; early environmentalist Wilson Flagg; educator Henry Durant, first president of the University of California; frontier explorers like Thomas Jefferson Farnham, author of Travels on the Great Western Prairies; pioneering psychiatrist Isaac Ray; inventor and globe maker Cyrus Lancaster; and Navy surgeon Joshua Huntington who served with the U.S. Anti-Slavery Squadron off Africa, converted to Catholicism, became president of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and wrote Groping After Truth, or Why I Became Catholic.
Auspicious are the circumstances in many respects in which we celebrate....A short time since we lamented over the ashes of the...building erected by the venerable Founders of this Academy. Now we are assembled in this large, commodious and handsome edifice, which has arisen from its ashes. Corresponding in size with the increased number of students in this flourishing institution, and with the noble public buildings of the later and higher Seminary for Theological education, is this new edifice. The former was dedicated to the service of God and our country. To God and our country we now dedicate this. The clock presiding over classes bore the inscription Youth is the Seed-Time of Life. Schoolmaster Adams tended his seedlings with care. Pious, stern, able, and demanding, John Adams considered two subjects worthy of study: the Classics and the condition of each student’s soul. Oliver Wendell Holmes—a pupil under Adams—described Andover as “the very dove’s nest of Puritan faith.” And it was Holmes who, in his poem The School-Boy, penned a verse portrait of Adams:
Bulfinch Hall; Social Fraternity seal, 1838; Phillips Academy Archives & Special Collections.
John Adams, principal 1810â€“1832; portrait, Phillips Academy Art & Artifacts Collection.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Class of 1825; daguerreotype, ca. 1845.
Gardiner Greene Hubbard, Class of 1831; photograph, ca. 1890; Library of Congress.
F ROM TH E G REEK: G YM N A SI U M It was an 1827 bequest from Lt. Governor William Phillips Jr.—the donor chiefly responsible for building Bulfinch Hall—that indirectly led to the end of its use as the seat of Phillips Academy. He left Andover $15,000; with it the trustees launched a new school, one as liberal in curriculum as the original Classical Academy was conservative. The English Academy & Teachers Seminary offered pre-professional courses designed to lead not to college but to business, agriculture, the building and maritime trades, medicine, and engineering; in addition, it was the nation’s second teachers’ training school. Housed in a granite building on Chapel Avenue and nicknamed the “Stone Academy” (to distinguish it from the “Brick Academy”), the English Academy & Teachers Seminary flourished for a dozen years. Despite the Phillips bequest, however, it was underfunded, and in 1842 the trustees consolidated the two schools. Henceforth, students chose between the collegepreparatory Classical Department or the relatively unstructured English Department (later the Scientific Department). From 1842 until 1863, classes for both departments were held in the Stone Academy. Bulfinch became a little-used facility devoted to special events.
Why open a gym in 1867? And not only a gym; at the same July 1865 board meeting, the trustees voted to create Andover’s first athletic field. Beginning in the 1850s, new perspectives on the importance of exercise were changing the thinking of educators. Two leaders in this movement were alumni: William Augustus Stearns, Class of 1823, and N.W. Tyler Root, Class of 1847. Stearns became president of Amherst in 1854. In his inaugural speech, he championed physical education as a basis for sound development: “Education…involves the developing and energizing, at least the protecting of the physical system....The highest efficiency can never be reached, the noblest characters will never be formed, till a greater soundness of physical constitution is achieved.” Under Stearns, Amherst opened the first college gymnasium in 1860 and made physical education compulsory. Root’s book, School Amusements, published in 1857, with many later editions, gave detailed instructions on how to introduce physical education. Stearns was an Andover trustee from 1856 to 1876. One imagines he played a key role in getting Andover to create a gym and an athletic field. But the board’s 1865 decisions surely reflect student interest as well. Academy boys had been playing games forever, but during the 1850s they began organizing class teams for football and baseball; in the 1860s, Andover teams played not only intramurally but, occasionally, other schools and outside club teams.
