This Month from Baker Library

HBS Back to the Beginning
With the first events celebrating the School’s centenary in 2008 already under way, we devote this month’s column to discovering and researching the School’s past.

1927: HBS Dedicates New Campus

“It may be argued that this novel science of business is, like the moving picture, in its infancy.” (The Harvard Crimson, 6/6/1927)

For its first 19 years in existence, HBS was located in Cambridge. The above photo shows the dedication of the present campus on June 4, 1927. Dignitaries attending included congressmen, presidents of educational institutions and business leaders, such as J. P. Morgan (Harvard class of 1889); H. N. Straus (Harvard class of 1903) of R.H. Macy and Company; and Gerard Swope, president of the General Electric Company.

HBS History: A Delicate Experiment

Want to learn more about the beginnings of HBS? Check out the book Delicate Experiment: The Harvard Business School 1908-1945. This illustrated history of the School was written by Jeffrey L. Cruikshank and published in 1987. It uses personal interviews and archival material to cover the period from the School’s founding in 1908 through World War II. Although out of print, the book is available in Baker Library. Baker is also creating an updated multimedia history of the School to support the centennial celebration.

Building a New Campus

-The architect for the Soldier’s Field campus was the New York firm McKim, Mead, and White, which had designed many Harvard buildings in the early 1900s, including the monumental Harvard Stadium.
-Harvard’s administrators spent approximately $40,000 planning for and conducting their architectural competition.
-The University hired the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted, designers of New York’s Central Park and Boston’s “Emerald Necklace,” to landscape the campus.
-The building of the campus was funded by George F. Baker, chairman of the First National Bank of New York.
-Residence halls were some of the first buildings to be completed on Soldier’s Field. Although Baker urged the University to erect bell towers like the one atop Baker Library on the dormitories facing the river, the idea was dropped for cost savings.

Baker Library
Harvard Business School, Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163