In addition to being the love of every doe-eyed freshman psychology major, Berkeley College Master Marvin Chun gets to enjoy some pretty sweet digs. The Berkeley Master’s House, like the rest of the college, is located right in the middle of campus — who could ask for more during the rainiest week of the decade? But Chun said that despite its central location, his house still gets a fair amount of privacy. In particular, he said the garden — his favorite part of the house — is more closed off than that of other Master’s houses because it isn’t visible from the college’s courtyard. Several trees in the yard are landscaped in a Japanese tea garden style, making the space a “beautiful and intimate area for family receptions and class events,” Chun said. But more often, the members of the Chun family uses the garden as a place to play with their Havanese dog, Pablo, the source of the inexplicable barking heard on Cross Campus. To top it off, the house’s interior mirrors its external appeal. The French pickled oak paneling on the walls of the first floor, in addition to the presence of portraits of Bishop Berkeley (the college’s namesake) and his wife, make the house the perfect location for Master’s Teas and other student events. It definitely isn’t hard to imagine why the space was showcased in the “That’s Why I Chose Yale” admissions video.
— Daniel Sisgoreo
If elegance and intimacy are your style, look no further than the Calhoun College Master’s House. Tucked into the northeast corner of Calhoun’s quad, the house merges seamlessly with the design and architecture of the redbrick college itself.
Originally built in 1932 with the rest of Calhoun, the house is currently occupied by Master Amy Hungerford, her husband and their two children. The first floor of the house is a public space where the Master hosts teas, talks and events. Bookshelves and oil paintings line the walls, while leather armchairs and low couches provide comfortable spots to sit. The effect is that of an old-school clubhouse or a billiards room — without the pool table and the smoke, of course. Right outside the living room, a walled mini-courtyard offers a romantic respite from the sunny central quad. It would be a great secluded place to take a date … except you’d have to ask the Master first.
Upstairs, Master Hungerford and her family have decorated the bedrooms and study spaces with their own furnishings. Some architectural features, like the fine molding on the ceiling, are particularly beautiful. One playful design quirk is the set of cabinets that Master Holloway’s wife built as “fairy houses,” dollhouses with miniature rooms and furniture, perfect for young children to play with. Master Hungerford’s children prefer to spend their time at the piano in the kitchen where the family often congregates. And when it’s time to go to work in the morning, Master Hungerford simply has to walk down the hall and into her office: no coat or umbrella needed.
But Calhoun’s small size, often cited as a perk of the college, can also be a drawback for those living in the Master’s house. Sound carries across the courtyard and through the heat ducts, so it’s only a matter of time before Master Hungerford will know all of her Calhoun neighbors’ deepest, darkest nighttime secrets.
— Raisa Bruner
When Davenport College Master Richard Schottenfeld moved into the college 11 years ago he faced a problem: put up with the daringly drab “Yale white” walls, or explore a new and exciting realm of color?
“We decided to break with tradition,” Schottenfeld said, pointing to the asparagus green wall on one side of his first-floor living room and the powder blue ceiling above our heads. “We had to show people that Georgian architecture can have colors too.”
When the painters chipped away at the drab walls they discovered there had originally been color paint all along.
The Davenport Master’s home sports three floors and a basement: equipped to handle throngs of students and parents eager for a word with the distinguished psychiatrist and his family.
But while the first floor is often the hub of activity, it also provides ample space for the family to seek solitude. The kitchen, so often aflutter with master’s aides, houses a nook with a small table — complete with a delicious burnt orange table cloth. This is where the family comes together to eat most of its meals.
Just as this table is the center of family togetherness, Schottenfeld’s study is the clear epicenter of his work at home. Books and papers are strewn across the spacious room, covering the dark reds and rich woods of the furniture. “It’s really quite cozy,” he said, gesturing to his well-worn desk.
And presiding at the far end of the study is a drawing that catches the eye of anyone lucky enough to receive an invitation to the Master’s refuge. It’s a man’s face, fanning out across the paper in seashell-like tessellations, and lines of Pablo Neruda poetry cross his wrinkles. The artist’s name reads Amerigo Alverez, and Schottenfeld explained that he picked it up in Cusco, Peru.
“That’s probably my favorite single thing in the house,” he said. WEEKEND agrees.
— Everett Rosenfeld
Since becoming Master in 2010, Penelope Laurans has made Jonathan Edwards College a more inviting place.
“I was the first master to open the terrace to students,” she said, referring to the patio with sculptures and tables where students can spend time on a nice afternoon. Master Laurans has also welcomed students into her home for tours, Master’s Teas and her famed end-of-semester protein study break featuring meats and cheeses. Concerts are held in her living room, which contains a piano left by a former JE master who was very musical. Laurans added that the furniture in her living room is light so that it can easily be rearranged to make the living room a concert space.
The house also contains JE memorabilia, including a student-made green lion mask found in the waiting room outside her office. Laurans said she prides herself on her waiting room, which is filled with pictures of her with students and of Yale notables such as professor Harold Bloom and President Levin.
The second floor of her house is her personal, private space, but Laurans said she is welcoming of student and University visitors.
“I am always willing to have spiders and their families in my home,” she said.
