Originally built in 1827, the Chase House was occupied by several prominent local families until established as a school for girls by Mary A Burnham in the 1870s. The Burnham school was incorporated into Smith College as a campus house in 1968 and named for Mary Ellen Chase, an accomplished writer and Professor of English Literature at Smith. Chase House provides housing for senior class students only, making Chase a specialty house. Chase is one of the few houses on campus that is a specialty house.
Currently, Chase has 56 single rooms; three living/sitting rooms (the formal living room, the middle room and the "red" room where the TV is located). The house was completely renovated in the summer of 1996. Renovations included: an elevator that is shared with Duckett house, new furniture, renovated kitchenette, handicapped accessible bathrooms and student rooms, new fixtures, new bathrooms, laundry room on the first floor and a renovated dining room. This dining room is shared with Duckett residents and Dawes residents. On the weekends, Northrop or Gillett House dines in Chase-Duckett Dining Room. Chase House sponsors a variety of teas and special dinners throughout the year inviting faculty, administrators and staff.