Here’s a scene that FDR knew intimately. It was taken in May 1900, during the period Franklin was in Cambridge finalizing his room arrangements at Westmorly Hall for the upcoming year. Though the perspective would change considerably during his time at Harvard, owing to the ambitious enclosure program instituted by President Eliot, this view would remain instantly recognizable to any member of the class of ’04.
Can anyone tell me what we’re looking at?
There’s a prize if you can: each month until the next FDR Memorial Dinner in February, I’ll be offering two free tickets to the 3rd Annual lecture for anyone who correctly guesses my monthly puzzler. Think hard: we have a very special guest coming to speak – all the way from France, in fact – someone who knew FDR as well as he knew this view, so good guessing will have quite a payoff.
(The mandatory fine print: Contest deadline is one week from the posting date; one winner per contest, to be announced in subsequent posts. Awards are good only for the lecture portion of the event. To enter, leave your guess as a comment below. I will contact winners by email.)
OK, a small hint: to my knowledge, only one of the buildings seen in the distance is still standing, though it’s no longer visible from this angle.