In December 1863, the Stone Academy burned. It was replaced in 1866 by a Victorian Gothic building that stood where Samaritan House now stands, facing Main and School streets. During construction, Bulfinch Hall once more hosted classes. But, on July 24, 1865, the board voted “that when the old Brick Academy is no longer needed for the purpose of recitations, the same be…fitted up as a gymnasium.” It opened in February 1867. The 1818 interior had been removed; the second floor accommodated gymnastic apparatus, and the first floor contained bowling alleys.
For a time the 1867 gym was a major draw and source of pride. The trustees hired Sereno Gammell, an Amherst graduate and the Academy’s first coach, to supervise the gym and teach gymnastics. Later, fencing and boxing instruction were added. Abbot Academy student Abby Locke (Class of 1869) noted in her diary for Wednesday, March 6, 1867: “Went to see the boys practice Gymnastics. Enjoyed it very much.”
“A Sat. afternoon at the Gym” published in the “Philo Mirror,” Winter Term issue, 1891, page 61; George G. Greene, Class of 1892, cartoonist; Phillips Academy Archives & Special Collections.
The gymnasium interior, Bulfinch Hall second floor; photograph, ca.1890; Phillips Academy Archives & Special Collections.
BA N CRO FT’ S BEA N ERY The gym incarnation of Bulfinch Hall was not a lasting success. In October 1887, The Phillipian ran an editorial decrying the gym’s condition: “The forlorn appearance of the outside is only too truly indicative of its condition within. The walls…are covered with the accumulated dirt of years.” Students lobbied for a purpose-built gymnasium and raised $1,500 toward the cost. No action was taken, however, and in 1892 the students funded a track house equipped with lockers and showers.
Shortly after Bancroft’s death in 1901, Trustee James Hardy Ropes wrote to his colleagues urging action and articulating a second compelling reason for establishing an Academy dining hall: “I believe it is absolutely essential that a suitable dining hall [be created] where the influences shall be civilized and not the reverse.” With Borden Gym going up, thanks to Bancroft’s fundraising efforts, and the 1818 Brick Academy all but empty, the trustees took action.
Fire gutted the gym in June 1896. Nothing of the interior survived. The Brick Academy was re-roofed and made available to teams as warm-up space but went largely unused until Robert Peabody’s archaeological collection was sorted here in 1901. A new gymnasium was a must. Borden Gym opened in 1902. It was time for another phoenix-like transformation of Bulfinch Hall.
In 1902, Bulfinch became the facility Bancroft had envisioned. A dining room filled each floor; a new east wing housed storage and kitchen facilities. “The building is now one of the finest dining halls in the country,” editorialized The Phillipian. “The interior is finished simply but the effect is very pleasing. Twelve large white columns support the second floor and the tables are tastily arranged between them. The floor is of hard wood and the walls and ceiling are of a light tint. The hard wood finish is quartered oak and the tables are dark, in keeping with the wainscoting. The building is thoroughly lighted by electricity.” The Class of 1871 donated a set of blue and white china emblazoned with the Phillips Academy seal. The keeper of the Andover Inn, A.T. Ripley, ran the dining hall, overseen by a seven-member board comprised of a trustee, three faculty members, and three students.
Converting Bulfinch into an Academy dining hall advanced a program of improvements initiated by Cecil F.P. Bancroft, Andover’s principal from 1873 until 1901 and a gifted leader. Among Bancroft’s greatest concerns was the daily life of the boys, most of whom lived in off-campus boarding houses. “The decline of the old family home for boys,” Bancroft wrote to the trustees in 1893, “and the rise of the boarding house is not peculiar to Andover.... The immediate danger is that the school will divide...into a group of rich boys on the one hand and a group of poor boys on the other....It is our present obligation to make it possible for persons of moderate means to get good accommodations at Andover at a moderate expense. We need a dining hall for the express purpose of providing for a class which does not ask for charitable assistance and which cannot pay extravagant prices.”
Yet, despite the committee’s best efforts, “civilization” was not what many of the boys wanted. Mealtimes were rushed, loud, and punctuated by bun tossing and airborne butter pats. Officially, the dining hall was titled Commons; to the boys, it was the Beanery.
