Cambridge Architectural Landmarks

About Cambridge Architectural Landmarks

With architectural design that spans the centuries, Cambridge, Massachusetts is a place that provides residents with unique buildings to call home and beautiful designs at which visitors can marvel. Visit the Cambridge architectural landmarks today!

Cambridge Memorial Hall Harvard Cambridge Architectural Landmarks

Cambridge Memorial Hall at Harvard

Traditional Cambridge historical sites exist in Cambridge along with modern, daring examples of architectural genius.

Below you will find some of the most notable of these historic sites, many of which were designed by award-winning architects.

If you’re looking for something to do in Cambridge, you should definitely visit at least one of these beautiful historical sites. Most of them are free!

Memorial Hall

In 1870, Memorial Hall was built at Harvard University in honor of graduates who had fought during the Civil War. It is one of the great Cambridge architectural landmarks.

For years prior, a fundraising committee had raised $370,000 (which, at the time, was equal to 1/12 of Harvard’s endowment) for the project.

Following a $40,000 gift from Charles Sanders, Harvard class of 1802, enough money had been raised for a building that would serve as both a lecture hall and performance space.

Harvard’s Memorial Hall is marked by the High Victorian Gothic style, made of brick, and located at 45 Quincy Street near Harvard Square.

Particularly notable are the 22 stained glass windows that fill the inside of Memorial Hall with dynamic light and color.

Cambridge Architectural Landmarks

Weld Boat House

Weld Boathouse

Picturesquely located on the banks of the Charles River, the Weld Boathouse is today home to Harvard’s heavyweight and lightweight women’s crew teams.

Named for George Walker Weld, the Harvard’s Weld Boathouse was constructed in 1906 and, viewed from across the river in Boston, is truly a majestic sight.

With a burnt red roof and elegant design, the boathouse actually looks more like the private home of Cambridge’s 19th century elite than an athletic facility, making it a beautiful architectural sight to see.

Still, on many afternoons during the fall and spring one can see some of Harvard’s women launching their boats from the docks of Weld Boathouse.

Cambridge Architectural Landmarks

Stata Center of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence. Photo by Raul

Stata Center

Stand across from the Stata Center at 32 Vassar Street and you will be questioning whether your mind is intact.

Learn more about the building of the Stata Center by clicking here!

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry, the building, which opened in 2004, features walls that appear to defy gravity by jutting out in asymmetrical and curved patterns, paired with towers that split and lean.

Furthermore, the Stata Center is painted in an array of colors that are anything but traditional.

The structure has 720,000 square feet of academic space and offers alternative meeting and study areas.

Financed in large part by Ray and Maria Stata along with Bill Gates, Alexander Dreyfoos Jr., and Morris Chang, the Stata Center is a bold and beautiful example of the limitlessness of architectural exploration.

Longfellow House Washington's Headquarters, Cambridge

Longfellow House Washington’s Headquarters, one of the great Cambridge architectural landmarks!

Longfellow House

The Longfellow House obtained its name from its famous resident and Harvard professor, the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who lived there from 1837 to 1882.

Longfellow was frequently visited at his home by notable academics and philosophers of the time: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Charles Dickens, to name a few.

However, prior to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s acquisition of the Longfellow House, the building provided refuge to many important leaders during the Revolutionary War; for example, George Washington used the house as his headquarters for more than nine months during the siege of Boston.

Today, the Longfellow House is protected by the National Park Service and many of the poet’s possessions remain where Longfellow left them at the time of his death in 1882. The Longfellow House is located at 105 Brattle Street.

Cooper-Frost-Austin House Cambridge MA

Cooper-Frost-Austin House. Photo by Michelle

Cooper-Frost-Austin House

The Cooper-Frost-Austin House was built in 1681 by Samuel Cooper and is the oldest house still standing in Cambridge.

It was owned by the Cooper family for over 250 years and underwent numerous expansions; however, the original “lean-to half-house” that characterizes Colonial American architecture is still in existence today.

An exemplary part of the American historical landscape, Cooper-Frost-Austin House was acquired by Historic New England in 1912 and is open to the public on select days at 21 Linnaean Street.

MIT’s Chapel

MIT Chapel Cambridge

MIT Chapel Cambridge

From the exterior, MIT’s chapel is quietly peculiar – a round and windowless brick building seemingly plopped down in the middle of campus.

However, travel inside and the chapel’s intimate feeling, complimented by a large glass skylight from which a sparkling metal sculpture hangs down to nearly touch the altar below, immediately reminds you of the building’s non-denominational purpose.

Dedicated in 1955, MIT’s chapel was designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Eero Saarinen.

Often regarded as an excellent example of Mid-Century Modern architecture in the United States, the MIT chapel is a uniquely spiritual place in Cambridge.

The address of this historical site is 48 Massachusetts Avenue, in the rear.

Harvard Lampoon

Harvard Lampoon

Harvard Lampoon

The Harvard Lampoon is the world’s longest continually published humor magazine.

It has been published by Harvard undergraduates since 1876 and has a number of famous alumni – John Updike, Conan O’Brien and James Murdoch, to name a few.

The Harvard Lampoon’s building is often described as a “satirical castle,” located in the middle of a fork in the road.

The building was designed by Harvard grad and Lampoon alum Edmund M. Wheelwright, and from the front resembles a human face wearing a Prussian helmet.

For more Cambridge museums and sites, click here! As you can see, Cambridge Architectural Landmarks are a site to see. We recommend visiting today!