4 Green Street

4 Green Street

I was a freshman at the college 50-plus years ago, and my favorite spot quickly became 4 Green Street (now Green Way).

Ten of us arrived at the three-storied house, excited about being a social experiment for our small college (approximately 500 students at the time) – the first inhabitants of a women’s dormitory.

We became good friends immediately, bonding over helping write the rules, dealing with a strange housemother, adapting to a very special house.

Like most of the College, 4 Green Street had no AC; in fact, I can only remember two classrooms that had loud window units. There were four rooms for the 10 of us. The room I shared with Ellen Walker Smith ’63 had hardwood floors, an Adam mantel, wainscoting and our own bathroom.

We could get out of bed 10 minutes before class, throw our raincoats over our nightgowns (not over pajamas, mind you, as we couldn’t wear slacks!) and run across the street (Green Way had not been closed off for campus yet) to Randolph Hall, where all the classes were held back then.


We could only go out two weeknights a week, with a deadline of 9 or 10 p.m. Our weekend curfew was midnight. We had one panty raid – Pi Delts, I think – and there was that night that Mel Marvin ’62 … but I digress.

The College’s administration wasn’t quite sure what to do with us, and erred on the side of spoiling us: We had our own cook and a washer/dryer, and – if the housemother liked us – she would iron our clothes. The administration reversed course after two years, however, as they planned for the Sottile House.

I have fond – and very old – memories of that special house.

– Fran Wilder Townsend ’64

Note: Known to many alums as “the Shack,” 4 Green Street (Way) was built c. 1817 and later restored in 1972. Today, it houses faculty offices for the Department of Mathematics.