Sports Temples of Boston: Sports Temples of Boston: Images of Historic Ballparks, Arenas, and Statiums 1872-1972

Harvard Stadium

Photographer: Bond, E.E. (Edmunds E.), 1871-1969

Brighton, Massachusetts
1922

Harvard Stadium, designed by Charles McKim and George Bruno de Gersdorff, was erected in 1902-03, across the Charles River on Soldiers Field Road in Boston’s Brighton neighborhood. The stadium's appearance was meant to evoke the ideal of classical amphitheaters and Stadia and was modeled after a similar structure in Athens, Greece.

Harvard Stadium was the first permanent and the largest reinforced concrete structure of its time. It was the first stadium built for U.S. college athletics. Originally, the facility had a seating capacity of 22,000 which was increased by wooden, and later, steel bleachers. The capacity is now roughly 30,000 spectators.

The first football game played on the field was on November 14, 1903 against Dartmouth College (Dartmouth won 11-0), and it has been the site of Harvard football’s hometown games ever since. The “Stadium” was used not only for football but for other sports and even theatrical events. In addition, generations of Harvard grads have paraded around the field during alumni and commencement exercises. As early as 1906 the Harvard Classics department productions of classical Greek drama were performed there and this tradition has continued through the decades. Harvard Stadium was refurbished in 1982.

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Aerial view of Harvard Stadium and Business School

1. Aerial view of Harvard Stadium and Business School

Image number: 05_02_010168
Photographer: Jones, Leslie, 1886-1967
Brighton, Massachusetts (1929)

Charles River and Cambridge campus of Harvard University in background.

Bronze tablet at Soldiers Field showing Harvard property

2. Bronze tablet at Soldiers Field showing Harvard property

Image number: 05_02_010181
Photographer: Jones, Leslie, 1886-1967
Brighton, Massachusetts (1924)

Shows raised detail of Harvard Stadium along with layout of roads engraved in tablet, including Soldiers Field Road and North Harvard Street.

Harvard regiment in review at Stadium before Major Wood and Adjutant General Cole

3. Harvard regiment in review at Stadium before Major Wood and Adjutant General Cole

Image number: 05_02_010192
Photographer: Jones, Leslie, 1886-1967
Brighton, Massachusetts (1916)

The regiment stands at attention before color guard and mounted officers on field of Harvard Stadium. Small crowd looks on from the stands.

Dennis Enright, left, and Jim McCrae, Harvard University athletic staff, at Harvard Stadium

4. Dennis Enright, left, and Jim McCrae, Harvard University athletic staff, at Harvard Stadium

Image number: 05_02_010833
Brighton, Massachusetts (1954)

"Dennis Enright (left) Superintendent-Emeritus of the Harvard athletic plant, and Jim McRae, who has been on the job 17 years" is typed on verso of photo.

West Point Cadets in Harvard Stadium before Harvard - Army game

5. West Point Cadets in Harvard Stadium before Harvard - Army game

Image number: 05_02_010008
Photographer: Jones, Leslie, 1886-1967
Brighton, Massachusetts (ca. 1930)

"Do you remember when the West Point Cadets were famous and his head coach just went in the Hall of Fame? The boys will never be seen in their uniforms + clever football" is written in pencil by photographer on back of photo.

Harvard Football team exercises in field next to Harvard Stadium

6. Harvard Football team exercises in field next to Harvard Stadium

Image number: 05_02_010026
Photographer: Jones, Leslie, 1886-1967
Brighton, Massachusetts (1929)

"Harvard squad practice with new surroundings" written in pencil by photographer on verso. Harvard Business School in back ground.

Harvard Stadium as it used to look with the steel stands removed

7. Harvard Stadium as it used to look with the steel stands removed

Image number: 05_02_010041
Brighton, Massachusetts (1952)

Newspaper caption on verso reads, "Harvard Stadium sports old look as the camera, trained from Dillon Field House, reveals the horseshoe now that the steel stands have disappeared completely, returning the Cambridge Coliseum to its original profile."

Harvard's Inflatable Track Dome

8. Harvard's Inflatable Track Dome

Image number: 05_02_010047
Brighton, Massachusetts (1968)

Floor of track laid out by workers under the inflatable dome of the new indoor track facility at Harvard University.

Dome of new indoor track facility at Harvard University

9. Dome of new indoor track facility at Harvard University

Image number: 05_02_010048
Brighton, Massachusetts (1968)

Newspaper caption on verso reads, "Dome looms on Harvard campus on Storrow Drive opposite Harvard boathouse (top photo). At bottom, workmen lay flooring inside the structure. Memorial Drive on right, from bottom up; Harvard Business School, Briggs Cage, i

Harvard University - University of Pennsylvania football action at Harvard Stadium

10. Harvard University - University of Pennsylvania football action at Harvard Stadium

Image number: 05_02_010076
Brighton, Massachusetts (1966)

Harvard runner #40 runs through the Penn line.

 
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Sports Temples of Boston: Images of Historic Ballparks, Arenas and Stadiums, 1872-1972
has been made possible through a Library Services and Technology Act grant
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