Though a theological seminary, a debate between “East Siders” and “West Siders” and an influx of secret societies may seem unrelated, they all play their own part in the history of the Andover campus.
When Samuel Phillips, Jr. founded Phillips Academy in 1778, the campus only consisted of private homes and a small schoolroom on the intersection of Main Street and Phillips Street.
The school added a few additions to campus in subsequent years, but none of the academic buildings built before 1818 still stand on the PA campus students know today.
In 1808, a group founded the Andover Theological Seminary. Although the seminary was not affiliated with Phillips Academy, it shared the location on Andover Hill and PA’s Board of Trustees.
The Board of Trustees soon commissioned the building of “Seminary Row,” across the Great Lawn.
Seminary Row consisted of three buildings built between 1808 and 1821: Phillips Hall (now Foxcroft Hall) and Bartlet Hall in their present locations, and Bartlet Chapel (now Pearson Hall) in between.
Soon afterwards, new buildings began to sprout up on the Andover campus.
The seminary purchased and built ten buildings between 1808 and 1828, including Phelps House, Pease House, Newman House and Samaritan House, which was the infirmary at the time.
A small schoolhouse near the site of the Armillary Sphere burned down in 1818, and the Board of Trustees replaced it with “Brick Academy,” now known as Bulfinch Hall.
Not much construction took place again until the 1890s, when PA decided to build four residential cottages: Andover Cottage, Draper Cottage, Taylor Cottage (now Pemberton) and Bancroft Cottage (now Eaton).
These additions sparked another period of growth for PA.
The school built Bancroft Hall in 1899 on Phillips Street and rented Bartlet Hall in 1902 from the Theological Seminary.
When the seminary closed down in 1908, the school bought the rest of its buildings.
A surge in PA students accompanied an increase in new dorms in the early twentieth century.
Day Hall, Bishop Hall, Adams Hall and Taylor Hall were built from 1910 to 1913. The latter three formed the boundary for what would later be the “Quads.”
As sports gained increasing importance at PA, the school built Borden Gym and York Pool in 1902 and 1911 respectively, now both part of Memorial Gym.
To fill other campus needs, PA took two years to build the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology from 1901 to 1903 and the Isham Infirmary in 1913.
At this point in time, most of Andover’s buildings were located on the east side of Main Street. At the request of the Andover Trustees, architect Guy Lowell designed a blueprint for the expansion of campus in the Quads on the west side of Main Street.
In a rivalry that predated that of “West Side Story,” Andover campus split into two factions: “West Siders,” who agreed with Lowell’s plan, and the “East Siders,” led by Trustee George B. Case, who advocated for expansion on the east side of Main Street.
The school consulted with a New York architect who developed three possible plans for the school. The Board of Trustees picked the plan that included building behind Seminary Row, on the east side of Main Street.
In accordance with this newly adopted plan, in 1922, Andover decided to relocate Pearson Hall from Seminary Row to its current location.
Lowell designed Samuel Phillips Hall, which was constructed in 1924, as an iconic Andover building at the end of the campus “vista,” a long stretch of lawn from Andover Cottage to Sam Phil.
Lowell also designed the Memorial Tower, but the school built it on the corner of Main and Salem Streets instead of in the center of the West Quad, as Lowell had planned.
Thomas Cochran, an alumnus and member of the Board of Trustees, took over the development of campus at this point.
For ten years, Cochran supplied the school with new buildings, which he named after his heroes.
Cochran first funded George Washington Hall from 1925 to 1926.
Up until 1932, Cochran also built Samuel Morse Hall, Paul Revere Hall, the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library, Commons, the Addison Gallery of American Art and Cochran Chapel.
Not only did Cochran shape the campus with his buildings, but he also connected them with the crossed paths on which students still walk today.
From 1922 to 1929, at least nine buildings were moved to their present locations, including Tucker House, Bancroft Hall and Pemberton Cottage.
Meanwhile, secret societies became increasingly popular at Andover. They had been gaining in number since the 1870s and remained a strong presence on campus until they were effectively abolished in 1950. Their buildings, however, still remain.
The secret societies purchased private buildings as their chapter homes, such as Alumni House, Graham House, Benner House and Davison House.
After the completion of Cochran Chapel, construction stalled on campus because of the Great Depression and both World Wars.
But in the 1950s, the “Andover Program” resumed a campaign for campus construction.
Architect Benjamin Thompson built four new dorms between 1956 and 1966: Stearns House, Stevens House, Fuess House and Nathan Hale House. These dorms later became known as “Senior Circle.”
During that time, the school also built Evans Hall, the former science building that was once located on Gelb Lawn and an Arts and Communications Center, connecting GW to the Addison.
In 2004, Andover demolished Evans Hall and built Gelb Science Center as a replacement—just another sign of the cycle of Phillips Academy’s campus.