• Looking back on Harrington House’s history

    Harrington House exterior

    Yesterday’s news about Harrington House‘s time coming to an end got us thinking back on the home’s history, as it has a long and winding connection with Baylor (dating back even before it came to be Baylor property).

    The two-story Victorian home has stood since 1894 on Eighth Street, just across from where Collins Residence Hall stands today. It is named for Dr. J.T. Harrington, a prominent Waco-area physician and one of the longest-serving Board members in Baylor history (1903-47, including the last 15 years as chair) who lived there for decades. The building was both his home and office, as he served patients (including more than one Baylor president) out of the house.

    After Harrington’s death, one of his daughters occupied the home until the 1970s. Baylor University eventually purchased the home from his descendants, and in 1974, it began a new life as Baylor’s first faculty dining center and guest house. In 1986, renovations more than doubled the dining area, and for two more decades, it would serve as a popular lunch room and gathering spot for BU faculty.

    The university’s growth over that time increased need for a new faculty center, and the McMullen-Connally Faculty Center opened in 2008 along Fifth Street. In 2010, after a year of renovation, the Harrington House re-opened as additional space for Baylor’s Department of Art, offering studio space and an art gallery. That lasted until 2023, and the building has been vacant since then.

    Sadly, the building has reached a point where repairs are no longer practical, and it will come down this summer. But we will always have the memories, and we look forward to seeing what future use that location may offer Baylor students.

    Sic ’em, Harrington House!