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Woman sits at typewriter in office.


Man digs into a bag on a table next to a typewriter.


Back of man looking at a certificates handing an a wall, possibly dictating into a handheld device.


Mr. Spink sits at a desk with a pencil in his hand. Mr. Spink was the Director of the Night School at Emerson College.


Student on the front steps of 130 Beacon. Property signage displays the new name, "Emerson College, established 1880," as well as directional signage pointing the way to "FM station WERS" and "Drama workshop in rear." Originally built as private residences, 130 Beacon was part of a group of Back Bay buildings held by Emerson College. The college purchased 130 Beacon in 1933 to house administrative offices and classrooms. It became the flagship building of Emerson's Back Bay campus and over the years would also served as the base for The Emerson Review, The Berkeley Beacon and EIV, as well as the college library and a television studio. President Ross created the college's first theater in the Carriage House, located behind 128 and 130 Beacon. In 1939, the name of the institution was shortened from Emerson College of Oratory to Emerson College to coincide with expanded course offerings. 130 Beacon was a popular student hangout known as the Wall. Upon learning that Emerson was selling all of the college’s west side properties and relocating to complete the vision of the "Campus on the Common," Emerson students, staff, and faculty lamented the loss of the Beacon Street buildings for their character which lent itself to a unique sense of community. "I guess if you ask anyone from Emerson from the Beacon Street era, they would say The Wall was one of the best things about Emerson. It was like our Facebook. Behind The Wall was a huge sheet stretched between posts. All the events and news were posted daily. It was the central gathering point for campus life." - Barbara Ruthberg, BS '68. Info sources: Berkeley Beacon (10/19/2005); webpages: Past-presidents, Editorial style guide, Memories of the Library; online video: "Pete Chvany reminisces at the wall.”.

1950 - 1959

Ms. Hunt at a typewriter.


Ms. Hunt selects a Flamenco record from a wall of vinyl LPs.


Architect's rendering of the 2-story Chickering Hall building with the caption, Our New Home. The first floor is defined by a series of five arches. The drawing includes a horse-drawn carriage on the street. In 1901, the College moved to Chickering Hall, 239 Huntington Ave, where it would stay for only ten years. The Emerson community welcomed the move to this Back Bay location near Symphony Hall. The decision to relocate from the College’s previous address was due in large part to safety concerns. Emerson’s Odd Fellows Hall in the South End was troubled with high rates of crime. From A Century of Eloquence: “The college rented the entire second floor of Chickering Hall which provided nine spacious, well lighted and ventilated classrooms, two of which were small lecture halls (40x22ft), each complete with a platform. After 1903, a portrait of Dr. Emerson, presented by the graduating class of that year, hung in the corridor. Six marble stairways with wrought-iron balustrades led to the second floor. The first floor held the library and the school’s administrative offices, and morning lectures were held in the “superb hall on the first floor, which seated 800.” During this period, Boston caterer D. M. Shooshan’s Ladies and Gent’s Cafe also occupied space on the first floor of Chickering Hall at the address 241-243. An ad in the Emerson College Magazine [Vol. 19] described it as a “First-class restaurant, also a choice line of confectionery. Ice cream and fancy baking of all kinds.” Chickering Hall was owned by piano manufacturing company, Chickering & Sons. It was designed by architectural firm Peabody & Stearns for use as an 800-seat concert venue. After Emerson’s departure the hall was expanded and re-opened in 1912 as the 1,600-seat vaudeville and film venue named St. James Theatre, operated by Marcus. In the 1920s, it become a popular stock company stage, and in the 1930s it was renamed the Uptown Theatre, operating as a movie theatre and catering to college students with second-run movies. The building was demolished in 1963.


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