Professors' Houses, Northwest Unit

The early history of this building, one of the four Professors' Houses built in 1839-1840, closely parallels that of the President's House. The superintendent of construction for the first two houses to be built was Isaac Thompson, an associate of the first campus architect, Alexander J. Davis. However, in August of 1839, the contract to build the final two houses was given by the Regents to Harpin Lum. It is unclear from the surviving records whether Thompson, Davis, or Lum was responsible for the design of the four houses, though they were all similar in appearance and layout.

One of the houses was used temporarily as a library until the completion of Mason Hall. Each house was provided with a woodhouse, cistern and barn and their occupation by University faculty is documented as early as March, 1840. The earliest occupants of three of the houses were Professors Douglass Houghton, George Palmer Williams and Joseph Whiting. From October, 1843, until May, 1846, Governor Alpheus Felch resided in one of the houses. Various faculty inhabited the houses throughout the middle part of the 19th Century, though it is impossible to determine from the historical record who occupied which houses during a particular time period.

The northwestern Professor's House was first used for non-residential purposes in 1875, when the building was given over to the University's School of Dentistry and Homeopathic Medical School, both newly organized. By 1877 the Dental School had moved to the southeastern Professor's House, leaving the Homeopathic Medical School the sole occupant of the northwestern residence. In 1879 the Regents authorized the construction of a wooden wing on the rear of the residence, which served as the hospital ward for the School. In 1899 construction began on a new hospital building for the Homeopathic Medical School (the building now known as North Hall); upon its completion in 1900, the northwestern Professor's House was shared by the school with the Department of Pathology for three years and then, from 1903-1914, to the Department of Psychology. The building was razed in 1914 to facilitate construction of a new Natural Sciences Building.