Aerial view from the south in 2015
|Location||95 N. Harvard Street
Natural grass (1903-2005)
|Broke ground||July 1903|
|Opened||November 14, 1903
115 years ago
($8.44 million in 2017 )
|Architect||Prof. Louis J. Johnson,
Class of 1887
|Harvard Crimson (NCAA) (1903-present)
Boston Patriots (NFL) (1970)
Boston Cannons (MLL) (2007-2014, 2016-present)
Boston Breakers (WPS) (2009-2011)
Boston Breakers (NWSL) (2014)
Boston Brawlers (FXFL) (2014)
|Location||60 N. Harvard St., Boston, Massachusetts|
|Area||11 acres (4.5 ha)|
|Architect||McKim, Charles F.; Et al.|
|Architectural style||Classical Revival|
|NRHP reference #||87000757|
|Added to NRHP||February 27, 1987|
Harvard Stadium is a U-shaped college football stadium in the northeast United States, located in the Allston neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. Built in 1903, it was a pioneering execution of reinforced concrete in the construction of large structures. Because of its early importance in these areas, and its influence on the design of later stadiums, it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987.
The stadium is owned and operated by Harvard University and is home to the Harvard Crimson football program. The seating capacity of the stadium is 30,323; it seated up to 57,166 in the past, as permanent steel stands (completing a straight-sided oval) were installed in the northeast end zone of the stadium in 1929. They were torn down after the 1951 season, due to deterioration and reduced attendance. Afterwards, there were smaller temporary steel bleachers across the open end of the stadium until the building of the Murr Center (which is topped by the new scoreboard) in 1998.
Harvard Stadium also hosted the Boston Patriots in 1970, their first season in the NFL after the AFL-NFL merger, and their last before becoming the New England Patriots; Schaefer Stadium in Foxborough opened the following year. The Patriots had previously played at Boston College (1969), Fenway Park , and Boston University
Harvard Stadium was constructed on 31 acres (13 ha) of land known as Soldiers Field, donated to Harvard University by Henry Lee Higginson in 1890 as a memorial to Harvard men who had died in the Civil War The structure, similar in shape to the Panathenaic Stadium, was completed in just 4½ months costing $310,000. Much of the funds raised came from a 25th reunion gift by Harvard's Class of 1879. It is the home of the football team of Harvard. The stadium also hosted the Crimson track and field teams until 1984 and was the home of the Boston Patriots during the 1970 season, until Schaefer Stadium opened the following year.
Lewis Jerome Johnson, professor of civil engineering at Harvard, was a consultant to the design team for the stadium. It is historically significant that this stadium represents the first vertical concrete structure to employ reinforced structural concrete. Prior to the erection of the stadium in 1902, reinforced structural concrete was used in horizontal, that is flooring, sidewalks, etc., design only. Prof. Johnson was the engineer of note responsible for incorporating the concept into the vertical structure of the stadium design. There is a plaque dedicating the stadium to his honor on the east end wall outside the stadium.
In the early 20th century, American football was an extremely violent sport. 18 players died and 159 were seriously injured in 1905 alone. There was a widespread movement to outlaw the game entirely but U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt intervened and demanded that the rules of the game be reformed. In 1906, Roosevelt met with representatives from 62 colleges and universities and formed the Intercollegiate Football Conference, the predecessor of the NCAA. The purpose of the committee was to develop a uniform set of rules and regulations to make the game safer. A leading proposal, at the time, was widening the field to allow more running room and decrease the chances of serious collisions. While it was very popular among committee members, Harvard objected. Their recently completed stadium could not accommodate a larger field. Because of the permanent nature of Harvard Stadium, the proposal was rejected and the forward pass was legalized in April 1906. Harvard Stadium directly led to the creation of two of the most fundamental aspects of modern American football: standard field dimensions and the legal forward pass.
It is also the host of music festivals like the Amandla Festival, where Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley performed a historic concert in 1979. Janis Joplin performed her last show at the stadium in 1970, shortly before her death. During the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles, the stadium hosted several soccer preliminaries. In 2007, the Boston Cannons, a professional lacrosse team for Major League Lacrosse, moved their home site to the stadium. They previously played at Boston University's Nickerson Field.
|Date||Time (EDT)||Team #1||Result||Team #2||Round||Attendance|
|July 29||19.30||Norway||0-0||Chile||Group A||25,000|
|July 30||19.30||Canada||1-1||Iraq||Group B||16,730|
|July 31||19.00||Norway||1-2||France||Group A||27,832|
|August 1||19.00||Cameroon||1-0||Iraq||Group B||20,000|
|August 2||19.00||Qatar||0-2||Norway||Group A||17,529|
|August 3||19.00||Cameroon||1-3||Canada||Group B||27,261|
Although most of Harvard's campus is in Cambridge, the stadium and most other intercollegiate athletic facilities, along with Harvard Business School, lie to the south, across the Charles River, in the nearby Allston neighborhood of Boston. The stadium is the most iconic piece of the Soldiers Field athletic complex, which also includes the baseball stadium, outdoor track, an artificial turf field hockey/lacrosse field, two soccer stadiums, pools, Beren Tennis Center (outdoor), the Gordon Indoor Track, Dillon Fieldhouse, Lavietes Pavilion, and Bright Hockey Center. Newell Boathouse, home of Harvard's men's crew, lies across Soldiers Field Road on the banks of the Charles.
The stadium's horseshoe opens to the northeast, towards the river, and the press box is at the top of the northwest sideline's grandstand. The running track has been removed; it was non-standard, with long straights and tight turns, and the outside lanes were very near the stadium walls.
View from the southern end of the colonnade. The Murr Center, an indoor recreation facility built in 1998, is the building at the end of the stadium.