On the evening of February 19, 1828, a meeting was held at the home of Mr. James Locke on Main Street to consider the establishment of a Female High School in the South Parish of Andover. A committee of seven men was appointed to select a suitable site, the type and cost of a suitable building, the most promising method of raising the necessary funds and to develop a schedule for the same. The Board of Trust included Rev. Milton Badger, Rev. Samuel C. Jackson, Samuel Farrar, Hobart Clark, Mark Newman, Amos Abbot and Amos Blanchard. They recommended that the lot belonging to Deacon Amos Abbot, nearly opposite Locke's Hotel on Main Street, be purchased and a two story brick building be erected, that the required funds should be raised by subscription and that the school be put into the care of Trustees.
The specified lot was purchased and fenced in. Many of the town mothers, however, were dissatisfied with this selection since this street was the one most frequented by "Theologues and Academy boys". Mrs. Adams and Mrs. Stuart drew up and circulated a petition requesting a change in location. This action was recognized by the committee and at a meeting of July 24, 1828, Deacon Mark Newman offered a one acre building lot on School Street. It was accepted and at the same meeting a $1000 pledge from Mrs. Sarah Abbot --- to be paid upon her death --- was acknowledged.
David Hidden of Newburyport, having been called to Andover by William Bartlett to construct buildings for the Andover Theological Seminary, was given the contract to build the new Academy which had been designed by Mr. Goddard, the Principal-elect. William Saunders of Cambridge was called in to aid in the project and made the columns which still support the front portico. The roof was raised on October 28, 1828, and the doors were opened on May 6, 1829, to mark the beginning of the first U.S. school founded for the education of young ladies alone.
Abbot Academy long considered its mission complementary to that of Phillips Academy. "What the Trustees of Phillips Academy would do for young men, we would provide for young ladies." Over the years, even under the enforced single-sex community imposed by the successive Principals, a social interchange did flourish. With the appointment of Donald Gordon as Principal in 1967, co-education started to become a reality. Abbot Academy and Phillips Academy did become a single school, effective September 1, 1973, and Abbot assets were transferred to the Trustees of Phillips Academy.
A. LAND ACQUISITION
For many years the Academy was contained on the one acre lot donated in 1828 by Mark Newman. The Academy grounds in 1859, as described by the two McKeen sisters, "reached from School Street westward to what is now the extreme rear of Smith Hall. The place was enclosed by a rude board fence, which separated it on either hand from what are now Davis and South Halls. South of the Academy, a great gate, which usually stood open, admitted the historic Andover coach and the public generally to a true bit of nature, very like a poor pasture, where one might select his own driveway between the stones."
Two additional acres behind Smith Hall were purchased by George L. Davis in 1863 at a cost of $1325. The property immediately to the south of the Academy, the estate of Rev. Josiah W. Turner, was purchased two years later for $3600 also using money loaned by Mr. Davis. Another piece of land which adjoined Professor Taylor's garden was purchased in 1866 for $500 and a fence was built along the front face of the newly extended grounds. These lands were significantly improved by Mr. Nathaniel Swift, the Treasurer of the Academy. The stretch of poor, stony pastureland was converted to a broad, soft lawn intersected by graveled walks, boarded with flowers and bounded by hedges. In the autumn of 1877 the Abbot Trustees bought another 14 acres from John Abbot to provide a net total of 22 acres.
B. BOARDING PHILOSOPHY
The Academy center was Abbot Hall but no provision was made for boarding of the pupils. Although many of the early students were from the Andover area, there was a continuously increasing patronage from beyond the "day student" range. There was no boarding house connected with the Academy under teacher supervision but pupils were able to make adequate arrangements with private families of the area. Each of these boarding houses was made responsible to the Abbot Trustees for imposing a bracing routine of early rising, study hours and prayer while the boarding students were expected to exercise "Christian courtesy and kindness in heart, speech and action" within their boarding houses as well as everywhere else.
