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Dorm Pennypacker
Yard Crimson

Pennypacker Hall, a Crimson Yard first-year dorm, is located on Harvard Street near Hurlbut Hall and Greenough Hall, as part of the three “Union Dorms” just outside of Harvard Yard. It houses the studios of student-run WHRB (95.3 FM) radio station in the basement.


Pennypacker Hall is located on Harvard Street, close to the Barker Center and across the street from the Old Cambridge Baptist Church. It is a large brick building next to Hurlbut Hall.

Amenities & Floor Plan

Pennypacker is well-known for its central marble and black-and-white tiled staircase that connects all four floors of the building, providing the foundation for a strong sense of community among all its residents. It is also known as the first-year dorm farthest away from Annenberg dining hall.

In total, the building can house approximately 100 students, divided among four horizontal entryways of approximately 22-26 students each. Each floor, which constitutes a horizontal entryway, contains 6-7 student suites along with a proctor suite, and the suites are configured to have 1-2 doubles, a spacious common room, and an in-suite bathroom. All floors except for the first floor have hardwood floors, whereas the first floor has carpeted floors. Certain suites, whose room numbers end in 8, have a larger bathtub in their bathrooms instead of a metal shower.

Pennypacker’s amenities include a first-floor common room with a flat-screen television and full-size kitchen, and it houses the studios of WHRB (95.3 FM) radio station in its basement. Thus, its residents often must use neighboring Hurlbut’s basement for laundry rooms and practice spaces.


Pennypacker Hall was originally built as Roosevelt Apartments in 1927. It was purchased by Harvard to be converted to student dorms in 1958 and renamed for Henry Pennypacker, a former president of the admissions committee at Harvard from 1920 to 1933. A plaque in the vestibule of the building commemorates him.

Past residents of Pennypacker Hall include president and chief operating officer of Ayala Corporation Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Nicolas Kristof, and The New Yorker political commentator Henrik Hertzberg.