From HODP Wiki
House Adams
Neighborhood River Central
Address 26 Plympton Street
Residential Buildings Russell-Westmorly, Randolph, Claverly, Oaktel, Hampden, Fairfax
Faculty Dean(s) Judy Palfrey and Sean Palfrey
Resident Dean(s) Charles Lockwood
House Administrator Matthew Burke

Adams House is the College's most historic undergraduate House and the one located closest to Harvard Yard. As a result, Adams is consistently one of the most coveted Houses on campus. Adams House is currently partially under renovation, scheduled to be finished in 2023, so some of its undergraduates reside in swing housing.

Housing and Renovations

The main residential buildings for Adams House are Russell-Westmorly, Randolph, and Claverly. During the 2019-2020 academic year, Adams students also occupied swing housing in the Oaktel, Hampden, and Fairfax. Claverly is newly renovated and will open in the fall of 2020, while Randolph will be undergoing renovations during the 2020-2021 academic year. Russell-Westmorly will undergo construction in the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years, during which Adams Dining Hall will be relocated to The Oaktel.

Although Adams has historically not had many singles, the quality of housing improved significantly when renovations began. The Oaktel is composed entirely of singles, and the renovated buildings are expected to have lots of n+1 suites. Current renovation plans indicated that 70% of Adams House residents will have singles, and 77% will live in suite-style housing.


The Adams dining hall is located in Russell, and is typically very crowded due to Adams' prime location near the Yard. Because of its convenient location, Adams has dining restrictions. During the bulk of lunch and dinner hours, dining is restricted to Adams residents and a plus-one each. Residents of Pfoho, Adams's sister house, can eat anytime. Thursday evening dinners are reserved as community nights, at which only Adams residents can dine.

Adams has "brain break" snacks available in the Small Dining Hall every weekday night at 9pm. These snacks range from bagels, cereal, and cheese and crackers to blondies, cookies, cakes.

House Traditions

Carpe Noctem

A signature Adams House tradition is Thursday-night carpe. Hosted by the House Committee, carpe has a different theme every week, and can feature music, games, drinks, and food.

Drag Night


Bow and Arrow Press

The Bow and Arrow Press houses a Letterpress press, which uses raised letters and patterns to print int directly on paper. Letterpress printing began in the 1400s and revolutionized printing at the time. The Bow and Arrow Press is open to use by Harvard affiliates every Wednesday in the semester from 7-9:30pm.

Adams Library

The Adams Library is a 24-hour library open to Adams students, located above the famously photogenic Gold Room of Adams's Russell Hall.

Pool Theater

Located in Westmorly Court, Adams Pool Theater hosts student performances and exhibitions. Its name comes from the fact that it used to be a basement pool and the site of many parties. The Pool, and Adams House in general, was considered a haven for BGLTQ+ when other Harvard communities were not. The pool was converted to a theater due to health concerns.

FDR Suite

For the four years he was a student at Harvard, 1900-1904, future President Franklin Delano Roosevelt lived in modern-day entryway B of Adams's Westmorly Court. His and his roommate's room, B-17, is closed to student occupancy and has been transformed into an homage to FDR. The room is decorated as scholars know FDR's original room was and is open to tours for Harvard affiliates throughout the year.

Notable Alumni

Notable alumni include Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Buckminster Fuller, Henry Kissinger, and Chuck Schumer.