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Student Union/Doggett’s House (RG 148)

This photograph depicts a grand view of Springfield College's old Student Union/ President's house. Behind the house, you can just see the wall that went around Pratt Field.

Student Union/Doggett's House

In the early 1890s Springfield College purchased a large tract of land bordered by the railroad from the Bowles/ Alexander families. Four years later Dr. Luther Halsey Gulick purchased a one acre plot of this tract near the corner of Wilbraham Road and Alden Street with the stipulation that the school would have the right of first refusal if and when he chose to sell the property.

On this property, Dr. Gulick built a three story, 16 room house. Dr. Gulick designed the house himself, paying $4,100 for the construction and $200 for the grading of the property following construction. In May of 1900, when he left the employ of Springfield College, Gulick offered the house and property to the school for $4,000. Gulick’s offer was turned down and the house and property were sold to Walter Beebe in 1904.

In 1913 the School’s trustees authorized President Laurence Locke Doggett to rent the house from Beebe for $35.00 per month. The school would make all needed repairs. Because of the extensive repairs needed, and the expected cost of such repairs, an agreement was reached with Walter Beebe, for the College to purchase the property for $5,000. Total cost including sale price, repairs, and renovations was in excess of $12,000. President Doggett resided in the house from 1914 through 1936, when he retired.

After he left, the house was used for many other purposes. Initially, the house was converted into a dormitory. Interestingly enough, while Dr. Doggett lived in the house, the third floor was renovated and used as student rental units, so this wasn’t the first time that students had used the structure for housing.

In the 1940’s the building was used as storage until 1947, when it was renovated for use as the Student Union. It remained a Student Union until the completion of the Beveridge Center in 1959, when it was razed. The property today is a parking area for Babson Library.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection documents the old Student Union house or, as it has been known over time, Doggett’s House, Gulick’s House, and/or Beebe’s House. Included in the collection is a letter dated May 31, 1900 from Luther Halsey Gulick offering his house to the school, a pamphlet thought to be from the late forties or early fifties talking about the house as a Student Union, and exterior images of the House throughout its life.