Bulfinch Hall second floor, following conversion into the Academy dining commons, 1902; Guy Lowell, architect. Photograph, 1902; Phillips Academy Archives & Special Collections.
Bulfinch Hall first floor, following conversion into the Academy dining commons, 1902; Guy Lowell, architect. Photograph, 1902; Phillips Academy Archives & Special Collections.
B E C OM I NG THE EN G LI SH D EPA RTM EN T & BU L F IN C H H A L L Call it the Beanery or Commons, the Classical Academy or the Brick Academy or Bulfinch Hall—what’s in a name? A great deal. In 1917 Claude Fuess published An Old New England School, which publicized the achievements of Andover’s founders, of great men in American history linked to the school, and of illustrious alumni. During the 1920s, this led to naming campus buildings for George Washington and Paul Revere, for founders Samuel Phillips and Eliphalet Pearson, for graduates Oliver Wendell Holmes and Samuel F.B. Morse. It was also in An Old New England School that Fuess championed the appealing thesis that Charles Bulfinch—architect of the Connecticut and Massachusetts state capitols, additions to the United States Capitol, Harvard’s University Hall, and Andover’s Pearson Hall—that the renowned Bulfinch had designed the 1818 brick schoolhouse. A Bulfinch attribution lent it cachet.
gifts. Andover was favored with two teaching foundations in 1928. Eight years later, Fuess returned to Edward Harkness with a trifecta gift proposal. Harkness had underwritten seminar-style teaching at Exeter on a grand scale, so Fuess proposed Andover teach in the same manner. Seminar teaching would require five additional faculty to handle an expanded number of classes, and many new classrooms. Fuess requested funding to transform the 1818 building, to endow five instructorships and to build five residences for the new instructors. Total cost: $725,000. Harkness agreed. Fuess engaged Boston architects Perry, Shaw & Hepburn to design the Bulfinch interior and faculty houses. The firm had made its reputation in the 1920s as architects of Colonial Williamsburg. For Andover, Perry, Shaw & Hepburn’s elegant, Bulfinch-inspired English Department interior replaced the 1902 dining rooms and kitchen. It is Perry, Shaw & Hepburn’s interior that remains in place today. In addition to fourteen seminar-size classrooms, Bulfinch Hall was provided with faculty studies and the Debate Room in which public speaking was taught, the Philomathean Society held its debates, and guest speakers held forth. Busts of Shakespeare and Milton flanked the vestibule of the ceremonial west entrance. Outside, the granite lintel above the door was inscribed BULFINCH HALL MDCCCXVIII.
By 1936, author and former English instructor Fuess was headmaster, and he conceived a plan to convert the now empty dining hall into the seat of the English Department and title it Bulfinch Hall. The Beanery had been superseded in 1930 by what is today Paresky Commons. The Fuess plan was ingenious and ambitious. Happily, it would be favored by one of the nation’s most extraordinary philanthropists of the early 20th century, Edward S. Harkness. Son of a Cleveland manufacturer and investor who had backed John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil, Edward Harkness gave away more than $100 million in inherited wealth during the 1920s and ’30s. Childless, it has been said posterity became his heir. Harkness was generous to many institutions and purposes, especially hospitals and medical research and education. Harvard and Yale (his alma mater), and Phillips Exeter received transformative
In an article published in the July 1937 issue of the Andover Bulletin, architect William Graves Perry declared: “The final ingredient to achieve the desired end is no doubt in plentiful supply. It is but the will to make use of these things and to learn.”
Photographs of Bulfinch Hall, ca.1937; a second-floor classroom fitted out with an oval â€œHarknessâ€? table, Paul Weber photographer; the Debate Room, west entrance interior and exterior, Samuel Gottscho photographer; Phillips Academy Archives & Special Collections.
M EN TO RS & M U SES Giamatti recalled, “Harrison connecting with a student, and thus with all his students, in his unique way, language his fundamental medium and final cure.”
Since 1937, Bulfinch Hall has been a constant for Andover students. From grammar to the well-formed sentence, poems to essays, literature to criticism—here gifted, demanding instructors teach English. Alumni recall these mentors with gratitude. Ozzie Ayscue, Class of 1951, wrote: “I doubt that any one of us fully realized at the time the grounding these great teachers were giving us in the beauty of literature, the precise use of language and the art of critical thinking.”
