From HODP Wiki
House Lowell
Neighborhood River Central
Address 10 Holyoke Place
Residential Buildings ?
Faculty Dean(s) David Laibson, Nina Zipser
Resident Dean(s) Caitlin Casey
House Administrator Beth Terry

Lowell House is one of Harvard's nine River Houses, located between Winthrop House and Harvard Yard. It is named for the Lowell family, whose members are related to Abbott Lawrence Lowell, Harvard's president at the time of construction. Lowell House is simultaneously close to the Yard, Harvard Square, and other Harvard "River" houses, and its blue-capped bell tower is a local landmark that can be seen (and heard) from the surrounding areas. Due to its prime location and recent renovation, Lowell is often one of the most preferred houses by Harvard first-years.

Housing and Renovations

Lowell House is structured as a single building extending around its courtyards. ts majestic neo-Georgian design, centered on two landscaped courtyards, received the 1938 Harleston Parker Medal and were emulated during the construction of later River houses. Lowell is the most recently renovated House, with its renovation completed in fall 2019.


Lowell's dining hall is located in the south side of the building, nearer to the River. Additionally, Lowell has "brain break" snacks available in its dining hall every weekday night. These snacks range from bagels, cereal, Chex Mix, and crackers to blondies, cookies, and cakes.


Common Rooms

Lowell features a variety of common rooms for students.

Junior Common Room: The premier living room of the House, the JCR is located across from the Dining Hall and open 24/7 for Lowell residents to gather, watch TV, play music, entertain, and be together.

Underground Lounge: The main gathering space for students, House Committee events, Stein Clubs and more, this new lounge has a kitchen attached and is primarily intended for Lowell House resident use.

Tower Room: Head upstairs for a beautiful vista from the 6th floor space under the bell tower! This new, multi-floored Tower Room is a terrific gallery space, iconic gathering spot, and a cozy place to gather with your friends.

Coolidge Room (W138): Named for the first dean of Lowell House, Julian Coolidge, this quaint room evokes another time with its elongated seminar table, blackboard, and library collection.

Dance Studio (WS04): Located in the underground adjacent to the Screening Room, the new Dance Studio is reservable for Harvard affiliated choreographers for 5 hours a week.

Additionally, Lowell features multiple seminar rooms, an SCR, a Makerspace for engineers, and an Art Room and music practice rooms!

Lowell Library

The Lowell House Library reading room is located on the second floor of D or E entries and has a storied past. Its large tables, comfy couches, venerable book collection are used by students for quiet studying.

Gym & Fitness Club

Lowell also has a gym! In addition, Lowell has a fitness club which strives to provide a supportive environment where all members of the House Community feel supported as they strive to reach their personal fitness goals, while balancing school work. The club meets once a week to help encourage and develop weekly exercise routines, discuss proper body technique to reduce injury, and reduce stress and anxiety. Lowell also contains a squash court in the underground West wing that is open to everyone in the House.

Events and Traditions


The Lowell House bells, a collection of 17 Russian bells, were given by Charles Crane as a gift to the house in 1930. The bells originally came from the St. Danilov Monastery in Moscow and were saved from being melted down by Stalin’s government. Lowell students and members of its community can learn about and ring the bells - in fact, it is a Harvard tradition for students to be ready to hear Lowell's bells ringing at anytime, no matter how late or early in the day.

Thursday Tea

The Faculty Deans' residence hosts tea for students every Thursday!

High Table

Lowell has a High Table, much like the Oxford and Cambridge traditions, as a formal dinner with select seniors and Senior Common Room members of the House. It occurs four times each semester, with about 50 people per dinner and carefully assigned seating. High Table is an opportunity to dine closely with faculty, administrators, and other esteemed guests you would not otherwise encounter.

Lowell House Opera

The Lowell House Opera is the longest continually-running opera company in New England, performing annually in the Lowell Dining Hall for Harvard and the greater Boston community.

1812 Overture

A long tradition at Lowell House, and now in conjunction with Arts First weekend at Harvard, this "pick-up" performance of the 1812 Overture in the Lowell House Courtyard has been open to the whole community and drawn many eager fans over the years. It involves a corps of student and affiliate musicians from Lowell House and a host of stalwart volunteers interested in participating in one of the most brazen, fun and Olympian interpretations of this famous piece ever heard in Cambridge.

Notable Alumni

Notable alumni of Lowell include Matt Damon, Natalie Portman, Harry Blackmun, Walter Isaacson, Anthony Lewis, and Vanessa Lann.

For more information about Lowell House, please visit lowell.harvard.edu.