Alumni House History

Taken from the Framingham House Tour Biography 2014
The stunning original woodwork in this 1917 Arts and Crafts home is in pristine condition, despite its use as home for a succession of families and its later use as an alumni center. It is now the Alumni House, headquarters of the Independent Association of Framingham State Alumni and also used for meetings and functions
The spacious home was designed by Oscar A. Thayer of Boston in 1916 and completed in 1917 for the family of Albert H. Wood, a grain dealer. Association records show him living there in 1923 with his wife, a son, and his wife’s parents, John and Martha Fuller. It passed through one other owner, before ending with Dr. Willis and his family of six who sold the house to the Association in 1971.
Note the concrete tile insets on the floor of the sun room, which like many of the floors of that time is made of granolithic [the noun is granolith], according to the architectural plans. A painting of the house by Derrick Holdsworth hangs over the wooden mantel of the living room fireplace. While you are in the living room, note one of the home’s numerous call buttons.
Ingenious storage areas are placed throughout the home—deep long closets and built-in drawers—that were unusual for the time. An angled room with windows that open out probably was a library, although it could have been a reception room. It holds college yearbooks from 1915.
An interesting feature in the dining room is that the Association selected the wallpaper and draperies to match the colors of the china in the china cabinet. The butler’s pantry has plenty of cabinets, and a special storage place for the table leaves. The kitchen is vintage 1970s. A service entrance for deliveries is in the hallway. From the back porch an opening for milk and ice deliveries can still be seen.
The stairway to the second floor has a door on the landing that leads to a servants’ hideaway.  Another door in the kitchen also leads to this area of the second floor,  effectively isolating the staff from the everyday activities of the families who lived here.
A sleeping porch is on the left of the second floor. The master bedroom suite has a bathroom, walk-in closet, second closet, and fireplace, as well as access to a rooftop balcony. Note the table with carved griffin legs in the bedroom and the built-in nightlight in the bathroom. A third floor that is not open for the tour has several bedrooms, including one with knotty pine walls and a cedar storage area.
The locust tree to the right of the house was part of the elaborate landscape plan drawn by R.V. Buckley of Natick.