The Andrew Mellon Library (1925) was a gift of U.S. Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon in honor of his son Paul Mellon ’25 who later donated the new wing in 1962.
Poet Laureate Robert Frost spoke at the new wing’s dedication. The library contains more than 68,000 volumes, 6,700 microfilm reels, 2,000 videocassettes, 800 compact discs, Internet accessible catalog, and extensive reference collections. Thanks to the generosity of Christopher Hutchins ’56, the school completed a major refurbishment in 2002, which included adapting the main floors for wireless technology and creating group study areas. Special collections include papers of Adlai Stevenson ’18 and John F. Kennedy ’35, along with the Rare Book, Thomas Hardy, and Haffenreffer Autograph Collections, and the school’s Archives.
Archbold (1928) was designed as the school’s Infirmary by Boston architect Ralph Adams Cram, who also designed the Chapel.
The building was a gift of Anne Saunderson Archbold, mother of John D. Archbold ’29, in appreciation for the care her son received from Clara St. John, the headmaster’s wife, during an illness when her son was a student. The first floor now houses the Admission and Headmaster’s offices, while the upper two floors serve as a dormitory. Archbold has formed the backdrop for Commencement since the first co-ed graduation in 1978.
Atwater and Mead residences were designed by Cheshire architect Gordon MacMaster and constructed in 1960.
Atwater, closest to Christian Street, takes its name from the historic homestead previously on the site. Rosemary Hall was founded in 1890 in a house adjacent to the old Atwater Homestead. In early Rosemary Hall and Choate School years, Atwater House fulfilled many functions, including housing the Lee Wade Memorial Library, later replaced by the Andrew Mellon Library. Mead is named for George Jackson Mead ’11, Choate trustee (1938-47).
Bronfman, originally a library, was named for former Rosemary Hall Trustee Ann Loeb Bronfman '50.
Today Bronfman houses the Learning Community Day Care Center. An on-campus day care facility, The Learning Community is operated by the Family YMCA of Wallingford and offers discounted rates to faculty and staff. The center serves children from six weeks through six years and includes a nursery school option for older children.
Brownell was named in 1989 for Elizabeth Hyde Brownell ’21, who was the first chairman of the board of the Choate Rosemary Hall Foundation.
This building houses the Communications offices, Information Technology Services offices and Development and Alumni Relations offices. Nearby is Barber Bridge, a gift of John T. Barber ’56.
Bungalow (1889) was built as the carriage house for Curtis House.
Bungalow mixes Colonial features such as the barn-like gambrel roof with Georgian touches like the Palladian window over the entrance. Purchased from Judge Choate in 1911, it was substantially remodeled for dormitory use and remains a faculty home and girls residence.
Carl C. Icahn Center for Science (1989) was designed by award-winning architect I.M. Pei.
The science center was a gift of Paul Mellon ’25. In 2001 the building was named for Carl C. Icahn P ’98, ’00 in recognition of his $5 million gift in support of the School’s science program.
The three-story building includes 22 classrooms and laboratories, with separate levels for physics, biology, and chemistry instruction; office space; a large reference/study area; a conservatory; and the 150-seat Getz Auditorium, named for donor George F. Getz Jr., ’27, brother of James R. Getz ’29.
Carrington House was built in 1824 by Caleb Atwater for his widowed daughter, Mary Atwater Beebe, the wife of a minister and the founder of the first Sunday School in Wallingford.
It is named for General Henry Beebe Carrington, distant cousin to Mary Atwater Choate. The school acquired it for use as a dormitory in 1919 and it remained a dormitory for eight decades. It now serves as the location for the College Counseling offices.
Chapel House, a gray-shingled house with parallel front gables, most likely dates from before 1925 and takes it name from its proximity to the Chapel.
Its acquisition in 1936 was the results of one of many gifts of Clinton P. Knight Jr. ’12. It serves as a faculty home and girls residence.
Clinton Knight and McCook are twin whitewashed brick dormitories located off Christian Street.
McCook is named for Anson T. McCook, Choate Trustee (1911-62). Clinton Knight is named for Clinton P. Knight Jr. ’12, Trustee (1938-56). McCook was built first, in 1965; “CK” followed in 1966. Designed by Frank D. Winder ’39 and the New Haven firm of Orr, DeCossy & Winder, each structure with its two faculty apartments and corridors of student rooms forms a quadrangle with a central skylight atrium.