Examples of these boarding houses included the family of Mrs. Chamberlain, widow of a former Professor of Greek at Dartmouth College, who resided on the northeast corner of School and Morton Streets in a house now known as Morton House. Mrs. Brown, widow of President Brown of Dartmouth housed "Fem Sems" in the house which later became known as Davis Hall. Prof. and Mrs. Bela Edwards housed Abbot students in their house on Main Street.
This philosophy was modified in the early 1850's when the Punchard Free School was opened in town offering Andover girls excellent instruction without expense. This action forced the Academy to depend chiefly on patronage from out of town and proper boarding facilities had to be provided. Smith Hall was constructed in 1854 to fill this need and the Academy continued to prosper. In 1866 the Trustees adopted the policy of declining applications exceeding the number of pupils which could be provided for in the three Halls --South, Davis and Smith. They no longer wanted to continue the remote boarding house concept. These early housing facilities were later enhanced and replaced as will be subsequently discussed.
C. ACADEMY BUILDINGS --- EARLY DAYS
As identified earlier the Academy Building was constructed in 1828-29. David Hidden of Newburyport employed three carpenters at the end of August 1828 and started work at that time. William Saunders of Cambridge also assisted and made the columns that support the front portico. The roof of the 70 foot by 40 foot edifice was raised October 28, 1828, and most of the interior was finished by spring. The building faced School Street when built.
When the school was opened on May 6, 1829, the upper story was not finished. There was a large central room on the first floor and a recitation room on either side. The room on the north side was for the children while that on the south side was intended for the older scholars. There was one broken stove which "heated" the entire area.
The back piazza was added during the period of Asa Farwell's superintendency, 1842 to 1852; not many other improvements were made over the first thirty to fifty years of the school's existence. A description of the facility as it appeared in 1859 is provided in the McKeen sisters' history:
"The Academy hall was a broad reach of bare floor; the monotony of the unpapered walls was broken only by masses of smoke left upon the plaster by candles in tin reflectors --- the only mode of lighting. The teachers' platform, over which Madam Abbot's portrait presided, was so narrow as to make passing dangerous, and the Principal was enthroned upon a higher central eminence, secured by a large desk or pulpit. The hall was furnished with heavy desks, each for the accommodation of three persons, whose chairs were set in stocks. One small bookcase contained the entire library of the Academy; a few minerals, a magic lantern, and the debris of what had once been scattering pieces of philosophical apparatus, and four or five outline maps comprised the whole stock of illustration in any department."
A major addition was made to the Academy Building in 1875 --- that being an observatory dome on the top of the building to accommodate a telescope purchased that year. This effort culminated a drive by the Latin Astronomy teacher, Miss Mary Belcher, and cost approximately $2400. The observatory was built as a cupola and the telescope was mounted on a brick pier which rested on the building foundation. In addition, a room was finished off in the attic with a huge lutheran window looking westward; this room also served as a studio in the summer months. The telescope was mounted in the fall of 1875 and was properly introduced to the students, faculty and citizens through twelve lectures on astronomy.
The Academy Building, estimated at the time to weigh 900 tons, was moved to its present location in the summer of 1888 by A. M. Ellis of Maiden. There were 200 screws, 300 rollers, 40 strands of rope, 5 capstans and five horses used during this move. The building was raised to the proper height, placed on a pivot at one corner, turned one quarter turn and then moved 200 feet. The operation was accomplished so smoothly that a vase accidentallly left on its bracket was found whole and in place after the move.
As part of this move, a basement floor was added to the building. This level was fitted up as a laboratory for Physics and Chemistry and was first used in November 1889. In 1890 the name of this edifice was officially changed to Abbot Hall in honor of the Academy's first benefactor. The back porch, shown in many pictures of the nineteenth century, was removed in 1902.
