However I also had some positive feelings and associations with Memorial Hall. Sanders Theatre occupies one half of the ground floor of Memorial Hall. It was designed as a lecture hall, but today is also used as much as a theatre and a place for musical elements. Many orchestras used Sanders Theatre as their primary location or visit several times a year. I attended concert, and several lecture courses in Sanders - one called "Wagon Wheels"- a history of westward migration of our country. I enjoyed it so much I majored in American History.
Sanders Theatre in Memorial Hall was the location of our freshman smoker in 1952. at this freshman class orientation in the first week of college we receiver some words of advice from our Freshman Dean. Then he gave us a beer party - with a beer drinking competition, and all paid for by Harvard. Entertainment for the rest of the evening was Tom Leher singing a number of his clever songs and Rose la Rose, the stripper from the Old Howard Burlesque. She made her appearance and disrobed - dancing to appropriate striptease music supplied by Tom Leher.
After the firs of 1956 only partial repairs were made to the tower. The bells and chimes were quickly restored and soon again they marked the changing of classes every hour. However, for over four decades Memorial Hall stood damaged. Half a century later in 1999 Harvard finally completely restored the tower to its full Victorian glory.
During those many years I underwent a transformation in my architectural taste. My career as a historic house mover and as a historic real estate consultant and developer, and the developer of the Victorian 1864 Boston City Hall changed my perspective about victorian architecture. I became an admirer of late 19th century architecture. My feelings about the architectural design of Memorial Hall did a complete reversal, especially with the magnificent restoration of the tower by the Boston architectural firm of Childs, Bertman, and Tseckares. Richard Bertman, FAIA, was one of my Harvard roommates - and his participation in the restoration of the tower made my love of the newly renovation Memorial Hall even sweeter. I continue to enjoy and admire Sanders Theater as one of the very best theaters, lecture halls and concert places in Boston. Today the cambridge skyline is radiant with this architecture jewel, Memorial Hall with it's beautifully restored tower overlooking Harvard Yard.
I've come to love Memorial Hall. Now at Harvard - Memorial Hall is my favorite building.