The Eliot House cupola, from JFK park
|Location||101 Dunster Street|
|Named for||Charles William Eliot|
|Colours||Blue, Red, White|
|Sister college||Jonathan Edwards College and Emmanuel College|
|Masters||Douglas A. Melton and Gail O'Keefe|
Eliot House is one of twelve residential houses for upperclassmen at Harvard University and one of the seven original houses at the College. Opened in 1931, the house was named after Charles William Eliot, who served as president of the university for forty years (1869–1909).
Before Harvard opted to use a lottery system to assign residences to upperclassmen (beginning with the class of 1999), Eliot was known as a 'prep' house, providing accommodation to the university's social elite, and being known as "more Harvard than Harvard". Describing Eliot House in the late 1950s and early 1960s, author Alston Chase wrote, "[A]lthough most Harvard houses in those days reflected the values of Boston Brahmin society ... Eliot was more extreme. This house, noted a report of the Harvard Office of Research and Evaluation at about that time, 'has long been called cold, snobbish, preppish, "the clubby house," and "the home of the pseudo-intellectual." All of these titles are, in a sense, true.' Indeed, most undergraduates themselves agreed with the verdict, the report added. Even Eliot House residents viewed it as 'aristocratic' and 'snobbish.'" Vestiges of this remain in traditions like the spring formal (the Eliot Fête) and the house remains especially well-endowed, although Harvard no longer permits donors to fund individual houses.
Eliot's prominent belltower is featured in many films, including two screen shots in Old School; Legally Blonde; Chasing Liberty; and Euro Trip, which features the tower at the end of the film, incorrectly identifying it as Oberlin College. Eliot House is also featured prominently in Love Story and The Social Network.
Notable former residents of the house include:
- Leonard Bernstein
- Benazir Bhutto
- Ben Bradlee
- Archibald Cox
- John Harbison
- Rashida Jones
- Ted Kaczynski
- Jack Lemmon
- Thomas Oliphant
- George Plimpton and
- Jay Rockefeller
In 1951, roommates of Eliot House A-12 included Paul Matisse, grandson of French impressionist Henri Matisse, Stephen Joyce, grandson of novelist James Joyce, and Sadruddin Aga Khan, lineal descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. This caused master John Finley to brag to the New York Times, "where else would you find, in one room, the grandson of Matisse, the grandson of Joyce, and the great-great-great-great-grandson of God?"
- Chase, Alston (2003). A Mind for Murder: The Education of the Unabomber and the Origins of Modern Terrorism. New York: W. W. Norton. p. 208. ISBN 0-393-32556-3.
- Fabry, Alexander B. (October 5, 2006). "Leonard Bernstein". The Harvard Crimson (Harvard University). Retrieved May 27, 2009.
- Lindsay, Jay (December 29, 2007). "Classmates recall Bhutto's intensity". USA Today. Retrieved May 27, 2009.
- Bradlee, Ben (1996). A Good Life. Simon and Schuster. p. 50. ISBN 0-684-82523-6.
- Gormley, Ken; Richardson, Elliot (1999). Archibald Cox: Conscience of a Nation. Da Capo Press. p. 23. ISBN 0-7382-0147-2.
- "Composer Harbison To Receive 2000 Harvard Arts Medal". The Harvard University Gazette. March 9, 2000. Retrieved June 3, 2009.
- "John Harvard's Journal, Commencement 1997". Harvard Magazine. Harvard University. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- Pickover, Clifford A. (1999). Strange brains and genius: the secret lives of eccentric scientists and madmen. HarperCollins. p. 170. ISBN 0-688-16894-9.
- Pepp, Jessica A. (February 24, 1995). "Jack Lemmon to Receive Arts Medal". The Harvard Crimson (Harvard University). Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- Weisberg, Stuart E. (2009). Barney Frank: the story of America's only left-handed, gay, Jewish congressman. University of Massachusetts Press. p. 54. ISBN 1-55849-721-8.
- Aldrich, Nelson W. (2009). George, Being George: George Plimpton's Life as Told, Admired, Deplored, and Envied by 200 Friends, Relatives, Lovers, Acquaintances, Rivals--and a Few Unappreciative Observers. Random House. p. 61. ISBN 0-8129-7418-2.
- Solomon, Jason M. (March 5, 1992). "The World According to Kozol". The Harvard Crimson (Harvard University). Retrieved April 5, 2010.
- Pure Fabrications (May-June 2002)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Eliot House.|