Cambridge, MA

Harvard Alumni Stadium Preservation and Renewal

Market Sectors
Harvard University

Repair and restoration of the historic 1903 cast-in-place concrete Harvard Alumni Stadium, a National Historic Landmark that heavily influenced subsequent stadium designs throughout the country. The innovative nature of the Stadium’s design and exterior exposure in New England as well as its historic significance lead to challenging and unique repair conditions where McSal leveraged our experience and creativity to support our role in a chapter of this historic structure’s continued use. Several adaptive reuse designs were developed including a 240,000 SF addition/expansion to replace the existing press box and introduce new programs space including locker rooms and offices for the football program as well as amenity space and classrooms.

Engineering Insights

  • The Stadium pioneered concrete design by being the first vertically reinforced concrete structure in the world and played a pivotal role in the development of modern-day American football by helping to establish standard field dimensions and the forward pass.
  • Concrete was chosen as the primary material due to its fire resistance and durability given the Stadium’s exterior exposure however at the time its use was considered experimental as there were no established trade organizations for design or construction reference. The design for the stadium is well documented in the June 1904 Harvard Engineering Journal describing the approach to the design and a collection of original drawings.