Four copper gargoyles from 1878 sit overlooking Memorial Hall on thin turrets at each corner of the building. A classic feature of gothic architecture, gargoyles have both aesthetic and functional purposes, usually serving as decoration for drainpipes. With their open mouths and scowling faces, Memorial Hall's gargoyles hold true to both gothic aesthetics and tradition, originally diverting rainwater away from the building's facade.
In 1956, the top portion of Memorial Hall's tower was ruined by a fire. One of the four gargoyles was destroyed; another fell from the tower but survived. Previously preserved by the Fogg Museum, where it used to be hung out of the museum's second story at Commencement, it is now displayed at the Queen's Head Pub in the lower level of Memorial Hall.
The two other gargoyles also survived the fire and have remained in their perch. The whole tower was restored in 2000 to its original design, including the four gargoyles that sit atop the edifice today.
The edifice of the building is also decorated with several portrait busts of notable orators, thinkers, and scholars. They are set around the dome of Sanders Theater, and include: