Andover Hall

Swartz Hall and Andover-Harvard Theological Library


Completed in 1911 at a cost of $300,000, Andover Hall at Harvard University was designed by Allen and Collens, a firm that focused largely on neo-medieval and ecclesiastical designs, and is the only building at Harvard built in the Collegiate Gothic style of architecture. Andover Hall was commissioned by Andover Theological Seminary, which, by 1906, saw its enrollment slide and entered an affiliation with the Divinity School in 1908. The Hall contained a chapel, library, dorms, and seminar and lecture rooms. Today, the building still contains a chapel and some classrooms, but it also holds many administrative and faculty offices. On May 1, 2019, the building's name was changed to Swartz Hall in honor of philanthropists Susan Shallcross Swartz and James R. Swartz. Andover Hall and Andover-Harvard Theological Library opened its doors in the fall of 1911. One of the first acts of the Council (Oct. 31, 1911) was its vote “that the freedom of the Library be extended to the instructors and students of the Episcopal Theological School, of the New Church Theological School, and of Radcliffe College.” Extending privileges to the first two schools foreshadows the later extension of mutual privileges through the Boston Theological Institute. The “freedom” given to Radcliffe was without parallel at Harvard for many years to come, although it would be over 40 more years before Harvard Divinity School would admit women as degree candidates. The renovated Harvard University Swartz Hall is the center of academic, administrative, and student life at the Harvard Divinity School. The historic building houses classrooms, a lecture hall, a multi-faith chapel, and faculty and staff offices. ABA completed a master plan that assessed the existing conditions, established a preservation approach, studied program needs, and developed a phased plan for renovation and expansion. In the first project following the master plan, ABA renovated classrooms in Swartz Hall, introducing new technology and flexible furnishings to accommodate traditional and emerging teaching methodologies. The current phase of renovations relocates Student Services to Swartz Hall and replaces an existing building addition known as the Cloister Link with an approximately 10,000-square-foot addition. At the ground level, visitors will find a welcoming café; the upper level holds a 200-seat multipurpose event room, providing a large convening space for HDS and the University.

Constructed, 1911