About the turn of the century the Abbot Trustees authorized the remodeling of this building to make it a Science Building so that the common usage of Graves Hall with Phillips boys could be discontinued. Physics and Chemistry labs were constructed on the second floor while Biology and Domestic Science labs were created on the ground floor. All rooms were well lighted and ventilated and were large enough to serve as lecture and recitation rooms as well. The building was connected to the central heating plant at that time.
The upper hall which had played such a vital role in the early life of the school was expanded during this rebuilding effort of 1906. One of the two small rooms at the rear of the hall, historic "No. 1" which was the senior classroom, was removed; "No. 2" was removed later --- in 1918 --- to provide more expansion. Finally, in 1928 the "closet" on the front side was removed and a window was installed for better lighting.
Further renovations were accomplished in 1907-08 to provide a larger observatory with a 5" Clark Telescope. The John-Esther Art Gallery which is discussed later was also added at that time.
Following the merger with Phillips in 1973 this building became idle. From 1978 to 1990 Abbot Hall and the John-Esther Art Gallery housed the Northeast Documentation Conservation Center --- a non-profit regional conservation center specializing in the conservation of library and archival material and art on paper.
South Hall was originally located to the south (or southeast) of Abbot Hall and faced School Street. It was built by a carpenter named Flagg for Rev. Horatio Bardwell, an Academy Trustee, about 1832. It had a stable connected with the main house by a wood shed. Subsequent residents were Rev. Henry B. Holmes, 1848 to 55, and Rev. Josiah W. Turner. It was used as a private boarding house --- primarily for Phillips Academy students, a fact which proved vexacious for the Abbot Principals. In 1865 it was bought by the Abbot Trustees from J. W. Turner using money loaned by George L. Davis and was made into a boarding house for "Fem Sems".
In the mid 1870's the dining room in this house was enlarged and a bay window was added. In October 1878 German Hall was instituted there --- a place where only German was spoken. This innovative use lasted until 1892.
In the fall of 1889, the building was separated and the rear portion was moved to the upper part of Morton Street to be made into a dwelling. The house itself was moved westerly across the Academy grounds to face Abbot Street. Three years later it was offered to Miss Philena McKeen, Principal from 1859 to 1892, for her retirement. Accordingly the building was renamed Sunset Lodge. Following her death in 1898 the building was rented out by the Trustees until January 1919 at which time it was opened as a residence house. It was rented again during the depression when the Academy enrollment dropped off. Miss Marguerite Hearsey used this house as her residence for the years in which she was Principal (1936-55). In May 1959, Sunset House was designated to be the Alumnae House. The building was closed after the 1976-77 academic year but was restored as a faculty house in 1979.
Davis Hall was the other building which flanked the Academy Building on School Street. Timothy D. P. Stone rented this house, known as "the Doctor Brown House" in 1839, and opened it as a "Commons". The prevailing philosophy was that one girl would be appointed general overseer and the rest would pay $1.25 per week. All boarders were to provide the items required for their personal use and all would share in the household labors.
One of the pioneers in that enterprise has left a graphic description of it:
"Their whole stock of furniture at the opening consisted of a huge old desk, a copper kettle which also served as pail or pan, a broom and some stones for andirons. A neighbor kindly loaned them a broken tea-kettle, and they spread their first supper upon two light-stands which they had brought from home. The advent of each newcomer, and especially of her belongings, was hailed with delight. The ingenuity and perils of their housekeeping kept the family wide awake and keen for excitement."
The Trustees soon "adopted" this family, voted $150 to be expended for furniture, continued the office of directress for some time and later employed a matron to preside over its interests. The $5.00 charged for admission money would pay for the use of the parlor, studyroom and kitchen with the associated furniture as well as the use of an unfurnished keeping-room.
Despite its ominous beginning, this venture proved to be a success for the house was kept either as a "Commons" or a boarding house for twelve years. In 1842 Rev. Asa Farwell, newly appointed Principal, bought this facility for his own residence, married the directress and kept the boarders on "at cost". Rev. Farwell also opened up Abbot Street and was engaged in the real estate business buying and selling property in the vicinity of Abbot Academy.
