Frank Waugh House

Title

Frank Waugh House

Subject

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Description

The Waugh House was the on-campus home of influential landscape architect, and university professor, Frank Albert Waugh (sometimes referred to by his initials, F.A. Waugh). It existed somewhere in close proximity to Wilder Hall. Here Waugh lived alongside his wife, Alice, and their six children (in no particular order): Dan, Fredrick, Dorothy, Esther, Albert, and Sidney.

Waugh came to the university, then known under the moniker Massachusetts Agricultural College, shortly after the turn of the century and quickly became a campus innovator. In 1903, he was instrumental in founding the university’s Landscape Gardening program (later renamed Landscape Architecture), which was only the second of its type nationwide at the time. He also contributed significantly to the founding of the Food Science Department, alongside Fred Sears, and Walter W. Chenoweth between 1913 and 1918.

Waugh was a player in the creation of the campus’ physical landscape as well. Among the university’s archival holdings are several draft plans for campus expansion composed by Waugh in the first decades of the twentieth century. It is suggested that Waugh chose the site for what would later become Wilder Hall, as reflected in a 2007 introduction to a reprinted edition of Waugh’s influential text “Book of Landscape Gardening.” Later on, Wilder Hall would become the administrative home of both the Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Departments, both of which Waugh led at some point.

Outside the university, Waugh did influential work with the National Forest Service. Working as a consultant between 1917 and 1920, he advocated for more inexpensive lodging and a scenic roadway at Bryce Canyon National Park, for easier access down into the Grand Canyon, and redesigned Oregon’s famous Mount Hood drive.

What Waugh is most remembered for, however, is his contribution to the university’s art and music scenes and its social life. He was both a painter and a flutist. He would regularly hang exhibits of his paintings, give free, well-attended concerts in Memorial Hall, and organize various campus events related to the arts.

Within the context of his home (pictured), Waugh became a mentor and inspirational figure for many students who attended the university at the time. A former student of his recalls being among a group of students who would visit Waugh’s home on Sunday afternoons to “drink hot chocolate and listen to classic musical on his Victrola.” In an interview after Waugh’s death, his daughter Dorothy mentioned that at one point their home was open to all on Wednesday afternoons from 4:00-6:00PM. Dorothy recalls students showing up in groups as large as a dozen. Waugh, a passionate music enthusiast, would have typed up programs prepared, for students, detailing what music was to be heard on the Victrola throughout the course of the afternoon. On these afternoons, Waugh and his students would discuss art, music, and their personal lives. As one former student remarked in a memorial to Waugh, he “knew more about us, in some ways, than our parents did.”

Creator

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Source

UMass Special Collections and University Archives

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Identifier

RG150-0003417

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Files

RG150-0003417.png
Date Added
August 29, 2012
Collection
Central Campus
Item Type
Still Image
Citation
“Frank Waugh House,” Lost UMass, accessed November 24, 2017, http://lostumass.omeka.net/items/show/18.