Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Pomeroy Hall

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Institution Name: Wellesley College
Original/Historic Place Name: Pomeroy Hall
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction:
1903-1904original construction Schweinfurth, J. A.
Designer: J. A. Schweinfurth
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Gothic revival, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, landscape
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: granite block
Walls: red brick, white limestone trim
Roof: slate
1904-present (2006)dining hall
1904-present (2006)residence hall

From Massachusettes Historical Commission report (1989): Pomeroy Hall is situated on the northeast side of the Hazard Quadrangle and is a mirror image of Cazenove Hall located on the northwest side. This large brick dormitory is comprised of four parts. The five-story tower faces Central Street and has a large three-story dormitory wing projecting south, forming the east wall of the quadrangle, and a small two and three-story residential wing (formerly the servants' wing) projecting east away from the quad. The fourth part of the dormitory is the 1919 link which connects Pomeroy and Cazenove Halls.

The most prevalent features of the tower are the four copper-roofed curvilinear turrets. The crenelated tower parapet, the white stone quoins of the polygonal tower corners, the stringcourses, the gray stone diamond patterns in the brick walls, and the rustication of the first two stories of the tower provide variety and texture to the overall design.

The public interior spaces include the dining room on the first floor and the living room on the second floor. Both are located in the tower and have corner niches, large fireplaces, and window seats in the tower projecting bay. Leaded glass windows are found on the east side of the main entrance hall. There are stained glass inlays of seals with ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian designs related to learning. The entrance to the dormitory is located in the tower where the dormitory ell and the Link meet.

Built in 1904, Pomeroy Hall was the first dormitory to be built on the Hazard Quadrangle. The restrictions of the bequest of the Martha S. Pomeroy estate were that the money was to be used to construct a dormitory in the Elizabethan style. Martha Pomeroy's connection with Wellesley was through her sister-in-law, Mrs. John C. Whitin, who wished to have a dormitory near the Whitin Observatory for the residence of astronomy students. It was for this reason that the site on the "high plateau" was chosen.

See also Hazard Quadrangle, Beebe Hall, Cazenove 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.

Schuyler, Montgomery. "The Architecture of American Colleges: X. Three Women's Colleges: Vassar, Wellesley & Smith." Architectural Record 31 (May 1912): 513-37.


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Last update: November 2006