One of the English Department’s most awe-inspiring instructors was Dudley Fitts. He taught English from 1941 until his death in 1968. Poet, critic, and translator, Fitts was a highly regarded author when he arrived, bestknown for rendering ancient Greek verse into a terse and compelling modern English. In his translation, the epitaph of Hector of Troy became:
Andover instructors are given great latitude to teach as they think best, and the denizens of Bulfinch Hall were as famous for their instructional serendipity as for their rigor. Pen Hallowell, in the first session of an expository writing class, gave students fifteen minutes to write instructions for operation of the room’s Venetian blinds. Tom Regan jumped on window sills for emphasis. Holly Owen, teaching The Iliad, once opened a window of his basement classroom, then left; in a minute, a baseball flew through the window, falling on the floor; it was inscribed To the Fairest. How better to engage teenagers in the fateful Judgement of Paris that launches the saga? Ted Harrison, a stellar pitcher while at Andover and Yale, kept students in line by throwing chalk—mind-clearing missiles. Occasionally, Harrison resorted to heavier ammunition. A. Bartlett Giamatti (later president of Yale) recalled a spring morning in 1956 when Harrison, upset that Giamatti’s classmate Tom Bagnoli wasn’t paying attention, threw Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary at Bagnoli. Bagnoli (catcher on coach Harrison’s baseball team) caught the tome. “I have never forgotten,”
Stone, who was his father that lies beneath you? What was his name? His country? What was his death? His father was Priam. Ilion his country. His name was Hektor. He met death fighting for his land. Brilliant, sardonic, and effective, English was not all Dudley Fitts taught. His courage and determination in the face of crippling illness became a life lesson for students. The inscription on the Fitts monument in the Academy cemetery can only be read by lying down on the ground and looking up—that is, from the vantage point of he that lies beneath you. In addition to generations of classroom mentors like Bill Brown, Emory Basford, Hart Leavitt and Craig Thorn, Bulfinch Hall was and remains the setting for inspiration offered by visiting writers. The readings, critiques, and musings of the likes of Jorge Luis Borges and Robert Frost have occasioned epiphanies for generations of students.
Fred H. “Ted” Harrison ’38, Instructor 1952–1983; Phillips Academy Archives & Special Collections.
Dudley Fitts, Instructor 1941–1968; Phillips Academy Archives & Special Collections.
Robert Frost, May 1960 photograph; Phillips Academy Archives & Special Collections. Frost converses with students, his fedora resting upon a table before the podium in the Debate Room, Bulfinch Hall.
BU LFI N CH REM EM BERED Be it schoolhouse or gym, dining hall or English Department, Bulfinch has always been memorable. Jonathan F. Stearns, Class of 1826, described the Brick Academy of his student days:
From 1832 to 1837, Osgood Johnson, himself a graduate in the Class of 1823, was the Classical Academy schoolmaster. J.P. Gulliver, Class of 1836, recalled the opening of each schoolday:
Coming in the door at the north end, we passed the entrance of two recitation rooms, right and left of the entryway, and entered the main school room, passing between two high seats or thrones....Just below, against the wall on either side, stood two immense Russian stoves of brickwork reaching nearly to the ceiling, in which were kept in winter two roaring fires. Fronting all this array were the scholars’ benches...under the immediate eye of the authorities above. They were arranged in rows with double boxes, rising gently to the farther wall, with alleys between, and two scholars in each. The younger ones sat for the most part towards the front; the Seniors on the further end. And, in the back-seats, sat a row of monitors; full-grown men, old men they looked to me, whose office it was to call the school to order at the appointed hour, in turn, by hammering, up and down, the bench lid and shouting with authority, “Order!”
Every eye was fixed with respect upon Mr. Johnson as he entered the room. He ascended to the desk and pronounced a brief invocation….Then followed a few verses of Scripture, so read that a hidden radiance was made to flash out of its depths, as when a skillful lapidary holds before you a gem so adjusted that all its inner light beams upon your surprised vision. This prayer transported us into that unseen world where he seemed habitually himself to dwell, till he placed us before the great white throne in the very presence of the Most High.
