Cambridge - Harvard Square: Harvard University - Austin Hall
Austin Hall, at 1515 Massachusetts Avenue, was built in 1882-1884 to the Romanesque Revival design of Henry Hobson Richardson. It was the first dedicated home of Harvard Law, and the first dedicated building built for an American Law School.
Single-story wings flank a heavy, two-story central mass, with the reading room extending rearwards to form an overall T shape. A central entryway framed with Romanesque triple arch is set deep within the building's flat front facade, with an asymmetric stairway tower protruding forwards to its right. The building is faced with Longmeadow sandstone in striking polychrome patterns, the light stones forming checkerboards within dark, reddish walls. The arches are of pale Ohio sandstone, as is the thick cornice band incised with a lengthy and sententious motto.
Harvard University (officially The President and Fellows of Harvard College), a private Ivy League university, was established in 1636 by the colonial Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the first corporation chartered in the United States and oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The university currently comprises ten separate academic units and has the largest financial endowment of any school in the world.
National Register #72000128 (1972)