Facilities Department Records

Throughout its history, the Facilities Department has provided the Emmanuel College community with superior services, modern facilities and a healthy environment. It also has strived to allocate our resources in a fair and cost- Maintenance Worker, 1971-1972 effective manner and to adapt our processes continually to meet the changing needs of the College. Our staff has been committed to addressing all campus issues and inquiries in a prompt and professional manner.

This collection contains the various documents created by or for Emmanuel College that were used to maintain the institution’s facilities. These documents include the various blueprints of existing and extant buildings on the Emmanuel College main campus and the Notre Dame Campus.


Emmanuel College Campus, 1912-1969

In 1912, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur purchased eleven (11) acres of land in the Fenway area to construct a new building for Notre Dame Academy of Berkley St., Boston, Massachusetts. To accomplish this aim Sr. Bernadine Marie (Mary Daly), SND was appointed to overseeing the construction of the building that would house the Academy and what would later become Emmanuel College. The structure, was designed by Maginnis & Walsh and constructed by MD Mealey & Co. and it opened as a high school and Covent for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur by 1916. Sr. Bernadine Marie ordered everything from an ice cream freezer to chemistry laboratory equipment, from Tiffany lamps to laundry equipment, from stained glass windows to girls’ gym uniforms. Upon completion, the building covered eleven acres and included a gymnasium, dining room, a library, museum, classrooms, laboratories, needlework department and an auditorium for 600 people.

Through the 1920s and the 1930s, the College made several improvements to the physical plant designed to increase the accessibility, enjoyment and academics of the institutions. These included: the construction of a tennis court, addition of a paved road and renovated the heating system in the Administration Building. In the 1940s, the College began a process of expansion to accommodate a growing student population, a program that became known as “Emmanuel of Tomorrow”. It began with the construction of Alumnae Hall (1949) that served as the new science facility on campus and was soon followed by: the student union, Marian Hall (1954), named after Mary, Queen of Heaven, a new Convent that was attached to the Administration Building and named St. James Hall (c. 1957), in honor of Richard James Cardinal Cushing.

In addition, Julie Hall (c. 1958) was built during this period and was named in honor St. Julie Biliart, founder of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.  St. Ann Hall was constructed in 1962 and possibly named in honor of Sr. Ann Bartholomew Grady, SND ’28, while Loretto Hall (c. 1963), was named in honor of Sr. Loretto Julia, S.N.D., first American to be elected Mother General of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Expansion continued with the construction of the Campus Shop and Commuter Lounge (c. 1962), Cardinal Cushing Library (c. 1965) and St. Joseph’s Hall (c. 1968). These construction projects were accomplished by the acceptance of a land donation of the Horace B. Shepard Property along Ave. Louis Pasteur on August 22, 1945. This site was used for the construction of Alumnae Hall. The construction aims of the institution were further enabled by the purchase of the Chase C. Rice Property for Marian Hall and the purchase of apartment buildings on the corner of Brookline Avenue and The Fenway for the construction of St. Joseph’s Hall circa 1963-1965. The College was also able to expand so rapidly during the mid-twentieth century due to the generosity of alumnae, Richard Cardinal Cushing, the Archbishop of Boston (1944-1970) and United States (U.S.) Federal loans.   

Emmanuel College Campus, 1970-2019

By 1972, as the College approved and implemented new policies designed to meet student demands, a new challenge emerged—admittance of women to male Catholic Colleges. This led to a decline in enrollment and to an examination of the institution within the new reality of higher education. To aid in this endeavor the College called upon the expertise of Sr. Eileen Gertrude Mahoney, SND who ensured that Emmanuel continued to serve students. These efforts included renting College facilities to neighboring institutions, such as Northeastern University and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. To aid in this effort, the College sold Julie Hall to Beth Israel Hospital (1974) whereupon the completion of a building renovation, in 1979, the structure was renamed the Shirley G. and Theodore I. Libby Hall (or Building), hospital benefactors. The Libby Building served as a location for doctor’s offices, an accounting office and possibly a daycare center.

By the mid-1980s there were several renovation projects occurring on campus that were driven by loans and grants, including a $5.2 million Health and Educational Facilities Authority (HEFA) grant and a $500,000 grant from the United States Department of Education. These renovation projects included: creation of residence suites in St. Joseph’s Hall (c. 1986), the repurposing of Marian Hall into a science center (1987) to replace Alumnae Hall and an update of the Administration Building to serve the academic and social needs of the College in an area known as the “Plaza” that contained a mailroom, café/social center and student services offices (1988). By 1997, the last resident nuns moved off campus and the College repurposed St. James Hall as a student dormitory for junior and senior students.

In 2001, as Merck Laboratories leased a parcel of the institution’s campus, Emmanuel College became a co-educational institution and, as a result, the need for resident housing and student activity space increased on campus. In response, the College bought the Libby Building from Beth Israel Medical Center and rechristened the building Julie Hall and began a renovation of the structure. During this time, the College also began construction on a new student center that was designed to increase the size of Marian Hall, a structure known today as the Jean Yawkey Center. In 2007, St. James Hall was demolished to allow for the construction of a new science center that was opened in September 2009 and was named after Maureen Murphy Wilkens, a College benefactor and member of the class of 1956.

In the 2010s, the College had three major changes to its physical plant. The first was the purchase of St. Margaret’s Convent that was formerly the home of William Lloyd Garrison before its purchase by the Society of St. Margaret in 1904. It was at this location the society was able to expand the facilities of St. Monica’s Home for Sick and Colored Women and Children. It was one of the few local benevolent organizations to admit African-Americans in the early 1900s.  St. Monica’s Home functioned as a nursing home run by the Society of St.  Margaret until it closed in 1988. The convent then served as the administrative center for the Society of St. Margaret and as a resident  hall,  conference  center,  meeting  place,  library  and  office  for  the  Order until  it was sold to Emmanuel College in 2012. The College renamed the site the “Notre Dame Campus” to serve as a residence facility for students centered on reflection, prayer, spiritual direction, social justice and service learning.

 A complete renovation of the Administration Building saw an updated café, transformation of the gym/dance studio into a classroom, and a transition of the music hall into faculty offices. In addition, the renovation included instillation of technology smart classrooms and an improved heating infrastructure. The renovation was completed in January 2013. In 2016, the original Julie Hall was demolished to allow for the construction of a new apartment-style residence hall that was eighteen (18) stories tall and contained a coffee shop, a convenience store, a media center and a fitness center.