In contrast to the specificity of Jonathan Stearns’ description, a little-known verse of Samuel Francis Smith’s great anthem, America, written on Andover Hill in 1831, provides this patriotic take on the the nation’s schools—a take, in this author’s view, inspired by the academy atop the hill:
The bowling alleys opened before them, and chipped balls lay disconsolately along their gutters. On the left, the stairs ascended to the upper story where the leathern horse and the jumping board seemed frozen to the floor. The dust alone rose to greet these two with its usual hospitality….The gaunt, cobwebbed windows revealed dead branches waving fantastically.
Herbert Ward, Class of 1880 (husband of writer Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Abbot ’58) in A New Senior at Andover (a fictional account of Academy life published in 1890), described what two students encountered in Bulfinch when it was the gym:
Thy safeguard, Liberty, The school shall ever be, Our Nation's pride! No tyrant hand shall smite, While with encircling might All here are taught the Right With Truth allied.
The 1917 edition of the Pot Pourri contained a section of jokes, including this terse dining hall comment: NOTICE IN THE BEANERY: Don’t tease these eggs, you may be old yourself some day.
BU LFI N CH REM EM BERED Anthony Doherty, Class of 1955, recalled Bulfinch as his favorite building on campus:
inside, whether I entered from the side door or front, whether I faced an exam or not, I always felt a certain serene delight.
I thought that it was somehow fitting that it sat a little apart from the rest of the academic halls—the abode of different muses, perhaps....The palpable atmosphere of learning, of purpose, was stimulating and refreshing, reminding me of what I was supposed to be doing at Andover. Over three years, my mind was opened by J.R.W. Dodge, Hart Leavitt, and Walter Gierasch to the joy of reading great writing and then carrying it with me forever.
Where did it come from? I guess from what I can only call the lightness of the place. Those big arched windows, to begin with, simply let in a lot of sun, which found ready cooperation in its work from the soft pinks and blues of the walls. The desks were not bolted to the floors. While the library, Commons, Addison Gallery and especially Sam Phil—all buildings I like— flexed their classical Georgian muscles rather too strenuously, Bulfinch was content—confident enough—to stay with the simple gesture. No need for those grand columns, and all that marble and wood paneling; a stair rail just right for the human hand would do much more.
Hugh West, Class of 1964, has written compellingly of Bulfinch Hall’s delights and lessons:
This was the temple of the word. Somehow, even then, I knew what I know much more consciously now—that something was being given to me in that building that few others were ever going to get, and I myself was never again to get to the same degree: instruction in how to read and write.
Of those anxious regressive dreams I began having as I approached forty, many were about a return to Andover. More precisely, a return to Bulfinch Hall. In the version that stays with me most vividly, I am roaming Bulfinch’s corridors when I come upon Thomas Regan. The last time I saw him here, I note, he was thrilled by the prospect of inheriting one of those select classrooms with a small office attached; now he is staring with horror into that office: it has been remodeled into a sleek chrome, glass, birch wood and carpeted home for his word processor. I catch his terror.
Looking back, Jonathan Stableford, Class of 1963, English instructor 1976–2010, recalled: I have so many wonderful memories, but a powerful one took place in the Debate Room a few years ago during a master class conducted by the poet Richard Wilbur. After an hour of talking and reading, he asked if anyone would like to request a particular poem; I asked him to read his poem “For Dudley,” a poem about the death of one of Bulfinch’s finest teachers, Dudley Fitts. The words, the location, the compression of time, the young students, and the old memories all made this a special Bulfinch moment for me.
