Memorial Hall / Sanders Theatre, Boston

Memorial Hall / Sanders Theatre, Boston

One of Harvard's most ancient structures, erected in 1878 as a tribute to the alumni who fought and perished in the Civil War, Memorial Hall boasts nifty pointed arches and flying buttresses. Although its appearance resembles that of a church, complete with a central vaulted narthex illuminated by filtered sunlight streaming through Tiffany and La Farge stained-glass windows, the space actually functions as Sanders Theatre, undeniably Harvard's most impressive venue for concerts. Renowned for its wooden paneling and exceptional acoustics, it hosts year-round classical music performances by local choirs and ensembles, along with occasional concerts featuring jazz and world musicians.

Memorial Hall itself is a circular chamber enclosed by towering columns made of Siena marble, where the original flags carried by Massachusetts soldiers into battle are on display behind transparent panels, and it is illuminated by a vaulted stained-glass window bearing the state seal. On the third floor, suspended above the public gallery in the House of Representatives, hangs a carved wooden fish known as the Sacred Cod, dating back to 1783. This symbol of maritime prosperity is taken so seriously by politicians that, in the 1930s, when Harvard pranksters swiped it, the House refused to convene until it was recovered.

In close proximity, Annenberg Hall, a spacious area primarily used as a dining hall, is decked out with portraits and sculptures of big-shot alumni, basically serving as a motivational hall of fame for all the overachievers at Harvard.

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Memorial Hall / Sanders Theatre on Map

Sight Name: Memorial Hall / Sanders Theatre
Sight Location: Boston, USA (See walking tours in Boston)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Boston, Massachusetts

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