Both Harbison House and Whittemore House were designed by James P. Jamieson, former W.U. campus architect. The houses, both built in 1912, were commissioned by Henry Haarstick as homes for his two daughters: Harbison House for Clinton and Emma Haarstick Whittemore, and Whittemore House for Oscar and Ida Haarstick Herf.
Ida Herf died in 1924 and willed Whittemore House to her niece and two nephews, with the provision that her husband would have the right to live there as long as he lived. After Oscar Herf's death in 1928, one of the nephews, Henry Haarstick Whittemore, purchased his sister's and brother's shares and lived in Whittemore House until his death in 1960. His widow, Mrs. Henry (Emma) Whittemore, donated the house to Washington University in 1966. Remodeling began in 1967 and Whittemore House was opened as an Alumni Club on December 5, 1969. The Harbison House was given to Washington University by the children of Clinton and Emma Whittemore in 1958.