Pike Memorial Bird Feeder

In 1937, alumnae donated a bird feeder and a small endowment for seed in memory of Clara Pike. Donations came from all classes between 1868 and 1905.

A granite bench and the bird feeder, itself, both designed by Ralph Adams Cram, were installed at the northeast corner of the Wallace Library. Its stand recalls Chinese bracketed supports, whereas the acroteria on its roof are Classical motifs. The copper roof and ball finial are more typical of Colonial Revival designs. Ralph Adams Cram spoke at the dedication of the memorial he had designed on class day, 19 June 1937. Pike had been Cram’s first teacher and taught his daughter Edith Cram 1883.

Approval for the memorial came only at the end of a lengthy battle with President Park, who called the determined donors the “Pikers.” In 1939, Beatrice Brown 1901 wrote that “to many of us Miss Pike’s Memorial constitutes a living bond between the Seminary era and the glorious College of today.”

In 1938, W. C. Curtis, the “celebrated wild gardener of South Sudbury,” designed the original landscaping, which included flowering apple and cherry trees, larches and yews. The area was relandscaped in 1946. In 1987, when the area in front of the library was relandscaped in connection with the completion of the Balfour-Hood Center, the birdfeeder was repaired and moved to the northwest corner of the library. The stone bench was returned to a position near the birdfeeder in 1994, when the Rice Garden was relandscaped and renamed.