Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Hazard Quadrangle

Click on image titles for larger views.
Institution Name: Wellesley College
Original/Historic Place Name: Hazard Quadrangle
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction:
1903-1909original construction of primary buildings Schweinfurth, J. A.
1920construction of link between Cazenove Hall and Pomeroy Hall
1927building group named Hazard Quadrangle
Designer: J. A. Schweinfurth
Type of Place: Landscape site
Style: Gothic revival (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, landscape
Narrative: see below
References: see below
ca. 1903residence hall
1903-present (2006)other (quadrangle building group)

From Massachusetts Historical Commission report (1989): The four buildings and interior court known as the Hazard Quadrangle are examples of the Elizabethan Gothic Revival style of architecture, a style that was best suited to the irregular landscape of the Wellesley College campus. Begun in 1904, the quad represents the beginning of long range planning for the campus incorporating the open quadrangle plan. As a building group, the Hazard Quadrangle retains integrity of setting, location, design, materials, feeling, and association. The original plan, scale, and architecture of the quadrangle have been retained and closely resemble the design intention. The four dormitories comprising the quadrangle: Pomeroy (1904), Cazenove (1905), Beebe (1907) and Shafer (1909), were designed as a group by Julius A. Schweinfurth. The Link, a connecting structure between Pomeroy and Cazenove also designed by Schweinfurth, was constructed in 1919 with alterations to the original design to accommodate the needs of that time.

Each of the four dormitories includes a corner tower, a dormitory wing, and a small side servants' wing. The buildings are constructed of a dark colored red brick with light mortar joints laid up on a granite block foundation. The architectural elaboration including quoins, lintels, copings, parapets and string courses are made of Indiana limestone.

The Link was constructed to enlarge the first two dormitories of the quadrangle while enclosing the quad. The 1919 design has Gothic qualities as well as classical motifs. The four-story link has a five-story central tower entrance with crenellated top. The tower is characterized by a three-story oriel over the monumental arch entrance on the north facade and a three-story stone panel of four sash per story over a monumental but less elaborate arch entrance on the south side. The tower is surmounted by an enclosed polygonal cupola with louvered sides, collonettes, copper roofing, and a spire. The entrance gate, visible from Central Street, is a massive light-green wooden double-sliding door with elaborate hardware. The classical elaboration on the south facade is the one-story loggia projecting into the quadrangle. The eight loggia bays on each side of the central tower are characterized by stone columns with volutes from which spring the round headed arches.

The Hazard Quadrangle played an important role in the historical development of Wellesley College. First, its commission and design in the early years of the twentieth century testifies to the increased enrollment and growing student population of the college. Second, its construction was part of the first overall campus planning initiative at the college. Finally, its architecture is of interest as representative of a style widely considered appropriate to institutions of higher education.

By 1900, the student population at Wellesley College had doubled its 1875 size to reach over 700 students. By 1905, there were over 1000 students who required housing at Wellesley. The concept of developing plans for the arrangement of existing and future buildings at Wellesley College became a reality with the administration of President Caroline Hazard, who in 1902 financed the development of planning drawings. Thus, a new dormitory group was suggested for the "high plateau near the west woods." Using the bequest of Martha S. Pomeroy, who wanted to build a dormitory easily accessible to astronomy students after night-time observances, the college began construction of Pomeroy Hall. The four dormitories were built in an open quadrangle plan between 1904 and 1909. It was not until 1919 that the final portion of Schweinfurth's design was realized in the construction of the link between Pomeroy and Cazenove. For the first two decades, the group of buildings was referred to as the Quad or Cazenove Quadrangle. In 1927 the group was renamed the Hazard Quadrangle after President Caroline Hazard, under whose leadership the Quad had been built.

See also Beebe Hall, Cazenove Hall, Pomeroy Hall, and Shafer Hall.


Fergusson, Peter, James F. O'Gorman, and John Rhodes. The Landscape & Architecture of Wellesley College. Wellesley, MA: Wellesley College, 2000.

Horowitz, Helen Lefkowitz. Alma Mater: Design and Experience in the Women's Colleges from Their Nineteenth-Century Beginnings to the 1930s. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984.


Contact us / About Site / About CIC
© 2006
Council of Independent Colleges
Washington, DC
All rights reserved
Last update: November 2006