Hamilton Hall

portrait of Alexander Hamilton
Hamilton Hall south face
Pool table in the Hamilton Hall lounge.

Hamilton Hall is one of seven buildings named for notable secretaries of the United States Treasury at the suggestion of George F. Baker. Hamilton Hall is named for Alexander Hamilton.

A four-story, brick, Georgian Revival-style student dormitory built in 1926, Hamilton Hall was included in the original McKim, Mead & White campus plan. In 2005, a major project to renovate the 49,297-square-foot building was launched under the direction of Boston architects Finegold Alexander & Associates, with the goal of creating a more comfortable, healthy, and environmentally friendly residential facility. As renovated, Hamilton has 72 rooms with private baths, 6 full-service kitchens, well-appointed conference rooms, and a large lounge. During the project, 97 percent of construction waste was reused or recycled, and systems that resulted in significant energy, materials, and water savings were installed. Hamilton Hall achieved LEED Gold certification in 2007, and the following year was named one of Boston’s greenest buildings by the American Institute of Architects and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. For more on the Hamilton Hall renovation, see the 2006 Bulletin article. More than 80 percent of MBA students live on campus, taking advantage of the proximity to classes, extensive academic and social resources, and opportunities for peer learning.

About the Name

Hamilton Hall is one of seven buildings named for secretaries of the US Treasury at the suggestion of George F. Baker, the prominent banker who funded the construction of Harvard Business School's original campus. The building was named for Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804), the nation’s first treasury secretary and a key figure in the development of the American economy. An aide-de-camp to George Washington during the Revolutionary War and a delegate to the Constitutional Convention that adopted the US Constitution in 1787, Hamilton was also a renowned financier.

During his tenure as treasury secretary from 1789 to 1795, Hamilton established a strong, centrally controlled Treasury for the collection and dispersing of public revenue, as well as for the promotion of economic development. One of his first accomplishments was the creation of a revenue system based on customs duties and excise taxes to pay down the country’s post-Revolutionary War debt, a priority for Hamilton, who once stated, “The debt of the United States . . . was the price of liberty.” He introduced plans for the First Bank of the United States, established in 1791, which was designed to be the financial agent of the Treasury Department. The Bank served as a depository for public funds and assisted the Government in its financial transactions.