In the Feb. 26, 2021 edition of “This Day in Yale History” it is noted that in 1976 Yale finalized its plans to demolish a vacant bowling alley at the corner of Whitney Avenue and Grove Street to make way for two new residential colleges. Instead of two colleges, that corner is today filled with commercial buildings. The two new colleges were ultimately built many blocks away and 40 years later. It would be interesting to know additional details about this story. What was the perceived need in 1976 for two additional residential colleges given that Stiles and Morse had been opened only 15 years before? Why did it take only five years from the time President Griswold announced his intention to build two new colleges until they were built, whereas there is a 40-year gap between the announcement of the intention and the completion of Franklin and Murray? How was it that Yale owned property with a vacant bowling alley on it in the first place?

JAMES G. LUCE  (Yale ‘66) is a graduate of Silliman College. Contact him at