University Hall and Statue of John Harvard, Boston

University Hall and Statue of John Harvard, Boston

University Hall is a striking building. The neoclassical design is large, imposing, and symmetrical. It's built from white granite, a departure from the red brick designs used in Massachusetts Hall and Harvard Hall. The building has been designated a National Historical Landmark.

Architect Charles Bulfinch designed University Hall. It was built between 1813 and 1815.

The bronze statue of John Harvard, designed by Daniel Chester French, was moved to the western facade of University Hall in 1924.

In 1638, John Harvard, a clergyman, was on his deathbed. He made a bequest towards the school or college being proposed by the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The bequest consisted of 780 pounds sterling and a 400-volume library. The bequest was so inspirational that when the college was founded, it bore his name. No likeness of John Harvard exists, so when French designed the statue, he used descendants to recreate an assumed likeness. The statue was unveiled in 1884.

Tour guides sometimes tell tourists that it's good luck to rub the statue's toe; the toe is now gleaming. This is not actually a known tradition. However, it is traditional for graduating seniors to remove their caps as they pass the statue on the way to their commencement.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Boston. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

University Hall and Statue of John Harvard on Map

Sight Name: University Hall and Statue of John Harvard
Sight Location: Boston, USA (See walking tours in Boston)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Boston, Massachusetts

Create Your Own Walk in Boston

Create Your Own Walk in Boston

Creating your own self-guided walk in Boston is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
North End Food Tour

North End Food Tour

Boston’s North End is famous primarily for its Italian food. By far not as big as New York's Little Italy, this one-square-mile waterfront community is the oldest in the city, and is packed to the brim with a cornucopia of Italian eateries – restaurants, cafes, espresso bars, pizza and sandwich shops – lined next to each other within just a few short blocks to ensure visitors both a...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 Km or 0.5 Miles
Historical Churches Walking Tour

Historical Churches Walking Tour

Boston's great churches are among the most precious of the city's numerous architectural jewels. What makes them special are their unique styles, elegant facades and long history.

Starting with the Old North Church, which towers in the city’s North End, this journey surely feels like taking a step back in time. Legend was made there, in the very place that Paul Revere waited for...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Historical Cambridge MA Walking Tour

Historical Cambridge MA Walking Tour

Once a quiet New England farming village-turned capital of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, today's Cambridge, MA is a university town that dazzles visitors as the home of renowned Harvard University – alma mater of many intellectuals, literary geniuses, celebrities, and wealthy and powerful. Many of America’s elite have spent some time at Harvard, and their contributions to Cambridge have...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Boston Introduction Walking Tour

Boston Introduction Walking Tour

The capital of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States which played a key role in the country's struggle for independence. The city was founded in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England and witnessed many events of the American Revolution, including the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Bunker Hill Walking Tour

Bunker Hill Walking Tour

If you're a history buff or simply interested in understanding more of America's past, take our self-guided walk covering some of the places associated with the origins of the USA as an independent nation, as well as lots of maritime history!

On the banks of Boston Harbor and the Mystic River, the towering Bunker Hill Monument can’t be missed: a really nice place to reflect on the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Boston Shopping Areas

Boston Shopping Areas

One of the top shopping destinations in the US northeast, Boston has a strong network of interesting stores, galleries and boutiques to visit along with its many high-class shops, some of which are nestled inside historical buildings. Shopping here in more than one way mirrors the city itself: an amalgamation of classic and vanguard, the handmade and the high-end, and both local and international...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Boston's Marblehead Eateries

Boston's Marblehead Eateries

With such a diverse variety of dining cuisines and styles, the little town of Marblehead has something to satisfy every budget and culinary palate. You won't find any neon here, none is allowed in town and there are no fast food or drive-thrus establishments either. Most are quaint and...