The Leverett Towers complex of 1959-60 is Harvard’s first high rise residential structure and occupies a prominent location just off the intersection of Memorial Drive and Dewolfe Street. The towers are coed dorms and also include some offices and classrooms.
The architects were Coolidge, Shepley, Bulfinch and Abbott (previously Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson and Abbott), H. H. Richardson’s successor firm and surprising purveyors of mid-century architecture at Harvard and across the New England area. The adjacent low-rise house library received an award in 1964 from the AIA for innovative design. The main entrance to the Leverett Towers yard is at ground level underneath an elevated single floor library.
Across from the library entry door is a wall relief by Mirko also dating from 1960. Mirko Basaldella was a prominent Italian sculptor and a founder of Harvard’s Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, which is located in the famed Le Corbusier-designed Carpenter Center. Unfortunately as seen in the photograph, the relief is not treated with the greatest respect these days.