Greylock Hall

Greylock Hall served Williams College as a student dormitory from 1937 to 1964. It provoked a battle between Williams College’s Board of Trustees and its President, provided housing for married World War II veterans, and housed sophomore Ephs until it was demolished to make way for the more modern complex of the present Greylock Quadrangle.

Soon after the College decided that the recently purchased Greylock Hotel property would be best used as a dormitory, it made major structural revisions to the site. The College contracted to have the main hotel building, east annex, and adjacent residence demolished, leaving only the north annex. The remaining building, now called Greylock Hall, was to be outfitted with heating equipment and provide rooms for twenty-two male students.

After being pressed into special service for the housing of married World War II veterans, Greylock Hall was used as sophomore housing. Through the 1950’s and into the early 1960’s, the majority of the sophomore class was housed, not by Williams College, but by their particular fraternity. Consequently, Greylock Hall became a dorm populated by students described as: “hard core non-affiliates who much preferred to stand on the outside of the mainstream of campus life, looking in and snickering loudly all the while at the Yahoos. This group felt that they were obligated to defend a position contrary to the one generally held on campus and innumerable theses issued from the nether regions of the buildings to this end.”

During the last few years before its destruction, Greylock Hall fell into increasing disrepair. An article in the Williams Record also lamented that its fiery non-fraternity residents were giving way to non-affiliates that preferred active participation in alternative campus organizations like Purple Key and the Junior Advisor system.

With the completion of the dormitory now called Prospect, located in the Berkshire Quad, there was no longer a need to house students in the dilapidated Greylock Hall building. The College, at first unsure as to what to do with the structure, tore it down in February 1964 to make room for the large and modern set of buildings comprising the present Greylock Quadrangle.

By Jaime Margalotti (Williams Class of 2000)

SOURCES:

Adriance, Dr. Vanderpoel. “The Evolution of Greylock Hotel.” Supplement to the Williams Alumni Review XXXVIII (May 1946).

“Greylock Hall Closed; Dilapidated Dormitory Emptied for Repairs.” Williams Record. 24 October 1962.

“Grubby GYD Era Passes as Greylock Retired.” Williams Record. 24 October 1962.

Lewis, R. Cragin, ed. Williams 1793 – 1993: A Pictoral History. Williamstown: Williams College Bicentennial Commission, 1993.