Whittier Field

Home to Bowdoin’s football, men's and women's outdoor track & field and men’s lacrosse teams, the historic Whittier Field Athletic Complex was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2017.

Recognized as part of the country’s historical and cultural heritage, the complex includes Whittier Field (1896), Hubbard Grandstand (1904), and the Class of 1903 Memorial Gateway (1928). The field, considered one of the most storied football venues in the nation, is named for Dr. Frank Nathaniel Whittier (Class of 1885), Bowdoin’s first director of athletics. The grandstand, designed by architect Henry Vaughan (1845-1917), was made possible by a gift from General Thomas H. Hubbard (Class of 1857), for whom it is named. The Class of 1903 presented the memorial gateway (designed by Harry S. Coombs of the Class of 1901) to the College on the occasion of its 25th reunion.

Bowdoin announced plans to renovate Whittier Field and Magee Samuelson Track, named partially in honor of Olympic champion, Maine native, and Bowdoin graduate Joan Benoit Samuelson ’79. in a two-phase project that began in May 2017 and finished in 2019. The intial phase included replacing the existing grass field with artificial turf and adding lights, seating, and a new press box, along with an expansion of the current six-lane track to the eight lanes required to host championship track meets. Phase II of the Whittier Field project included the construction of a one-story 8,780 square foot support facility that houses locker, training, and equipment rooms and public restrooms. Also included in the scope is the completion of the east end of the bleacher system installed fall 2017.

More information on the history of Whittier Field, Hubbard Grandstand, and the Class of 1903 Gateway is available in The Architecture of Bowdoin College, available in Bowdoin’s Digital Commons.