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Higher Education: 1949

Higher Education: 1949

February 19, 1949. "Lamont Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachu­setts. Fifth-level reading room. Coolidge, Shepley, Bulfinch & Abbott, architect." Large-format acetate negative by Gottscho-Schleisner. View full size.


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Not much changed...

I was in Lamont frequently in the late 1990s, and it looked much the same. The flooring certainly hadn't been replaced, and even the furniture looked quite similar, as I recall.

Cool library furniture

The light colored wooden tables and chairs remind me of public library furniture when I was a lad. Now, my local library is almost unrecognizable with computers, soft chairs, different color schemes and all the other whiz bang things we have today. No one whispers anymore, either!

40's Blandness

Blank walls with only industrial looking air vents to relieve the tedium, blond furniture except for the four nicely upholstered chairs, sharp edged reading carrels and fluorescent lights and acoustical tile ceiling in full force. Not one pot plant to soften the picture.

Serious young man

On the left, reading. Why is he frowning at his book? Is it his regular manner, the book's contents, or annoyance at the presence of the photographer?

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