— Liliana Varman
Comprised of 15 rooms, the 80-year-old Master’s house in Pierson College (last renovated in 2005) is made from Georgian colonial brick with a plaster interior. But it’s the items on these walls that make the house unique. Ornaments from around the world, most of which were given to Master Harvey Goldblatt as gifts over the years — from alumni, current students, friends and even a few items from the Yale University Art Gallery — hang in many of the rooms.
“Students and people give me lovely things,” Goldblatt said, indicating an original tile by Picasso.
The home is a mix of elegance and warmth, as it’s meant to serve as a kind of second home to students. Goldblatt must be doing something right, as he said he has never sat by the fireplace alone, always with students or guests.
In addition to having aesthetic appeal, much of the furniture in the house serves a utilitarian purpose. The long, folding, wooden dining room table does not take up too much space, but allows Goldblatt to host a large number of guests for dinner.
“The amazing thing to me is how [the house] hangs together after so many intense events,” he said.
— Sello Lekalakala
The Silliman master’s house is an elegant 3-story building located in a corner of the grand Silliman courtyard. The house was renovated in 2007 but retains it original charm with stunning mill work in the foyer, living and dining rooms.
“When we renovated I worked with the architects and interior designer to return the interior plaster walls to the ‘federal-era paint’ best suited to the house,” said Silliman Master Judith Krauss.
The house also has a functioning dumbwaiter, which Master K and her family use regularly to transport laundry, groceries and books (and even the occasional niece or nephew who sneak in) from one floor to another.
Some of the original fireplaces in the house were retained after the renovation, and the fireplace in the Silliman Administrative and Activities Council room feeds up to the fireplace the master bedroom. Before the Silliman theater was moved during the renovation, Master K said that she and her family were entertained at night “by the stereophonic sounds emanating from the theater speakers.”
— Urvi Nopany
Ezra Stiles students were not the only ones to come back to renovated rooms this semester: Ezra Stiles Master Stephen Pitti also received a freshly finished suite.
The new Stiles Master’s House resides at 9 Tower Pkwy., near Payne Whitney Gymnasium and directly across the street from the Ray Tompkins House. It has a scenic view of the street that athletes trek up and down daily and buses circle as they follow their routes from the gym, to the intramural fields and back.
“It’s really pretty now,” said Shirin Ahmed ’12, a Stiles Master’s House aide.
The dark brown front door of the Stiles Master’s House sits at the end of a walkway and sports a single lock, door handle, and bronze-colored mail slot. On either side of the door are two long, full length windows, and it was through these glass panels that this intrepid WEEKEND reporter got her best — and only — glimpse of the recently renovated lodging.
Immediately inside that front door, the entryway is decorated in shades of brown, with some yellow, red and orange. A few black stairs rise to a landing with a long table, some chairs, lamps and curtains. Before the steps, another hallway intersects the main foyer. Where it leads to, no one knows. Or at least, WEEKEND doesn’t know.
The house has three floors, Ahmed said, with the basement level used as a play area by Pitti’s two twin children, a first floor for hosting receptions and events, and a top floor for the family.
The landscaping outside the house has also changed, according to master’s aide Jolene Wang ’12, and now includes a “unique sculpture piece” and steps with running water on either side, leading to a wooden patio.
As for the rest of the Stiles Master’s House, it will remain a great mystery to WEEKEND, at least for now.
— Alison Griswold
A little Greek revival, a bit colonial, and with just a sprinkle of the ’30s, the Trumbull Master’s house is home to Master Janet Henrich and her husband Associate Master Victor Henrich. Pointed arch and all, its small gate is seen by all who pass by the walkway between Trumbull and Berkeley colleges on a sunny day. When you peak in, you can see that the house has numerous levels, although most will only get to see the white walls and subtle decoration of the main floor where receptions and Master’s Teas are often held.
“Whoever designed our space did a very nice job,” Master Henrich told me. “We have to accommodate a lot of people and it’s our home. The design is very well mixed: very commodious and very comfortable for us.”
— Katerina Karatzia
In Saybrook College, there is little question over who has the coolest digs in the stone-and-grass courtyards. With tones of beige colors warming the common spaces and hand-selected Heidi Coutu artwork decorating the parlor, the Saybrook Master’s House, home to Master Paul Hudak and Associate Master Van Dyke, is something straight out of a Pottery Barn catalog. The well-lit parlor is populated with mini-couches designed to trap any passerby into a sleepy lull. But it wasn’t always this way. When Hudak and Van Dyke first moved in, they were presented with the horrors of white-on-white walls, wood paneling and lighting that was sub-par at best. With a no-nonsense attitude, Van Dyke went to work in ensuring the kitchen be painted a calming light-blue and hung a similarly shaded print of Picasso’s “The Kitchen” over the quaint, four-person breakfast table. (Martha Stewart would have been proud.) But despite the many improvements made by Hudak and Van Dyke, certain long-standing oddities still remain unchanged. The detailed imprints on the kitchen windowpanes of both a dancing joker and a Yale “Bladder Ball” were considered to be such staples of the house, that the panes were removed during renovations in order to preserve them, and fittingly so. After all, what would a Yale building be without a few hidden quirks?
— Yvette Borja