Yale Fence

The architectural relief of the Old Yale Fence, on the College Street side of Bingham Hall, depicts a time when a fence divided the Yale yard from New Haven, a fence which served as the incubator of the “manly democracy of Yale life.”

In 1888, the fight to save the fence in the face of Yale’s expansion quickly turned vicious. One alum even wrote that, if the men were no longer guarding the corner, “ladies will undoubtedly begin to tread the sidewalk of the campus side of Chapel Street, so long left sacred to the students and men generally.” The students didn’t lose their fence altogether, however. Replicas exist on Old Campus and in the photographs of Yale athletes—male and female—hanging all over campus.