Christopher Hail

Christopher Hail, 76, of Rockport, MA, died on Tuesday June 17, 2014, after courageously and gracefully living with cancer. Born in Cheyenne, Wyoming on June 15, 1938, he was the son of Col. Clebert and Martha Hail of Sausalito, CA. He is survived by his sisters Carolyn Morton and Leslie Hail, both of Sausalito, CA, and Linda Godlis of Santa Barbara. He leaves his beloved friends Vreni Merriam of Venice, CA, Thomas and Miranda McIntosh, of Hadleigh, England and Eleanor and James King of Rockport, MA. and many loving cousins, nieces and nephews across the country. Finally, he leaves his spouse and partner of 42 years, Michael D. O’Connor of Rockport, MA. Chris was a career librarian at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard until his retirement in 1988. He is the author/compiler of Cambridge Buildings and Architects, available at: This is one of the most comprehensive histories of the architecture of an American city. He musicality was expressed every day at the piano and by his scholarly website on the music of the composer Domenico Scarlatti at: Services will be private. The family requests that Chris be remembered instead with donations made in his memory to: Rockport Music, 37 Main St., Rockport, MA 01966. His life was music, he himself was a symphony of a man, so let his music live on at Rockport Music.


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5 Condolences

  1. Barry Ife on January 8, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    I was shocked and saddened to read that Christopher had died. I did not know him but I knew and admired his work on Scarlatti. It was while trying to access his monumental website earlier today that I realised something was amiss. What has happened to all that work? Can someone direct me to this fount of all knowledge now that Verizon have deleted it? My sincere condolences to his family and friends.
    Prof Barry Ife
    Guildhall School of Music and Drama

  2. Alex on March 23, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    I did not know Christopher personally, nor have I ever corresponded with him. But through his passion and love for Scarlatti that he demonstrated with his website, I was drawn to his work and dedication. So I was very sad to discover Christopher had passed after having looked to see if he was still around. Fortunately, even though his website is no longer live, the Internet Archive has captured the latest version of his website, so his work can not be left to be forgotten. This can be accessed at My condolences for family and friends of Christopher.

  3. Agueda Pedrero on December 20, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Estoy muy afectada porque acabo de descubrir la triste noticia, al buscar su famosa página sobre Scarlatti. Habíamos intercambiado correos hace un par de años y me pareció una persona muy amable, generosa, siempre dispuesto a ayudar y colaborar. Me sorprendió la cantidad de información recogida en su trabajo, espero que se pueda seguir consultando, creo que es ese es el mejor homenaje que podemos hacerle.
    Mi más sentido pésame a toda su familia y amigos,
    Prof. Pedrero

  4. Brad Bellows on October 14, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    I met Chris as a student in the Architecture department at Princeton and again at GSD, where he was always helpful and a good guy. Many years later I was astonished to discover his incredible archive of Cambridge architecture, not just the many famous buildings, but every single structure built in the city, an almost inconceivable example of tenacious and dedicated scholarship that has become indispensable, and to my knowledge is without equal. This attention to the modest and often anonymous background structures that make our city is quite remarkable. I regret never having had the the chance to thank Chris personally.

  5. Anne Dane on February 26, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    Chris and Michael were neighbors across the hall from the time I first moved to Cambridge in 1985 until they moved to Cape Ann. Quiet, self effacing, friendly, helpful, and very, very, very nice. I am sorry to hear that he is no longer with us.

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