Warmth + design for a classic historical spot


University Hall, designed by Bulfinch and built in 1815, contained the Commons Dining Room until 1849. It is built out of white granite cut at the Charlestown Prison, making it Harvard's first stone building.

The building originally held the dining room, a library and a chapel but over the years all have been repartitioned into classrooms. It also holds the administrative offices of the faculty of arts and sciences. 

In 1884 Daniel Chester French's statue of John Harvard was placed in front of the western facade of the building. The statue is the only one in Harvard Yard, making it a common place for students to meet. It is tradition to rub the statue's shoes for luck when you pass it. 

The statue is often called the "Statue of Three Lies," as depicted in the film "The Social Network." French had no way of knowing Harvard's features, so he used a student as a model—the first lie. The second lie is that Harvard founded the school—he was a major contributor, not a founder. The last lie is that the school was founded in 1638; the actual date was 1636.