Chapter 3

Wigglesworth Hall

I realize a picture of Wigglesworth Hall may not do very much for you, but I wanted to give you some sense of this freshman dorm at Harvard since many of the chapters that follow take place inside it. Sadly, finding a good picture of the place isn’t easy because Wigglesworth is actually three buildings that span much of the length of Harvard Yard from east to west.

The picture above captures a portion of the most eastern building, including the Dexter Gate exit, and comes from the Freshman Dean’s Office. Here is the text that accompanied it.

Wigglesworth, built in 1931, was previously home to Bill Gates, Leonard Bernstein, and Ted Kennedy. As one of the larger dorms, “Wigg” is divided into three buildings with 10 vertical entryways, the smallest of which is known as the “Wigglet” (the other two buildings are affectionately known as the “Mid Wigg” and “Big Wigg”). All rooms have in-suite bathrooms and lovely hardwood floors. Wigglesworth is known for its easy access to stores and restaurants along Massachusetts Avenue, such as J.P. Licks, Panera, and Au Bon Pain, as well as Widener and Lamont Libraries.

Here is still another picture that gives you a better sense of Wigglesworth’s length, but it doesn’t show the Dexter Gate exit or the entrance through which Sean gained entry into the building at the end of the last chapter.

If you clicked on that link, that’s the back of Widener library to your right although the picture doesn’t even begin to convey the massive size of the building. In the linked picture, the exit onto Massachusetts Avenue is directly behind Widener between the two parts of Wigg you can see to your left. Here’s a picture of the Class of 2015 taken from the front of Widener that gives you a better sense of its size.

The map below should give some some sense of how all these buildings relate to one another. To your far lower left, you can see where Harvard Square is located. Allow your eye to move directly across closer to the center of the map and you’ll find Widener Library, along with Wigglesworth Hall below and the undergraduate library, Lamont, further to the right.

Notice how Canaday, another residence hall to the north and the largest, is formed in the shape of a question mark. Some people think that’s the only thing Harvard got right about the place, but let’s not go there 🙂

Harvard Yard


Some of the rest of these buildings will make appearances at various points in the story, as will some that you cannot see on the map at all. The corner of Everett and Oxford Streets where Sean began his run toward the Yard is not visible in this map. Unfortunately, the more territory I grabbed in this screen capture, the less detail one could make out.

Here are two more screen captures, one showing the northern end of Harvard (including Everett and Oxford at the top) and the other the southern, including the Business School from which Warren apparently graduated and learned his business ethics.

If you’re interested in some other views of Wigglesworth, you can click on this link or this one (both of them taken from the Massachusetts Avenue side) or even this one (taken facing in the other direction from closer to the other end of Wigglesworth).

Wigglesworth is the second largest of the thirteen freshman residence halls in the Yard. There are four others not in the Yard. Only freshmen are housed in the Yard by the way. Upperclassmen generally are part of the Harvard house system; there are nine so-called river houses located between the Yard and the Charles River to the south of Massachusetts Avenue as well as three others at the Radcliffe Quad.

Harvard has about 6700 undergraduate students. There are also about 14,500 graduate and professional students who attend the University. Among other things, Harvard is known for having the largest academic library in the world and the largest endowment, about $36.4 billion.

Whew! What a useless bunch of stupid facts; if The Opened Door doesn’t sell well, I may have to get a job as a tour guide at Harvard 🙂

It only goes to show how much useless stuff you can find by doing a little research on the internet 🙂

In this and the next couple of chapters we’ll be introduced to the story’s second main character, the mysterious voice heard briefly at the end of Chapter 2. For now, however, we’ll be seeing him primarily through Sean’s eyes and what he says to Sean, not through what he may be thinking or feeling.

While we can learn a lot about him that way (and about Sean as well), we’ll learn even more when the story begins switching narration between the two main characters in Chapter 8.

In any event, enough with the introduction. Chapter 3 is up. Have fun reading and be sure to let me know what you think.


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