House Upon A Hill 

By

Winthrop opens anew as a leading example.  

By HUNTER RICHARDS 

 

Picture provided by Francesca Cornero 

Following a year-long renovation as part of the River House Renewal Program, Winthrop House welcomed in its residents this August for move-in. Along with becoming more accessible for its residents, the house saw its common spaces revamped and innovative designing of its infrastructure. Students can find themselves lounging in the tunnels under the sky lighting from glass ceilings, or near the basement kitchen reminiscent of a small-city cafe, or on the polished-wood benches near the pool tables. 

Photo provided by Francesca Cornero

While students are sure to enjoy their updated floor plans within their suites and bedrooms, they are welcome to visit their revamped art room or the high-ceilinged yoga room (complete with a hanging chair that over looks the side patio when the glass doors are pulled open). These new spaces designed to accommodate residents gathering to work, lounge, and relax only compete with the updated rooms that Winthrop residents have looked forward to. Suites will also now offer their own private bathrooms, along with ceiling fans within rooms.  

Photo provided by Francesca Cornero

With a history of famous alumni residents such as President John F. Kennedy and actor B.J. Novak, it’s no wonder that Winthrop House would strive to preserve the foundation that its students remember from their years living there. Even as renovation required the demolition and removal of past mainstays, those planning for new Winthrop worked to incorporate these into the building changes. Where ailing trees were removed in order to preserve the shrubbery and trees within courtyards, in their place are benches circled by new plants. 

Photo provided by Francesca Cornero

Keeping the history of the house was a priority in the planning of new Winthrop, with historical ties built into new common spaces. Residents are reminded of the House’s namesake within common spaces as well. When sitting within the rooftop lounge, with high ceilings and river view, it is impossible to miss the golden-lettered quotations of John Winthrop. 

Photo provided by Francesca Cornero

 

Although Winthrop residents were wary of the lack of community during renovation when students were scattered across campus in swing housing, the house is coming together in a more unified manner. The tables and hammocks along the patios of courtyards invite residents to gather outside in the common yard. While the Winn (Winthrop Inn) period of the house’s history is behind it, the tunnels of Winthrop still bear reminder with signs from the Harvard Inn and swing housing during the renovation.  


Photo provided by Francesca Cornero

With its revitalized common spaces and updated infrastructure, Winthrop House draws from the famous quote of its namesake: “We shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us.” After a year of renovation whose results Harvard undergraduates eagerly looked awaited, residents now relax in their House upon a hill. 

Photo provided by Francesca Cornero

Hunter Richards ([email protected]does not miss the asbestos.