Harvard University and the Glass Museum

Went to Harvard but just for a day. For our 3rd and final day Boston we decided to go to Harvard University Campus.

To get there we took the train from Quincy past South Station to Harvard Station. It was no distance to walk to the Campus as it was across the road from the Station. It was hard to believe that it was the first week of Lectures as there were very few students at 10:30am. Even though there were moving vans outside a couple of the buildings with the men making a fair amount of noise, we enjoyed just wandering around and taking in the serenity of the place. It was full of big shady trees and well-manicured lawns. In fact, there were so many trees that it was difficult to get good photos in some places.

Harvard entranceEntrance to the campus

Some of the buildings we saw were the University Library, Senate House, Ladies dormitories and the Campus Church - Harvard Memorial Church or affectionately known as Memchurch. From the notices we saw on the Church patio it seemed to be an active place with a variety of preachers and activities.

Harvard LibraryHarvard Campus Library

Harvard Campus Church 2The Campus Church

In the same area, which appeared to be the Central part of the Campus, were 2 statues, John Harvard and Charles Sumner. Harvard, who came from a wealthy family, was a philanthropist and well educated man. He died at the young age of 31 of Tuberculosis and bequeathed his library and half of his estate to the “College which was being built” in Massachusetts. His generosity caused the developers to agree that the College shall be named Harvard. On his statue at the university it stated that he was the Founder of Harvard University in 1638 but that is when he died.

Harvard founder John HarvardJohn Harvard

Charles Sumner was a graduate of the Harvard Law School, an orator, lawyer, academic and US Senator. He was a strong fighter for social justice, an activist against slavery and led the anti-slavery movement in Massachusetts.

Charles SumnerCharles Sumner

We crossed over another road and came to the cafeteria and the Science School. The cafeteria was empty when we first walked past but when we returned a few hours later it was packed to capacity.

Harvard Science CentreThe Science Centre. Such different architecture

From there we continued down the to the University’s Department of Natural Science Museums. We had been told that within these was a marvellous Glass Museum. This was a museum of glass flowers and plants made with incredible accuracy by a Czech father and son, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, pair of glass artists. In this museum there are over 4000 models of more than 830 plants. As we walked around we became more and more impressed with the quality of the work.

Harvard Glass Museum 2Flowers, leaves, stems and all made of glass

Harvard Glass Museum 3Every bit made of glass
Harvard Glass Museum 4Fine leaves made of glass

From there we went into some of the other natural history museums and saw an enormous collection animals, birds and fish both extinct and still alive today. There was just so much to see and it was all so well notated that it was impossible to take it all in.

As we returned to the Central Campus area we saw 2 things which we had missed on the way down. One was a beautiful building with a roof of coloured tiles. It reminded us of the ones we had seen in Eastern Europe.

Harvard church and tiled roofChurch with beautiful tiled roof

The second thing was the Museum of Science Equipment through the Ages. This too was excellent and Trevor was particularly pleased that we had stopped in to see it.

On our return walk through the Campus the place was swarming with students and tourists. We just hoped that they would not all be on the trains but when we arrived at the station there was hardly anyone there.

As it was still fairly early when we got back to Quincy, we once again went for a walk along the river front where we saw a group of men practising their rowing skills and dozens of birds which we hadn’t seen the day before. We also noticed how many aeroplanes flew overhead with intervals of about 50secs each.

We later learnt from hotel staff that Logan Airport is one of the busiest in the country. We just hoped that it would not be too busy the next morning from where we would be catching a flight to Buffalo, New York.

About Me

I was born into the early part of the Baby Boomer generation, the 3rd of what came to be a family of 6 daughters. Although both our parents, who are now deceased, had been raised in rural Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) and the 2 eldest daughters were born in a country town, the other 4 of us were all born at home in Durban. Read More

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