Combination, a white-clapboard dormitory located on Beaumont Avenue, is a melding of two uprooted houses—Brown and Middle Cottages.
Brown Cottage, dating from the 1890s, was moved in 1935; Middle Cottage, built around 1875, was added and the name Combination bestowed in 1937. It is a faculty and boys residence.
Dodge Shops houses the ceramic and sculpture facilities.
Daniel Dodge’37, a Mechanics Prize-winner related to the Dodge Brothers of Detroit, endowed the building in 1945 so that privileged boys would be able to work with their hands and take classes in woodworking and automotive science. It also houses the school laundry.
East Cottage and Gables, two white clapboard houses dating from 1875, are located on Memorial Circle, off North Elm Street.
East Cottage, closest to Elm Street, was purchased in 1920 for use as a dormitory and presumably takes its name from its earlier location on the eastern periphery of the campus. Former United States President John F. Kennedy ’35 lived in a second floor room in East Cottage during his fourth form year at Choate. The faculty apartment on the north end of East Cottage was added in 1955. In the early 20th century, more than a dozen houses along Christian Street were either moved to the campus perimeter or demolished.
Gables, one of these uprooted houses, is a late example of Gothic Revival. Built on Christian Street by the Cowles family, Gables was purchased by the school in 1916 and moved in 1926 to its present location. From 1929 until 1960 it housed the Tuck Shop, a student snack shop. For many years it served as a faculty residence and dormitory. It is now home to the Summer Programs Office.
Edsall House, a rambling brown-shingled home located across the street from the Chapel, was designed by Dr. H.C. Atwater, Mary Choate’s brother, and the school’s first doctor.
Like Bungalow, Edsall has many Colonial Revival features, such as the fanlight window over the front door and a Palladian window on the second floor, which dates the original house somewhere in the late 1880s. Edsall was purchased in 1934 from A.D. Edsall.
The Eglise Shops house the facilities services office and maintenance shops. They are also home base for our campus Community Safety office and the school Switchboard operator.
They are named for Charles Eglise, superintendent of buildings and grounds (1931-67).
Further Cottage, a white Queen Anne house with wrap-around porch and side gable, was built in the 1880s.
It was purchased in 1917 and is a faculty residence and dormitory.
Hill House (1911) was designed in the Georgian Revival style by Hartford architect Francis E. Waterman.
One of the earliest buildings, Hill House established the architectural tone of the campus. On the main floor is a common room, and offices of the dean of students as well as offices of the associate headmaster/dean of academic affairs, assistant headmaster/dean of faculty, sixth form deans, and fifth form deans. The upper floors are dormitories. Through the common room is West Wing. Built in 1914, it is the stem of the building’s T-shape, and contains the original dining hall with more dorm rooms upstairs. The building of Hall in 1929 extended the building further westward. A 1967 expansion to the south side of Hall is difficult to detect from the oak-paneled interior. Plaques honoring School Seal Prize and Rosemary Hall Alumnae Award winners adorn the walls of the dining hall. A 1999 renovation modernized the serving area and the dining hall was air-conditioned. The fourth form deans have offices on the ground level as does the Registrar.
Homestead, a white clapboard house built in 1774, replaced Atwater Cottage as the Atwater family home.
Some of The Choate School’s first students were housed here; an early photograph of Judge Choate shows him reading to the students beside one of two seven-foot fireplaces. Among Homestead’s original features is a small door on the stairs that leads to a passage around the chimney, lending credence to stories that Homestead was a station on the Underground Railroad. Sold to the school in 1933 by Hunt Atwater ’03, Mary Choate’s nephew, Homestead has been a dormitory since 1936.
Hunt Tennis Center, a gift of Tod Hunt ’40, was dedicated in October 1995.
It features six USTA (Unites States Tennis Association) regulation courts, a clubhouse with a large meeting room, and two offices for coaches. The 1,200 square-foot brick clubhouse, with its Georgian architecture and slate roof, blends well with the neighboring Memorial Circle architecture.
Worthington Johnson Athletic Center (1931) is the work of architect Lewis Coffin ’08, and was known for years as the Winter Exercise Building.
