Pipe Bursts at Faculty Club

Faculty Club Burst Pipe
Victoria L Bartlett

Harvard faculty members wait outside the Harvard Faculty Club after a pipe burst inside the building, leading to an evacuation.

A burst pipe sent water spewing over the dark-stained wood of the Harvard Faculty Club yesterday, forcing residents to evacuate the building and leaving the club’s elegant carpeting covered in an orange tarp.

The burst occurred at approximately 3:50 p.m and caused the fire alarm to be set off, according to Crista Martin, the director for marketing and communications for Harvard University Hospitality and Dining Services.

The Cambridge Fire Department and building restoration workers arrived soon after to assess the situation.

“It just started leaking from the third floor, but it’s too early to tell what the damage will be,” said Gary K. Kassabian, the director of emergency services at Harvard.

Employees and guests were evacuated from the building, located at 20 Quincy St., after the fire alarm sounded. Employees were informed that the situation was not a fire, but instead a pipe burst.


Carolina Fonrodona, banquet manager at the Faculty Club, waited by the door while the building was undergoing its initial assessment.

“The only thing we know is that a pipe broke from cold water in the mechanical room. It’s just water damage, but we’re not sure how much,” Fonrodona said.

The building shut down last night as managers continue to assess the damage. Several events scheduled for the night were cancelled. Guests who had been staying in the bedrooms were given other accommodations, according to Martin.

“We hope to open [today], but we don’t know definitively,” Martin said.

The Harvard Faculty Club facility was created in 1931 on the site of the former home of William and Henry James and is host to a great deal of the wining and dining that takes place at the University.

Since July of 2009, the club has been operated by HUHDS.