John Knowles Paine Concert Hall, located on the second floor of the Fanny Peabody Mason Music Building at Harvard, was completed in 1914 and named for Harvard's first Professor of Music. Paine Hall's design was realized with the professional expertise of acoustician Wallace C. Sabine, who was known for his contribution to the construction of Symphony Hall in 1900. The Hall was renovated in 2011.
Paine Hall is wheelchair accessible by ramp and elevator to the second floor. A wheelchair lift provides access to the Paine Hall stage. An accessible bathroom is also available. Special seating to accommodate wheelchairs requires advance notice.
Paine Hall is available for rental to Harvard student organizations.The average estimated cost paid by official Harvard undergraduate student groups for renting Paine Hall for one six-hour period is around $450. Due to Departmental activities, Paine Hall is generally not available for rental Monday through Thursday evenings during the academic year. All renters must include a diagram of the emergency exits in the hall. That illustration may be downloaded HERE.
CAPACITY Paine Hall contains seating for 437 persons. Of these seats, 95 are located in the balcony.
STAGE SIZE The Paine Hall stage is approximately 30' wide by 33' deep. Please NOTE: the stage has no wingspace or backstage area!
PIANOS Two Steinway Concert Grand Model D pianos are available for Paine Hall events. A Harvard piano technician will tune the instruments before the event. Special fees apply for weekend tunings.
LIGHTING Paine Hall lights are pre-focused for small, medium or large ensembles. Additional theatrical lighting must be approved by the Production Coordinator.
ADDITIONAL FACILITIES Two classrooms one flight below Paine Hall are available for use as a Green Room and/or dressing room. There is no area available for receptions.
AUDIO VISUAL Use of Harvard sound system, microphones, projectors, screen, etc. must be arranged through Harvard Media and Technical Services at 495-9460. You may also bring in your own audio visual equipment with permission of the Events Director.
TICKETS There is no box office at Paine Hall. However, the Harvard Box Office will sell or distribute tickets for Paine Hall events. The Harvard Box Office is open 12-6 Tuesday - Sunday and offers a full range of tickets and marketing services. For information call the Manager of Student Ticketing Services at 617-496-6091
RESTRICTIONS Smoking is not allowed anywhere in Paine hall or the Music Building by order of the city of Cambridge. No alcohol is permitted on the premises. Harvard University police must be present if money is being exchanged at the event, or if deemed necessary by Paine Hall management. A deposit is required, and is non-refundable upon cancellation.
GPS or mapping software: enter "3 Oxford Street"
The Music Building, including Paine Hall, the Loeb Music Library and the Davison Room, are located directly behind the Science Center in Harvard's North Yard.
Free parking is available for SOME Paine Hall concerts. Please check your concert listing to see if parking is available, and at which garage. Metered parking is available on Oxford, Kirkland, and several other nearby streets until 8pm (every day except Sunday, when meters are free). Additionally, paid parking lots are available in Harvard Square.
Take the Cambridge/Brighton/Allston exit and follow the ramp signs to Cambridge. After the bridge over the Charles River, turn left onto Memorial Drive. At the second light turn right onto JFK Street. You will go through a few sets of lights before coming to Harvard Square. Continue through Harvard Square (past Out of Town News on your right), but stay in the left lane. The road divides; bear left (the sign says Massachusetts Avenue/Arlington). Then stay to the right and bear right at the next divide in the road (there will be a traffic light with right arrow). You are now on Massachusetts Avenue heading north. Turn right onto Everett Street. Follow Everett Street to the end and take a right onto Oxford Street. Paine Hall is directly behind the Science Center at the corner where Oxford Street becomes Kirkland Ave.
Take the red line to Harvard. Exit onto Massachusetts Avenue and head through Harvard Yard towards the Science Center. Go into the Science Center and turn left at the information desk. When you exit the Science Center, Paine Hall will be immediately to your right. HINT: The MBTA provides inexpensive parking at its Alewife Station. The Harvard Square stop is 4 stops from Alewife.
As you walk up Oxford Street, the Peabody Museum is on your left. Up a bit, and on your right at the bend in the road, is the Science Center. Walk into the Science Center and take a right at the information desk. Go out the Science Center doors and find the Music Building directly in front of you. Paine Hall is on the second floor at the top of a grand staircase.
Paine Hall is at the back of a small quadrangle behind both the Littauer building and the small, white Gannett house directly opposite the Cambridge Common.
You will find the Music Building if you walk directly through the Science Center (the building with the rock fountain out in front). Come through the front door, take a left at the information booth, and exit the Science Center. Paine Hall will be about 20 steps to your right.