Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts HistorySauer, Anne
Capen House, 1876
|Capen House, located at 8 Professors Row, was built and is named for Tufts president Elmer Hewitt Capen. When Capen became president in 1875, the Trustees felt that it would be desirable to have the incoming president live on the campus rather than commute, as had his predecessor, Alonzo Ames Miner, who lived in Boston but came to Medford almost every day to conduct two classes as well as presidential business.|
The house was completed the following year at a cost of $21,692.89.The ground floor was especially designed for receptions and social assemblies. One of its first uses was to house a meeting of the New England Association of College Presidents, which met on the Tufts campus for the first time. A portion of the foundation of a small stable built on the western side of the house remains as a retaining wall.
President Capen resided in the house he built until his death in 1905.The next two presidents, Hamilton and Hooper, lived there as well. President Cousens elected to remain at his residence in Chestnut Hill during his presidency, at which time increasing enrollments in Jackson College led the house to be converted into a dormitory for women. In 1970 the house became a coeducational undergraduate residence, and in 1977 it was made the home of the African American Center.
As of 1999, the house continues to be used as the African American Center as well as a residence for students interested in African American culture.
Source: BG4; RNCH1
The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.