Hasty Pudding Club Moves to New Home in Harvard Square
Following nearly a decade at 2 Garden Street, The Hasty Pudding Club will continue its great traditions with this milestone move, which marks the sixth clubhouse in the Pudding's 200+ year history. While the Pudding is relocating its Clubhouse, the Hasty Pudding Theatricals annual production will continue to perform at the Pudding's ancestral home and theater, Farkas Hall, located at 12 Holyoke Street. Farkas Hall is also home to the "Hasty Pudding Lobby," a permanent museum of original artwork and ephemera from the Pudding's illustrious past.
After a long search for a new house in Harvard Square, the opportunity to rent 96 Winthrop Street presented itself. The Hyde-Taylor House immediately appeared to be a perfect fit, as its extensive history of performing arts and philanthropy complements the Hasty Pudding Institute's own history and mission. The Pudding will aim to further the great traditions deeply rooted in its new home and add their own to the centuries-old history of 96 Winthrop Street.
"It was important to find a new location to meet the diverse needs of the Hasty Pudding Club, Hasty Pudding Theatricals and Kroks, and to serve as a place where our longstanding traditions can continue to thrive," said Andrew L. Farkas, Grand Sphinx of the Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770. "We are thrilled that we have found the perfect complement with our new home and we look forward to adding our own history to the building."
Most recently home to the Irish pub Tommy Doyle's, the historic Hyde-Taylor House has a rich history deeply rooted in Cambridge. The first house on the plot now known as 96 Winthrop Street was built in 1635. This was when Cambridge was still Newe Towne, one year before Harvard College (née Newe College) was founded. In 1846, the current house was built by Isaac Hyde in the Greek revival style. In 1900, George Mendell Taylor purchased the house where he both lived and gave piano lessons, beginning the performing arts tradition that has continued to this day. The building took on a new persona in 1950 when Geneviève MacMillan opened the first French restaurant in the Square. The restaurant, Club Henry IV, was frequented by the likes of William Faulkner, Thornton, Wilder, and Joan Miró. Geneviève had interests that lay far beyond her restaurant. She dedicated her life to collecting African art, promoting diversity and learning about one another's cultures, and establishing fellowships and grants to further these goals. She began a legacy of philanthropy and education that, like Taylor's, has been passed down through the building's history. In 1965, the area's first discotheque, La Discotheque Nicole, opened in the basement of Club Henry IV. In 1992, 96 Winthrop Street became home to a first once again, opening its doors to the world's first House of Blues. The grand opening was nothing short of spectacular. The night began with former Hasty Pudding Theatricals Cast VP and then Governor William F. Weld '66 inaugurating the building and declaring the day "House of Blues Day" in Massachusetts. The building was packed with a who's who of Boston celebrities for a 4-hour concert, including performances by Dan Aykroyd and the Blues Brothers, Honeyboy Edwards, Paul Shaffer, Paul Rodgers, and Joe Walsh. The building also became home to the Massachusetts House of Blues Foundation, which was dedicated to promoting education emphasizing diversity and to teaching multiculturalism through art and music. After the House of Blues moved to a bigger venue in Boston, Brother Jimmy's opened in 2003, and traded in eclectic folk art for neon signs and year-round Christmas lights seen at authentic BBQ joints. The eatery never gained a foothold, and in 2005, 96 Winthrop was painted a deep shade of green and became Tommy Doyle's. The Irish pub provided a unique place in Harvard Square where students and Cantabridgians could gather for drinks, food, conversation, and live music.
Earlier this year, Tommy Doyle's quietly decided to vacate the venue and in cooperation with the landlord, hired a firm to help them find a new tenant. The Hasty Pudding Institute began negotiations with Tommy Doyle's and the landlord at the end of the summer, and is now very excited about moving into its new home in January. The building will be the headquarters of The Hasty Pudding Institute and shared equally by The Hasty Pudding Club, The Hasty Pudding Theatricals and The Harvard Krokodiloes.