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Fay House, Radcliffe Yard

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1806; 1890 remodeling, 1892 addition, Alexander W. Longfellow Jr.

Founded in 1879 for the education of women, then barred from Harvard, Radcliffe College held its first classes in rented space. Although independent, the college was supported by the Harvard community, including faculty members who taught at Radcliffe and served as advisors.

In 1885, the college bought its first building, Fay House, a red brick residence dating from 1806. Alice Longfellow, a college founder, subsequently donated funds that enabled her cousin Alexander W. Longfellow Jr. to remodel and expand the structure, in 1890 and 1892. In his massing and detailing, the architect respected the original Federal design. Fay House led to significant commissions for Longfellow at both Harvard and Radcliffe and contributed to the broader predilection for Colonial Revival architecture at Harvard.

Writing Credits

Maureen Meister


What's Nearby


Maureen Meister, "Fay House, Radcliffe Yard", [Cambridge, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 343-344.

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