In 1991, researchers in a University of Cambridge computer laboratory sought a solution to a very practical question—was there coffee in the Trojan Room, which housed the only coffee pot in the building? They pointed a video camera at the pot, wired it to their network, and created the world’s first webcam.
On May 16, 2003, Boston College launched its first two webcams, offering views of the Gasson Quadrangle and the plaza in front of O’Neill Library. Within four days, the webcams recorded 4,350 visits. The current campus locations on view are typically viewed more than 65,000 times a month.
Located at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and St. Thomas More Road (the former site of More Hall), the Thomas More Apartments opened its doors in 2016. The 490-bed residence hall is a mix of four- and six-bedroom apartments, seminar spaces, music practice rooms, and the University Health Services Center.
Located on the south face of the Gasson Hall tower, this webcam looks across Gasson Quad, with views of Fulton Hall, home to the Carroll School of Management (center), and Devlin Hall, which houses the Office of Undergraduate Admission (left).
Lying on the main path between the Lower Campus, where most upperclassmen live, and McElroy Commons, a center of student activity, the plaza in front of O'Neill Library is the crossroads of the University. This camera is mounted on the roof above the entrance to O'Neill Library, which was dedicated in 1984 with a speech by its namesake, then-Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, Jr. '36. Visible at the left, across the wide steps, is Devlin Hall. To the right is Gasson Hall, Boston College's signature structure and the first building to be erected (1913) on what had been a 36-acre gentleman's farm.
This 244,000 square-foot, four-story recreation center, which replaced the Flynn Recreation Complex, officially opened on July 9, 2019, on the former site of Edmond's Hall on Thomas More Road. It includes a state-of-the-art fitness center, jogging track, natatorium with lap and instructional pools, four wood-floor basketball courts, three tennis courts, two multi-activity courts and multi-purpose rooms for spin, yoga and fitness classes, among other amenities. The building is named in honor of Margot Connell—a trustee associate, honorary degree recipient, mother of six Boston College graduates, and one of the University's most generous benefactors.
Mounted on the roof of Carney Hall on Middle Campus, this webcam looks northwest across the Campus Green to Stokes Hall, the 183,000-square-foot academic building that opened in January 2013. The L-shaped facility houses the classical studies, English, history, philosophy, and theology departments, the College of Arts & Sciences Honors Program, the Academic Advising Center, and First Year Experience offices, as well as 36 classrooms, a commons area, coffee shop, and conference rooms.
This view from the top of the Merkert Chemistry Center takes in the 135-acre Chestnut Hill Reservoir and the skyscrapers of downtown Boston, just six miles away.
Linked to downtown by a trolley stop beside the campus, Boston College is also connected to its namesake city by student jobs and internships in the finance, medicine, education, law, communications, arts, and social services sectors; by the University’s sponsorship of service programs in Boston neighborhoods; and by Boston’s cultural institutions, which constitute a vast resource for students, faculty, and visitors.
Mounted atop the Yawkey Athletics Center roof, this webcam looks out on the Higgins Stairs and Maloney Hall, located adjacent to Conte Forum. Students commonly refer to the 120 steps, completed in 2001 and named for the science building in the upper left corner, as the “Million Dollar Stairs.” The moniker derives from a campus legend that the stairs are internally heated, at a cost of a million dollars, in order to melt snow in the winter. This is, of course, a myth; the Higgins Stairs are dutifully shoveled and salted after every snowfall.
A webcam perched on O'Neill Library captures the south side of St. Mary's Hall, the second building erected on the Chestnut Hill Campus. The Collegiate-Gothic structure, which recently underwent a two-year renovation, houses the communication and computer science departments and the Woods College of Advancing Studies in the refurbished south wing, facing O'Neill Plaza. St. Mary's Chapel is located on the first floor of the building's north end. Members of the Boston College Jesuit community reside on the second, third, and fourth floors.
For updates on Boston College's reopening for fall semester visit bc.edu/reopen.