Housing at the University of Chicago

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Burton-Judson Courts and Renee Granville-Grossman Residential Commons

Housing at the University of Chicago includes 12 residence halls that are divided into 38 houses. Each house has an average of 70 students. Freshmen must live on-campus, and housing is guaranteed but not required thereafter.[1] The University operates 28 apartment buildings near campus for graduate students.[2]

In 2014, 54% of undergraduates lived in college-owned housing.[3]

History[edit]

Gates-Blake and Goodspeed Halls opened in 1892 as the first residence halls for the University of Chicago. The buildings were designed by Henry Ives Cobb and served as dormitories for divinity school and graduate students.[4] The buildings feature oriels along their facades and gables along the roof line that are signs of the Chicago Gothic architecture.[5]

The first women's dorm, Foster Hall, opened in 1893. It was converted to offices in 1961-62.[4]

Organization[edit]

Programs and traditions[edit]

Residence halls[edit]

Burton–Judson Courts[edit]

Burton-Judson Courts

Burton–Judson Courts (BJ) is located at 1005 E. 60th St. and accommodates 313 students. Burton–Judson is one of the few undergraduate residences located south of the Midway Plaisance, it is a castle-like edifice built in a neo-Gothic style similar to that of the University's main quadrangles.[6] It was designed by the Philadelphia firm of Zantzinger, Borie, and Medary.[6] Burton-Judson was the first on-campus residence of eminent astronomer Carl Sagan, who lived in room 141 (See "Carl Sagan, A Life"). Burton-Judson contains six houses: Dodd-Mead, Salisbury, Linn-Mathews, Coulter, Chamberlin, and Vincent.

Campus North Residential Commons[edit]

Campus North, which occupies the previous location of Pierce Tower, was built from 2013 to 2016. With 15 floors, it has room to accommodate about 800 students and includes a dining hall.[7] The hall contains eight renamed houses of the recently closed Breckinridge, Broadview, Maclean, New Grad, and Blackstone halls. The building is one of Studio Gang Architects many recent contracts in and around the University.

International House[edit]

International House

The International House contains undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. International House is colloquially known by students as "I-House." Facing the Midway Plaisance, it was created in 1932 as a gift from John D. Rockefeller, Jr. specifically to foster relationships between students from different countries. It is notable for having housed many famous artists, scientists, and scholars connected with the university, including Langston Hughes and Enrico Fermi. Some 40,000 people have lived there since it first opened its doors. I-House Chicago is a member of International Houses Worldwide.[8]

An attempt in early 2000 by the University of Chicago administration to close the International House and convert it into a dormitory for the Business School resulted in large student protests and a class-action lawsuit against the university by International House residents. After months of negative media attention and intense public criticism by faculty, alumni, and local activists, the administration finally reversed its decision and allowed the International House to remain open. The International House subsequently embarked on a $30 million renovation project.[9]

Until autumn 2013, undergraduates lived in two houses located in the East Tower of International House, Booth and Phoenix. In autumn 2013, Thompson House and Shorey House moved to the West Tower of International House, due to Pierce Tower's closing.

In early 2016, the University announced that it would reserve International House's rooms entirely for undergraduate residents, and that it would no longer house international exchange students or graduate students for an indeterminate amount of time. This change is due to the University's sale of Breckinridge Hall, whose residents will be moved to International House in the fall of 2016.

Max Palevsky Residential Commons[edit]

Max Palevsky Residential Commons

The Max Palevsky Residential Commons is located at 1101 E. 56th St. and accommodates 712 people. The buildings were designed by Ricardo Legorreta, and opened in 2001. Dining is provided in the Bartlett Commons.[10] Three buildings constitute the Commons, sharing a common basement, while students are assigned to one of eight houses (in-dorm communities) spread amongst the buildings: Alper, Hoover, and May Houses in Max Palevsky East; Flint, Graham, and Woodward Houses in Max Palevsky Central; and Rickert and Wallace Houses in Max Palevsky West. All houses are co-ed, although Hoover maintains single-sex floors.[10]

The buildings' name recognizes alumnus Max Palevsky, who had donated $20 million to the university "to enhance the quality of residential life on campus."[11] Blair Kamin, a Chicago Tribune architectural critic, wrote after their 2002 opening that the buildings "...just [don't] come off."[12] Subsequent architectural criticism has been more favorable, finding that the buildings' layout meets the needs of the modern student body and that their colors and windows echo those of their neighbors.[13]


Renee Granville-Grossman Residential Commons[edit]

Renee Granville-Grossman Residential Commons

The Renee Granville-Grossman Residential Commons is located in Woodlawn, south of the Midway Plaisance at 6031 S. Ellis Ave. and accommodates 811 residents. Named South Campus Residence Hall when opened in 2009, the dorm was rededicated as the Renee Granville-Grossman Residential Commons in February 2015 after a $44 million donation to the university.[14] It is split into two sections, East and West, defined by a courtyard for each. The dorm contains eight college houses.[15] RGGRC West contains houses Keller, Halperin, Kenwood, and DelGiorno, while RGGRC East contains Jannotta, Cathey, Crown, and Wendt. Dining is provided in the Arley D. Cathey Dining Commons.

