Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt is libraries (or sleeping or midget submarines). Since I used some really good photos of people with books on a recent post, I went over to my favorite booth in the local antique mall to dig through their boxes of photos. I wasn’t having much luck, actually, at least not for libraries. I found plenty of photos for future posts, but was about to give up hope when I came across this one.

Austin Hall

This is a photograph, identified on the back as “Austin Hall, the present home of the Harvard Law School & Library.” Of course I verified that, and happily discovered that this is indeed a very old photo of Austin Hall. The distinctive arches give it away. The building was the first to be constructed specifically for Harvard Law School and opened in 1883. The arches you see above are the main entry way. Architect Hobson Richardson utilized the Romanesque Revival style with lots of carvings and curlicues.

I found another photo online of a similar view of the building that was taken shortly after it was completed.

Austin Hall, Harvard *

For your edification

* Collection: A. D. White Architectural Photographs, Cornell University Library

9 thoughts on “Austin Hall, Harvard

  1. beeskneesdaily says:

    What a lovely building with such distinctive details. The arches are my favorite part of Austin Hall.


  2. Wendy says:

    On a trip to Boston, I went over to Cambridge just to see Harvard. I guess now I can tell people I went to Harvard!


  3. Bob Scotney says:

    All we need now Martha is a modern photograph of Austin Hall. University libraries have always interested me.


  4. Alan Burnett says:

    I too visited Harvard last June and I seem to recall I had my photograph taken on those steps or ones like them. I wish I had access to that seller of old photographs that you visit, I would never be away from the place.


  5. Little Nell says:

    Isn’t it funny that just when you are about to give up, out pops the perfect picture? Glad to hear you’ve found some inspirations for future posts too.


  6. Tis a beautiful building with many distinctive features:)


  7. That is a majestic looking building.


  8. IntenseGuy says:

    I went to Havayd once. I packed my cah in the yad. :)


  9. Jo says:

    It’s a very distinctive building, but I like the way that the trees soften the hard edges in the first photo :-) Jo


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