Following his departure in 1852 Farwell rented the building and in 1864 it was being operated as a boarding house by Mrs. Hervey --- for Phillips Academy boys. Hon. George L. Davis bought the Farwell estate in 1865 and donated it to Abbot Academy. At that time the building was named Davis Hall in honor of its donor, the noted Academy Trustee.
After 1869 the students living there converted it to a French-speaking facility for all but two hours of their out-of-class day under the care of the French teacher. Davis Hall was retired in 1890 and was razed in 1903 to make room for the construction of the McKeen Memorial Building.
Smith Hall was erected in 1854 to fill the urgent need for suitable accommodations for the boarding of pupils. In April 1854 Messrs. Abbott and Clement took the construction contract for $6700; the architect was John Stevens. Added construction items added $333 to this price before the building was ready for occupancy on December 13 of that same year. The boarding hall was named Smith Hall in honor of Peter and John Smith, its generous donors.
The furnishings of this facility was planned and executed by Mrs. Samuel C. Jackson and Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe. They ran a gala festival in Academy Hall in the autumn of 1854 to achieve their goals. The proceeds of this function allowed them to furnish the house in a substantial yet attractive manner. They selected well made furniture which came to $31.33 for each room which consisted of a bedstead, mattresses, bureau with swing glass, sink, table, chairs, towel rack and bookcase. They were also able to furnish the music room, dining room and parlors. The total expense of this furnishing of Smith Hall was $1770.80.
Smith Hall itself was basically a large wooden box divided into thirty rooms --- each 12 feet by 12 feet. There was a dining room, kitchen, music room and matron's apartment on the first floor. At first it was an empty wooden box as its construction had more than depleted the available funds --- a fact which led to the method of provisioning defined above. There was no furnace for the first ten years of operation. The school offered board, washing and a pew seat for $2.50 per week from 1854 to 1862. This was more than the pittance paid by the "Commons" dwellers but still a moderate sum to match the tuition charges of $6 or $7 a term.
During the summer vacation of 1866, the Trustees added an extension of 27 feet, three stories high, to the "L" of Smith Hall. This important change not only provided accommodations needed for a larger number of pupils but carried water to the second and third floors. It also introduced bath rooms with hot and cold water and two new piano rooms. This modification enlarged the dining room and opened new windows to the southeast and northwest. The improvements were made complete by the addition of the west porch.
A baggage room was added to the facility in 1873 and the parlor was refurnished in the mid 1870's. A windmill was added on the roof of Smith Hall in the summer of 1877. This contrivance served to pump water from the basement to the attic for more effective distribution throughout the building.
The McKeen sisters made their residence in Smith Hall for the duration of their tenure at Abbot Academy.
In the summer of 1887 Smith Hall was moved back toward the grove to make room for Draper Hall. In the early 1890's the entire building was renovated at a cost of $1145.58 but a fire was experienced on May 4, 1894. This fire apparently started just after midnight in the oil room located in the rear of the building. It worked its way rapidly up to the main building into the walls of the kitchen and bedrooms directly above. Within ten minutes of the alarm being sounded the firemen had two powerful streams of water rapidly bringing the fire under control. Believed to be the work of an incendiary, the fire caused about $500 damage which was covered by insurance.
Smith Hall was closed in 1897 when the ratio between boarders and day scholars was stabilized allowing the abandonment of this now shabby, unfashionable building. Ten years later the Trustees had the facility razed.
Draper Hall, the last building to be added to the Academy in the nineteenth century, was erected on the land which had been purchased in 1877. The stone foundation was completed in November 1888. The opening reception was held on January 21, 1891, but the building had been occupied since September 1890. The funds for this project had been acquired through a subscription drive conducted by Miss Philena McKeen, Principal of the Academy. The major donor was Warren F. Draper, Trustee and Treasurer for many years; consequently, the new building was named Draper Hall in his honor.