It is named for Worthington Johnson ’32, who chaired the fund drive to restore the building after a 1976 fire. Equivalent to two city blocks in length, the building is an excellent example of Palladian symmetry, consisting of a central block—with its dramatic glass cage—connected to two dependencies. The center includes two basketball courts, international squash courts, a wrestling room, and three courts which can be used for tennis or volleyball; a suspended 1/10 mile indoor track and an ergometric training room for crew. The 2002 addition to the Athletic Center, designed by Herbert Newman and Partners includes a state-of-the-art fitness center, a new athletic training room, additional international squash courts, and space for aerobics and dance.
Kohler Environmental Center (located at 211 East Main Street) – The first teaching, research, and residential environmental center in U.S. secondary education.
This LEEDPlatinum, net zero energy facility, designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, supports an intensive, interdisciplinary Environmental Immersion Program; opened in 2012.
The Larry Hart Pool (1978) was named for life trustee Larry Hart ’32, an All-American water polo champion while at Yale.
Designed by the Hartford firm of Jeter, Cook & Jepson, which simultaneously oversaw the John Joseph Student Activities Center’s 1979 renovation, the 25-meter pool features eight lanes, two 1-meter diving boards, and a viewing window. Solar panels on the roof heat the poolside and provide hot water for the locker rooms.
Lewis House, a white shingled dormitory and faculty home on North Main Street, dates from the early 20 th century.
Purchased in 1973, it was named in honor of Robert E. Lewis (1917-47), Latin, geography, and mathematics teacher and baseball coach.
Logan Munroe faces Memorial Circle and the softball field where the school-wide intramural tournament takes place each spring.
The building was the gift of Charles A. Munroe in memory of his son Logan ’33, who died shortly after World War II. Logan Munroe, built in 1947, and nearby Nichols, erected the following year, were the first dormitories designed to house faculty members with families, as opposed to single masters.
Lowndes House, located on Curtis Avenue, is named in honor of Mary Elizabeth Lowndes, Co-Headmistress from 1910 to 1938.
A British scholar from Cambridge university and Trinity College, Dublin, Ms. Lowndes became joint headmistress with Caroline Ruutz-Rees in 1910. Between them, they gave 79 years of teaching and guidance to the girls of Rosemary Hall.
Lowndes house, built in 1896 by Robert Stevens, was purchased from E. Seward Stevens ’29 in 1957. It is a girls dormitory.
Macquire Gymnasium is named for Hester Campbell Macquire, Rosemary Hall games mistress and dean of residence.
It has a sprung floor and an indoor rock climbing wall.
Memorial (“Mem”) House at the top of Memorial Circle has always housed the school’s youngest boys.
Until 1962, when the Lower School was discontinued, it was home to first and second formers (seventh and eighth graders). The upper three floors are now third form (freshman) dormitories; and the third form deans’ offices occupy the first floor. At the garden level is additional dormitory space. Built in 1921, “Mem” honors the 15 Choate alumni who died in World War I. The faculty apartment behind Memorial House was added in 1956.
Nichols was designed in a modified Georgian style by the New York firm of Polhemus & Coffin.
Architect Lewis Coffin ’08 was also the designer of the Johnson Athletic Center ; Henry Polhemus was the father of Martin ’44. Nichols is named for the late C. Walter Nichols Sr.,Trustee (1947-57), father of C. Walter Nichols Jr. ’29, and grandfather of David H. Nichols ’56 and C. Walter Nichols III ’55, trustee 1982-85, 1986-89. Since 1970 Nichols has been home to the School’s third form girls.
Paul Mellon Arts Center (1973) was a gift of Paul Mellon ’25, and designed by award-winning architect I.M. Pei.
The PMAC, as it is known, is a busy hub of arts activity year-round. Pei is perhaps best known for the East Building of the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. (for which the Arts Center served as a prototype) and for the pyramid-shaped entry to the Louvre in Paris. The dramatic concrete and glass structure occupies a rectangular plot of ground, and is divided into irregular halves by a red-tiled courtyard.
The western portion, with its curved glass gallery facing the courtyard, houses the 850-seat Main Theater. The smaller Chase-Bear Experimental Theater, dubbed the “Black Box,” serves as an underground link between the west and east portions of the building. The eastern portion provides additional gallery space, fine arts studios, classrooms, music practice rooms, the Recital Hall, and The Katz Family Green Room. The PMAC is also the home of the Wallingford Symphony Orchestra.
