Doris Cole AB ’59, MArch ’63 and Hal Goyette MArch ’54: An Intellectual Oasis

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Doris Cole AB ’59, MArch ’63 and Hal Goyette MArch ’54

The Frances Loeb Library at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) has evolved over the decades to meet the needs of design research and an always changing curriculum and pedagogy. For noted architect and author Doris Cole AB ’59, MArch ’63 and architect and planner Harold Goyette MArch ’54, when it came time to find a home for their archives, the Loeb Library was a natural choice because their life’s work could benefit students, scholars, and design enthusiasts.

The Doris Cole and Harold Goyette Collection at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design consists of personal papers, drawings, books, and speeches; papers, drawings, and images from their firm Cole & Goyette; selections from Goyette’s work as the Director of Planning for Harvard University; and Cole’s research for her publications. Cole believes that the gift of their archives helps extend her life’s work, especially advocating for women and men working equally as partners. “Libraries have always been supportive, kind, and welcoming to a breadth of ideas and philosophies,” says Cole. “The Loeb Library provides an oasis of intellectual investigations where students and faculty can discover a broader view of our built and unbuilt environment.

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Firm photo of Cole and Goyette, Architects and Planners Inc.

The couple’s contribution to the Library and the School does not end with the gift of their extensive archive. Doris and Hal also established charitable gift annuities that provide them with a lifetime income and will ultimately fund an endowment to support the Library and research at the School. “Through establishing a gift annuity, we can be sure that a lasting endowment will support the preservation of our collection, future research about the collaboration of men and women as equals in architecture, and other related activities and scholarship.”

“We are delighted to have Doris and Hal’s collection at the GSD,” said Ann Whiteside, librarian and assistant dean for information services. “Doris’s emphasis on gender equity in the profession of architecture is arguably as important now as it was when she was practicing. It is equally fitting to have Hal’s work as the first Harvard Campus Planner here at the Design School.”

This spirit of partnership and equality ran through their practice, Cole and Goyette, Architects and Planners Inc, which they founded in Cambridge, MA in 1981. Their work specialized in residential, educational, and commercial buildings for a mix of private and public clients. Project highlights include the East Boston High School addition and renovation, the Hemmingway School in Boston, and Memorial Hall Library Interiors in Andover, Massachusetts. Through the three decades of their firm, they garnered external recognition with the Boston Society of Architects Interior Design Award (BSA-IIDA-ASID), the Massachusetts Historical Commission Award, a Bronze Citation from the American School and University for Educational Interiors, among others. Notably, Cole authored five books on architecture including the first book on women in architecture in the United States, From Tipi to Skyscraper: A History of Women in Architecture.

Both Cole and Goyette have long-standing ties to Harvard University. Cole graduated from Radcliffe College cum laude in 1959 and obtained her Master of Architecture degree from the GSD in 1963. Throughout her career, she has generously volunteered her time to support Harvard and its students. She served on the GSD Alumni Council from 2004 to 2010 and is currently active with the Women in Design GSD student organization, which is committed to advancing gender equity in and through design. Additionally, Cole volunteered with Radcliffe College before it became Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and served as a member of the Harvard Alumni Association board.

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Commentary poster from Doris Cole AB ’59, MArch ’63

Harold Goyette graduated from Auburn University in 1950 and from the GSD with his Master in Architecture degree in 1954, during which time he was a student in Josep Lluís Sert’s master class. After graduation, he had a long tenure as the first Director of Planning for Harvard University. Under his leadership, the University developed extensive land holdings and added an array of buildings, including the Science Center, Holyoke Center, and a variety of residential and athletic facilities. Upon his departure from Harvard Campus Planning, Goyette believed the most important change he introduced to Harvard was the idea that planning is “not a product, but a process.” Even though the University designed and constructed a variety of buildings during his tenure, the most important thing the University has done is “retain a sense of history and tradition” and a commitment to the conservation of old buildings.

The couple’s spirit of giving back to the GSD is driven by their commitment to support talented design students in exploring their passions: “I want to help foster and contribute financially to aspiring designers,” said Goyette. “What is more important than helping other people achieve what you participated in so happily and productively?”

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