The building, set back from and facing School Street, was made of brick with brown stone and terra-cotta trimmings. The front part of the "L-shaped" structure was 156 feet by 59 feet and was three stories high. The "L" portion was 100 feet by 43 feet and four stories high. The architect was Hartwell and Richardson of Boston, the contractor was Hardy & Cole. The contract price was $72,672.
The basement contained the kitchen, pantries, housekeeper's, servants' and janitors' rooms, two laundries and the dining rooms. On the first floor were the Principal's suite, a 20 foot by 29 foot library room, a 36 foot by 18 foot reading room looking out to the famous old oak tree on the lawn, a general parlor the same size as the reading room, a girl's parlor, school office, two housekeeper's rooms and sixteen bed and study rooms. The entire second floor was occupied by 33 bed and study rooms. Eleven music rooms and 14 bed and study rooms accounted for the third floor and a suite of four art rooms, six servant's rooms and trunk rooms comprised the fourth floor.
The bed and study rooms consisted of a large parlor and either a separate bedroom or a bed alcove. Each girl's room was fitted with an oak bureau with mirror, a commode, table, two chairs with flag seats, an iron bedstead painted white and a rattan couch.
The 40 foot by 40 foot dining room located in the basement was reached by a winding staircase in the round tower.
The Library contained a number of works which were donated to the Academy and included books published by Mr. Draper and donated by him. The furniture for the Library was donated by the November Club of Andover. The Reading Room was supplied with furniture by the Classes of 1881 and 1882 and contained the Jackson Memorial Library in Memory of Rev. Dr. and Mrs. S. C. Jackson. The Senior's Parlor opening off the Reading Room contained cabinets, casts, photographs, pictures and rare art books.
The students of Phillips Academy donated a fine English hall-clock which was positioned on the broad landing of the south staircase.
The McKeen Memorial Rooms on the first floor were alloted to the Principal of the school for her residence. The design of these rooms was in a quiet phase of the Byzantine Romanesque. The principle decoration was a brick panel in the mantel which was sculptured to represent "Search for Truth". The fireplace in the room was a round arch and the woodwork of the rooms was quartered oak. The music rooms on the third floor were constructed to be soundproof. The walls were padded, the floors were doubled and double doors were installed.
Unfortunately the frugality with which the building was first constructed left it short on radiators and electric fixtures and its fire protection and hot water systems were entirely inadequate. Warren Draper himself came back from retirement as Trustee Building Superintendent in 1897 to help salvage his Hall.
On July 24, 1896, Draper Hall was badly damaged by fire. The blaze originated at about 10 A.M. at the foot of the clothes chute in the basement and was attributed to spontaneous combustion. The fire was contained and extinguished fairly rapidly but not before about $10,000 damage had been done. The loss was covered by insurance and repairs were made in sufficient time to permit normal school opening in the fall.
A new infirmary was furnished in Draper Hall in 1896 by the Abbot Club.
The Dining Room was completely transformed in 1918 and the long rectangular tables were replaced by small round ones. This change led to a more congenial atmosphere among the students.
In the 1930's the effects of the pinch-penny construction were already beginning to tell. The foundation under the dining room staircase began to sag, the supports buckled and the staircase leaned. This problem was fixed by a new concrete foundation and steel bracing. A great deal of the fourth floor space was lost because of fire regulations. There were major plans for a new Draper Hall but as a result of the 1938 Recession they had to be severely curtailed. The Trustees had to reduce these plans to the removal of the top two floors and the construction of a new roof and exterior in the Bulfinch style. Two wings were added in 1941 but the roof project was abandoned after the builder discovered that the west foundation was weakly made of "field boulders poorly laid with large voids" and had to be rebuilt.
