Walking Tours at Yale Highlight Historic Preservation
In celebration of Yale University’s world-renowned architectural heritage, the Yale Visitor Center will host two historic preservation walking tours on campus in September.
Both tours are free and open to the public.
The first, on Saturday, September 20, will focus on Hillhouse Avenue, the street Charles Dickens called the most beautiful in America. The second, on Saturday, September 27, will concentrate on the buildings of Old Campus. Participants will have a rare opportunity to see inside some of the buildings on the tour.
On both days, the tours will begin at 10 and 11 a.m. and noon. All tours will depart from the Visitor Center at 149 Elm Street and last about an hour and a quarter.
The Mead Visitor Center is itself a significant architectural landmark in New Haven. Built for James Pierpont and his family in 1767, it is the oldest surviving private residence in the city. The University acquired the property in 1921 and used it as the Faculty Club and Undergraduate Admissions before turning it into the Visitor Center in 1995. The building underwent thorough renovation in 2002, restoring it to its original appearance.
“Among the nation’s oldest universities, Yale is the one most firmly embedded in its city and defined by its architecture. Our campus is a living history of the architecture and urbanism of its three centuries in New Haven, and home to the work of some of the world’s greatest architects,” Robert A.M. Stern, dean of the Yale School of Architecture, has said.
Both themed walking tours are designed to demonstrate Yale’s long history of architectural stewardship and commitment to the preservation of its buildings. More than 250 buildings, designed and constructed over three centuries, form the current campus. About half of them, including those on Hillhouse Avenue, were originally built for other users, but after being acquired by the university, have been meticulously restored, updated, and repurposed.
In addition to the special historic preservation tours, the Visitor Center offers free tours 352 days a year, weekdays at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.; weekends at 1:30 p.m.
To reserve a spot on one of the tours, call (203) 432-2302. For more information, visit www.yale.edu/visitor.