Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts HistorySauer, Anne
136 Harrison Avenue, 1949
In 1949, Tufts purchased an empty building at 136 Harrison Avenue in Boston to serve as the new home for the medical and dental schools. The previous building, located at 416 Huntington Avenue, was almost fifty years old, and much of its equipment was out of date. The new building, a modern, fireproof structure, had previously housed a needle trade company.
The Harrison Avenue building was renovated in 1949 to house the facilities of both the School of Medicine and the School of Dental Medicine. After two years of renovation, the eight-story, 130,500 square foot building was dedicated on April 9, 1951.
At a cost of $950,000, Tufts gutted the old building at 136 Harrison Ave and completely renovated the outside and inside. The new building, fifty percent larger than the Huntington Avenue complex, included offices, classrooms, a bookstore, student lounges and also the Chenery Memorial Library, and was built using a donation from alumnus William E. Chenery. The building was also conveniently located within close proximity to the New England Medical Center. For a number of years, the School of Medicine had worked jointly with the NEMC. The new location allowed students to work more closely with the NEMC, and allowed greater access to their facilities.
In 1973, Tufts constructed a new building at One Kneeland Street to house the School of Dental Medicine. When the dental school vacated its offices at the Harrison Avenue building, the medical school made use of the entire facility for the next six years. In 1979, however, the newly established School of Veterinary Medicine moved into the Harrison Avenue building, remaining there until the veterinary school's current home at the Grafton campus was completed.
As of 2001, 136 Harrison Avenue still houses most of the medical school's facilities, and also houses classroom facilities for first-year veterinary students.
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.