This remodeling activity of 1941 added two new sections to Draper Hall. In one new wing a new library was built to accommodate the Academy's collection of about 12,000 volumes; it is a memorial to Emily Adams Means, Principal from 1898 to 1911. It also contains a 100 foot by 40 foot main reading room and a leisure reading room panelled in American knotty pine and artistically furnished. This leisure reading room is a memorial to Rebekah Monroe Chickering, teacher of English from 1898 to 1937. Above these rooms are two floors of students' rooms.
The other new wing which connects the library wing with the old wing contains a charming Colonial dining room which can seat the entire school. This room is a memorial to Bertha M. Bailey, Academy Principal from 1912 to 1935.
Following the merger of the Academies, Draper Hall became a boy's dorm. It closed after the 1976-77 academic year. Plans are in process to convert the building for use as apartments.
D. ACADEMY BUILDINGS ---TWENTIETH CENTURY
After Miss McKeen's death in 1898 an active memorial campaign was conducted to raise $24,000 to start a new classroom building. These gifts of the alumnae and friends of the school were dedicated in memory of Miss Philena McKeen, Principal for 33 years, and her sister and first assistant, Miss Phoebe McKeen. This main recitation building contained several large and well-equipped classrooms and a study hall for the use of day students. The cornerstone was laid on June 20, 1903, the dedication was held in June 1904 --- coincident with the 75th Anniversary of the Academy.
This edifice contains the Davis Assembly Hall and Gym which is attached to the main building. It was the gift of George G. Davis in memory of his father the Hon. George L. Davis. This portion of the building was formally dedicated on June 21, 1904, but there were no seating facilities at that time. Wooden benches were borrowed from the Andover Town Hall for a lecture staged there by Booker T. Washington in December 1904.
In the organ loft situated above the entrance of the Assembly Hall there was an organ, built by the Hall Organ Co. of New Haven, which was presented by Mrs. Dorothy Davis Rimmer, granddaughter of George L. Davis in 1912. Chimes for this instrument were donated in 1918 by Mrs. Taylor in memory of her husband, John P. Taylor. A subsequent gift in 1926 from Mrs. Rimmer enabled it to be rebuilt and augmented.
Use of the McKeen Memorial Hall was no longer required for recitation purposes after the merger and it has been used for storage. Long range planning for its use has been deferred.
In 1904 Mrs. Esther H. Smith Byers bequested $40,000 to the Academy for the erection of an art gallery as well as her fine collection of pictures which was estimated to be valued at $28,000. Ground was broken for the John-Esther Gallery on May 10, 1906. The dedication and formal opening of the completed facility was held on February 26, 1907. This building was open to the Abbot Academy students and to the general public. This gallery adjoins Abbot Hall and is located on the north side of it.
The building itself is of brick and sandstone to blend in with the original Academy Building. The designs on the exterior were carved by expert Italian workmen. It was constructed to be absolutely fireproof --- the only wood used was for the floors and window casings. All electric wires passed through piping and there were no boilers in the building --- the structure was heated by indirect radiation from the central heating plant. There were two exhibition rooms on the ground floor. The central corridor led to a marble staircase to the large upper exhibition room where Mrs. Byers' paintings were hung. The upper room was lighted from the top as there were no windows on the second floor of the building.
By the early 1970's it appeared that no one seemed to want to exhibit these works any more. Consequently, a proposal was made to the Trustees to sell the collection rather than allow it to deteriorate in the attic of Draper Hall. Several auctions conducted by Parke-Bernet realized $98,000 for the total collection.
This gallery has been occupied by the Northeast Documentation Conservation Center for the past 12 years along with the rest of Abbot Hall.
In 1912 the Laundry building was erected on the rear portion of the land occupied previously by Smith Hall. This facility is now occupied by the Academy Paint Shop and Carpenter's Shop.