Paul Mellon Humanities Center (1938) was known for 51 years as the Science Hall.
The building was renovated in 1989 to house the English and the History, Philosophy, Religion, and Social Sciences departments. The renovation was made possible by a gift from Paul Mellon ’25, the original donor. On the second floor is a seminar room named for Lt. Thomas W. Peirce ’42. The Science Hall was one of the most advanced and well-equipped science halls of its day. New York architect Charles F. Fuller gave the red brick building white pediments and cornices like the Andrew Mellon Library across the street. The building is strongly reminiscent of the Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg, Virginia, but the widow’s walk atop the central pavilion also emphasizes the School’s New England heritage. The Rotunda houses artifacts and treasures from Rosemary Hall’s Greenwich campus, including two sculpted angels from St. Bede’s Chapel. Needlepoint chapel kneelers, made in 1940 by students and alumnae to commemorate Rosemary Hall’s first half-century, hang on the Rotunda wall.
Pierce House, a traditional white period house on North Elm Street, was built in 1922.
A faculty house, it was renamed in 1988 for Charles “Chuck” Pierce, history and English teacher (1945-77) and director of admission.
Pitman, a red brick dormitory that stands at the bend in Memorial Circle, was named for Mark Pitman, The Choate School’s first headmaster (1896-1905).
Built in 1960, it was designed by Cheshire architect Gordon MacMaster.
Porter House, a Colonial Revival house was built shortly before 1900.
It has been the Headmaster’s residence since 1997. It was named for George F. Porter, mathematics teacher (1925-67), baseball coach, and director of studies. It was moved in 1958 from Beaumont Avenue to North Elm Street to make way for St. John Hall.
Pratt Health Center, located on North Main Street, is named for E. Stanley Pratt, drama coach and public speaking teacher (1921-60) and dean of students.
It serves as an infirmary with 11 beds and with a physician on call at all times. In addition Pratt houses the Counseling and Community Service Offices, and The Spears Endowment for Spiritual and Moral Education.
Quantrell, Spencer’s companion dormitory, was built in 1963 and is essentially the same design as Pitman, Atwater, and Mead.
It is named in memory of Ernest E. Quantrell, trustee (1942-61) and father of Morton Quantrell ’42.
William C.S. Remsen Arena (1967) and Hemenway Rink (1953) are located at the far end of Wilken Field.
The rink named for Courtenay Hemenway, hockey coach and history teacher (1911-54) was a welcome addition after years of skating on the Infirmary Pond or on flooded Gunpowder Creek Field. In 1967 the rink was enclosed through the generosity of the family of William C. S. Remsen ’39, captain of the 1939 hockey team.
Richardson House was renamed in 1998 for Elfrida Richardson, Rosemary Hall choirmistress (1916-59) and organist.
The white-shingled house dates from the 1920s and was purchased in 1982. It is a faculty residence and a girls dormitory.
Ruutz-Rees is named for the first headmistress of Rosemary Hall, Caroline Ruutz Rees (1890-1938).
Located on upper campus, is one of a group of modern brick buildings built in 1971 for Rosemary Hall’s return to Wallingford. The architect, James Stewart Polshek, (whose firm built Bill Clinton’s Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas), strove to replicate some of the old charm of the Greenwich campus while combining modern structures with the more traditional buildings at Choate. It houses the financial office and the human resources office as well a dining hall, known as the Ruutz-Rees Commons, used for special events and meetings.
The Sally Hart Lodge was known from 1971 to 2003 as “Curtis House.”
The structure started out as a small white farmhouse built in the 1780s by Dr. John Andrews, husband of Caleb Atwater’s daughter Abigail. It was purchased in 1837 by Roderic Curtis, a descendent of one of the 38 founders of Wallingford, who intended to live in it temporarily while he built a grander home where Hill House now stands. Around 1850, after his neighbors refused to sell him the land, Curtis built his ideal mansion around the walls of the existing farmhouse. Curtis House was home to two generations of St. Johns and, in the 1970s and 1980s, Principal Dey and family, and in 1990s, Headmaster Edward Shanahan and his family. It served continuously as the Headmaster’s residence from 1908 until 1997. Modeled after Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford, the building is a prototypical example of Gothic Revival with its diamond-paned casement windows, steep gables, and bracketed eaves. Through a gift of the late Larry Hart ’32, Curtis House was renovated in 2002 as an alumni guest house, “The Sally Hart Lodge,” in honor of his late wife.
