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Campus Guide

o'connell house and its neighbors


O'Connell House

In the center of the Upper Campus is O'Connell House, named for William Henry Cardinal O'Connell, a member of the Boston College Class of 1881, fifth Bishop of Boston, second Archbishop, and first Cardinal. The building was originally constructed in 1895 by the Storey family on the model of Gwydr Hall in Wales. Later it became the estate of Louis Kroh Liggett, whose family occupied it from 1916 until 1937, when it was donated to the Archbishop of Boston. In 1941, Cardinal O'Connell made a gift of the estate, together with nine acres of land, to his alma mater.

During the early 1940s, the Liggett Estate was converted into classrooms for the new College of Business Administration, while a quadrangle of stables and carriage houses in the rear was used for athletic offices and dressing rooms. As more buildings became available, O'Connell House was used as a residence facility before being turned into a center for student entertainment, cultural events, and social functions.

South of O'Connell House are three more student residences of different styles:

Kostka Hall

Named for St. Stanislaus Kostka, SJ (1550–1568). Born in Poland, Kostka entered the Society of Jesus at the age of seventeen and died a year later. His outstanding spirituality and his special devotion to the Virgin Mary earned him the designation of patron saint of religious novices.

Shaw House

Named for Rev. Joseph Coolidge Shaw, SJ. Descendant of a prominent Boston family and related to many other such families, Shaw was a Harvard graduate who traveled extensively through Europe. He became a Catholic while visiting Rome. Returning to America, Shaw was ordained to the priesthood in 1847; he later decided to enter the Society of Jesus. In 1851, after only six months in the order, he died of tuberculosis. His will, leaving a gift of 1,600 books, formed the nucleus of the Boston College library.

Medeiros Townhouses

Named after Cardinal Humberto Medeiros, who served from 1970 to 1983 as seventh Bishop of Boston, fourth Archbishop, and third Cardinal. Modernistic in style, these small townhouses were originally designed by architect Hugh Stubbins to provide 98 beds for students from O'Connell House.

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