The Antoinette Hall Taylor Infirmary was erected on the front part of the former site of Smith House. The first brick was laid on October 14, 1913, by Mrs. Taylor and the completed facility was dedicated in June 1914 on the birthday of Melville C. Day, one of the many donors who contributed $5,000 under the condition that it would be named after the wife of his friend and classmate, Prof. John Phelps Taylor. This brick structure contained baths, living rooms, diet-kitchens, a sun parlor and bedrooms that were totally outfitted for the care of the sick. Certain wards could be isolated in the event of contagious diseases.
The building was renovated to become a residence house and opened its doors to boarders in 1969 as Hall House.
Sherman Cottage, located on Abbot Street adjacent to Sunset Cottage, was purchased from the Shearer family in 1915 to provide additional living space and was opened that year as a residence house. This building was the locale for escapades such as co-ed roof parties as related in letters hidden by students in a hand-carved space under the floor boards. This cache was reported to have taken three hours to create in the 1950-51 time frame.
Sherman Cottage was closed after the 1976-77 academic year but was restored as a faculty home in 1979.
Abbey House was built in 1939 as a dormitory in lieu of a new Draper Hall and was located on the land between the Hall Infirmary and the Laundry. Emily Abbey Gill donated $50,000 toward its construction if it were to be built immediately, named for her and an 8% life annuity were to be given. These terms were met and work was started in the spring of 1939. Abbey House provided housing for 26 students.
This dormitory was also closed after the 1976-77 academic year and was also restored as a faculty home in 1979.
By early 1950's the Trustees had decided that a gymnasium should lead the list of present building needs. Miss Hearsey used Abbot Academy's 125th anniversary as an opportunity to appeal for funds for this and other causes. By the spring of 1955 the Trustees had $200000 in hand as a result of the campaign efforts and the building activity was initiated.
The resulting gymnasium was named for George Ezra Abbot, the late President of the Board of Trustees, who had died in 1953 while leading the campaign. The site chosen for the gymnasium was that plot of land which had been the Andover Theological Seminary's last gift to Abbot before moving to Cambridge in 1908. The two-story, 90 foot by 45 foot building was completed in 1956.
Near the start of the 1980 decade it was decided to refurbish this gymnasium for use as the headquarters of the Phillips Academy Office of Physical Plant.
E. OTHER ITEMS OF INTEREST
The Merrill Memorial Gateway located on School Street across from the Draper Homestead was completed in 1931. It was the result of donations by over 300 alumnae in memory of Maria Stockbridge Merrill, head of the French Department from 1878 to 1907. The architects for this gate were McKim, Mead & White.
The John P. Taylor Gate near the John-Esther Gallery and the George G. Davis Gate at the corner of School and Abbot Streets were completed at the same time as the Merrill Gateway. All three could be closed at sundown and all day Sunday to ensure privacy of the Academy.
The Draper Homestead, located opposite the Academy on School Street was built by Warren F. Draper in 1869. He chose this location so that they could participate in as much of the coming and going of the Abbot family as possible. He was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 1868 and as Treasurer in 1876. The Drapers made their home a small dormitory when the school was overfilled in 1882.
Draper Homestead opened as a residence house in January 1918. In 1926 the cupola was removed during roof repair operations.
The brick building just south of the John-Esther Gallery, the residence of Prof. and Mrs. John Phelps Taylor, was purchased by Abbot Academy from Phillips Academy in 1913. The building reverted to Abbot control following the death of Mrs. Taylor in 1923. In 1926 it became the home of Mr. and Mrs. Burton S. Flagg, Treasurer of Abbot Academy for many years.
In 1933 he turned over to the school the lounge and kitchenette above his garage where his daughters had entertained her friends. The Abbot teachers could gather there, relax and smoke --- it was the only place that Miss Bailey allowed the staff to smoke.
The Morton House was located across School Street from Abbot Hall. It was purchased at the turn of the century by Mrs. Draper and others and given to the Academy. It had been the home of Judge Marcus Morton, Trustee from 1896 to 1939, and his several sons in the late nineteenth century. It was not used by the school until 1950 when it served as faculty apartments and then as the business office until 1973.