The Seymour St. John Chapel (1924) with its large white portico, arched windows, and white steeple, was designed by noted church and school architect Ralph Adams Cram.
A master at period revivals, Cram also designed Archbold. Built on what used to be a corn field, the Chapel was enlarged on the south end in 1967 and the Zurn Organ, given in memory of John Henry Zurn ’43, was installed in 1970. A pair of wooden candelabras carved in the shape of angels, which once stood in St. Bede’s Chapel on the Rosemary Hall campus in Greenwich and were restored by art teacher and sculptor Reginald Bradford (1976-present), were a gift of the Class of 1986. The “Creation” tapestry, hung in the transept in 1986, the work of weaver Silvia Heyden, was a gift of the Rosemary Hall Class of 1921. The carillon chimes were donated by Mr. and Mrs. William Erdman in memory of their son, William Price Erdman ’24. There are 10 bells, the smallest of which weighs 250 pounds, the largest over a ton. The bells are played for special services and automatically ring on the hour and quarter hour. The clock, constructed by Seth Thomas clockmakers, was donated in memory of Holman Hall ’22. The weathervane that tops the Chapel is a square-rigged brig named “Adonis.” The ship, which has two masts with rigging, spars, and tackle, is a symbol of the church as well as of commerce. The chapel was rededicated in 1998 and named for Headmaster Emeritus Seymour St. John ’31.
Spencer was built by the New Haven firm of Orr, DeCossy & Winder in 1962.
Originally named ’62 House for the year of its construction, it was renamed in memory of James Spencer, chemistry and physics teacher (1962-82), science department head, and Wilfong chairholder, who died in 1982.
Squire Stanley, once known as the “Red House,” is one of Wallingford’s oldest houses.
An ancestor of Squire Oliver Stanley built the western half of the house in the 1690s; the Squire probably added the larger eastern wing in 1770. In 1774, George Washington stopped at the house to take tea, after stocking up on supplies for the Revolutionary Army at Caleb Atwater’s Store and Powder Mill. In 1896, Judge and Mary Atwater Choate founded their boys school in the Red House. Purchased from the Atwater family in 1938, it served as a dormitory until 1975, when it was converted to a guest house for school visitors. In 1987 Squire Stanley was moved 300 feet back from its location on the corner of Christian Street to reveal the Humanities Center’s other face. In 1998 it was refurbished.
St. John Hall (1958) houses the Mathematics and Computer Science Department.
The building honors the legacy of George and Clara St. John, beloved figures at The Choate School for 40 years. In the foyer, five panels of hieroglyphs represent the Semitic Cultures, the Assyrian and Babylonian Cultures, the Egyptian Culture, the Phoenician and Greek Cultures, and the Aztec and Mayan Cultures.
Steele Hall (1967) was named for George Steele, mathematics and German teacher (1916-56), dean of students, and assistant headmaster.
It was built on the former site of the Choate House, which in 1897 was the first school building. For many years Steele Hall housed administrative offices; today it is the home of the Languages Department, including the 32-station Language Media Lab. The Copy Center is located on the ground floor.
Tenney House and Bernhard House were designed by Centerbrook Architects, LLC.
This residential complex opened in 2008 and houses eight faculty families and 84 fourth form students in 20 doubles and 42 single rooms. Tenney House was dedicated in honor of Rosemary Hall alumna, Rebecca Agnew Tenney ’27, who bequeathed $6 million in her will to begin the construction of the new residence halls. Bernhard House is named for Arnold and Janet Bernhard, parents of Rosemary Hall alumna and former Trustee, Jean Bernhard Buttner ’53.
Walsh House, a faculty residence and girls dormitory, was built at the turn of the century.
It was named in 1988 for Donald D. Walsh, Spanish and French teacher (1928-59) and assistant director of studies.
Woodhouse, located on Beaumont Avenue, was bought by the school in 1925.
The white Queen Anne-style house is a boys dormitory and is named for its previous owner, Mrs. J. Woodhouse.