Whittemore House, which has served as Washington University’s Faculty Conference Center since 1969, was one of two neighboring homes commissioned by St. Louis businessman Henry Haarstick. These homes were constructed as residences for each of his daughters, at a cost of $47,049 each. In 1912, both the Whittemore House and 6420 Forsyth (Harbison House, also known as the Chancellor’s residence) were built. Oscar and Ida Herf resided in the Whittemore House. They were designed by James P. Jamieson, who was also the architect of the Alumni House, formerly the home of Robert S. Brookings, and who had worked on Washington University’s master plan as a member of the firm of Cope and Stewardson.

Henry Haarstick emigrated to St. Louis from Germany. He became Vice President of the St. Louis Trust Co. and the St. Louis Union Bank, was in the distillery business for some time, and inaugurated the shipping of grain in bulk from St. Louis to Europe via New Orleans. He was active in many civic organizations and was noted for his generous contributions to charitable and benevolent institutions.

The second floor of Whittemore House was planned so that Mr. and Mrs. Haarstick would live at the eastern end (a sitting room, bath, bedroom, and dressing room) while the Herfs, who had no children, lived in their own suite at the western end. When Ida Herf died in 1924, she willed the house to her niece and two nephews, with the provision that her husband would stay there for the remainder of his life. After Oscar Herf’s death in 1928, Henry Haarstick Whittemore purchased his brother’s and sister’s shares and lived there until his death in 1960. His widow, Emma Whittemore, donated the house to Washington University in 1966 to be used for faculty conferences and dining.

Remodeling began in 1967 with an addition of approximately 7,800 square feet for a dining room and a kitchen. Many of the furnishings and art work were donated by members and friends of the University. The Whittemore House opened as a Faculty Conference Center on December 5, 1969, and membership has grown to about 1,400. Meeting room and dining rooms are available to members and their guests for breakfast, lunch and special events. 

The Whittemore House was recently renovated in 2013 to provide enhanced conferencing capabilities and a more updated and modern look for it’s members.