If you followed the normal pattern of traffic, you were shunted into the building by a side door. I developed a habit of taking a detour now and then around to the front to get the effect of passing by Shakespeare and whoever else that was in the lobby, and of taking a full head-on look at the spare and elegant symmetry of what was evocatively called the Debate Room, before settling down to the business of learning English. Once
BU LFI N CH REBO RN Renovation of Bulfinch Hall is the final project funded through The Campaign for Andover, a campaign launched publically in the depths of a major economic downturn and completed in December 2012. The campaign raised more than $300 million for Academy priorities, including need-blind admissions and five building projects: a new boathouse serving Andover’s rowing program, expansion and renovation of the Addison Gallery, improvements to the Peabody Museum, Paresky Commons, and Bulfinch.
and from the building. A series of granite blocks arranged in an oval—much like chairs surrounding a Harkness seminar table—creates an outdoor classroom, a new venue for learning. Ann Beha Architects designed the renovation; Consigli Construction was general contractor. Work began in June 2012 and was completed six months later. The project budget was $6.25 million. By contrast, the original building cost $13,252.73 in 1819 dollars.
Bulfinch Hall has served the English Department admirably since 1937. But, by the 21st century, it was cramped, worn, and not up to standard. After several years of study, it was determined to overhaul Bulfinch completely, make it handicapped-accessible, replace all systems, add new technology, and expand the building modestly in the form of a single-story southeast wing attached to the 1902 east wing, in order to provide better space for student-teacher conferences, for faculty and for guest lectures and student presentations. Bulfinch, now served by an elevator, contains fourteen seminar rooms and one large multimedia room, four faculty-student conference rooms, and a commodious faculty room— formerly the Debate Room.
A large and diverse group of donors funded the 2012 rebirth of Bulfinch Hall, including trustees, alumni, and parents. This was true for the construction of the original building; what is different is the global reach of the school today and of those who support it. Bulfinch remains the “classic hall” Oliver Wendell Holmes remembered from his student days, renewed and adapted to teaching in this new century. Samuel Francis Smith, who wrote the anthem “America” at Andover, later in life wrote a poem that captures the bonding of the old and new, which is the essence of Bulfinch Hall reborn and of the teaching and learning it fosters: How blest the art that links in sacred bonds The living present with the living past! The life of other years to ours responds, Pulse-beat to pulse-beat thrills, and first to last.
The handsome interior detailing designed by Perry, Shaw & Hepburn, installed in 1936–37 during the original English Department renovation of Bulfinch Hall, has been meticulously restored. Perry, Shaw & Hepburn had painted the interiors in a variety of colors thought to reflect the Bulfinch era. A bolder color palette has been introduced in the 2012 renovation, one actually closer to the tastes of 1818. The grounds surrounding Bulfinch Hall have been relandscaped, opening long-lost vistas to
The thoughts once breathed in prose, or rolled in song, Treasured in faithful records, sound again; Genius and love their harmonies prolong, And vanished souls converse again with men.
Photographs of Bulfinch Hall following project completion, December 2012; Peter Vanderwarker ’65, photographer: new wing and outdoor classroom; main floor lobby; a second-floor classroom fitted out with an oval “Harkness” table; new wing multi-media classroom.
PROJECT TEAM DESIGN, ENGINEERING & CONSTRUCTION Ann Beha Architects Pamela W. Hawkes, FAIA, & Thomas Hotaling, AIA, Principals In Charge Richard Panciera, AIA, & Catherine Truman, AIA, Project Architects Kyle Zick Landscape Architecture, Inc. General Contractor: Consigli Construction Company, Inc. Anthony Consigli, President Todd McCabe, Project Executive Eric Thiboutot, Project Manager Ryan Stock, Project Engineer Larry Oâ€™Brien, Project Superintendent
MANAGEMENT, OFFICE OF PHYSICAL PLANT John A. Galanis, Project Manager Charles J. Jacobs, HVAC Systems Lawrence J. Muench, Director
BUILDING COMMITTEE David Chase Jeffrey C. Domina David U. Fox LaShonda N. Long John E. Rogers
Construction photographs, Bulfinch Hall renovation project, 2012; Gil Talbot, photographer; Phillips Academy Communications Department.
Back cover image: Bulfinch Hall engraving; Social Fraternity annual membership form, 1838; Phillips Academy Archives & Special Collections. Greek inscription: “Good fellowship of like-minded brothers [is] stronger than any wall.” Latin 25inscription: “For cultivating the art of public speaking and of writing well.”