Snell–Hitchcock Hall[edit]

Main article: Snell–Hitchcock
Snell–Hitchcock Hall

Snell-Hitchcock Hall is located at 1009 E. 57th St., on the main campus quad, and houses 156 residents in two houses. Formally Amos Jerome Snell Hall and Charles Hitchcock Hall, more commonly known as Snell–Hitchcock or Hitchcock–Snell, was built in 1892 (Snell) and 1901 (Hitchcock). They are the oldest residence halls still in use as such on campus. Snell is built in a collegiate-Gothic style, while Hitchcock is Prairie Style inspired Gothic. The buildings both feature limestone exteriors and fireplaces, hardwood molding and trim.

Snell–Hitchcock is currently known for having a high level of community spirit and involvement, which are best displayed at the annual University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt. Also known as Scav Hunt, it marks the high point of the year for many of the inhabitants of the two dorms; as of 2012, the Snell–Hitchcock team has won 13 of the 26 hunts to date.[16] The dorm is on the northwest corner of the University's Main Quadrangles at the corner of 57th St. and Ellis Avenue. It is connected via emergency exits to Searle Chemistry Laboratory.

Hitchcock was built in 1901, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is built in a collegiate Gothic style, like Snell and most of the University of Chicago's campus, but has many Prairie School elements, such as stone corn husks instead of gargoyles and flat-roofed instead of gabled dormers.

Hitchcock is built in the European "landing" style of dormitory with five stairwells linked through the front cloister and basement, though only the basement is used now to ensure that the building is more secure. The three interior "sections" (Sections II-IV) are each built around a single staircase. Each interior Section consists of two floors of four double-rooms with a fourth floor that has two suites (doubles with a large living room and separate bedroom). Most of the rooms have non-working fireplaces. The first floor houses the apartment for the Resident Masters, a live-in faculty couple. Traditionally, each section has had a women-only and a men-only floor, with the suite floor being either single or mixed-sex depending on the desires of the residents.

Stony Island Hall[edit]

Stony Island Hall

Stony Island Hall, known simply as "Stony", is located at 5700 Stony Island Ave. and houses 77 residents, with four residents to an apartment. It was built in 1988 and has four stories. Prior to the 2010-2011 school year it was only available to upperclass students, but presumably due to the record size of the 2010-2011 incoming class, Stony Island accepted First-Year students from the classes of 2014 and 2015. There is only one college house in Stony Island Hall, Stony Island House.[17] Being relatively isolated from the rest of campus, residents of Stony are known to be very close with each other.[citation needed]

Former halls[edit]

Blackstone Hall[edit]

Blackstone Hall

Blackstone Hall, located at 5748 S. Blackstone Avenue, accommodates 79 residents. There is only one college house in Blackstone Hall, called Blackstone House. The main campus quadrangles are approximately a ten-minute walk away. The six-story building contains several lounges, a computer lab, a solarium, a fireplace, and a piano. Students reside in "half-double apartments", in which each pair of single rooms contains a shared kitchenette and bathroom. The average room is sized 12 by 12.5 feet.[18]

Blackstone Hall was designed by architect Ralph D. Huszagh, and construction was completed in 1930.[19] At the end of 1953, the University had purchased the building for use as a nurses' residence. The residents who had lived there for several years were reluctant to leave, but for the University a more pressing matter left them with no alternative. A shortage of nurses had led to a "most critical situation" in the University's expanding medical system, and the University could not acquire the badly needed nurses without additional housing.[20]

The University issued termination notices to all Blackstone residents in March 1954. Remodeling of the entire interior of the building began shortly after the tenants had left.[20] The rooms were initially constructed as hotel rooms, so the University formed apartments by connecting pairs of rooms with shared baths and kitchens. Despite the apparent urgency in Blackstone's transformation into nursing accommodations, by the end of 1954 the University continued to have difficulties with filling vacancies in the building. Blackstone was abandoned as a nurses' residence, since very few nurses had lived there.[21] Despite efforts by the housing office to fill the rooms with students, there were still vacancies for 25 student couples or 50 single women.[20]

The Housing Bureau made the rooms available for immediate occupancy at $70–75 per month ($591–634 per month in 2012 dollars), including all utilities except phone service. Laundry machines were provided in the building's utility room. The rooms were advertised first to married students without children, and no pets were allowed.[20]

In 1962, the building was transformed into a dormitory only for single undergraduate women. In 1966, University officials proposed renovations to reverse the "shabbiness" and deterioration seen in older buildings such as Blackstone. Repairs were needed for broken panes of glass, leaking windows, and cracked paint and plaster. Fundamental renovations were also needed for the electrical and heating systems. Damage caused by the electrical repairs and plastering required complete redecorating of almost the entire building.[21]

Breckinridge Hall[edit]

The front of Breckinridge house

Breckinridge Hall is at 1442 East 59th Street. It accommodates approximately 95 residents[22] plus two RAs and an RH family. There is only one college house in Breckinridge Hall, called Breckinridge House. As one of the smaller dormitories on campus, but one of the largest houses, it is home to undergraduates, though it served graduate students in the past. Approximately two-thirds of the rooms are single residence rooms.[citation needed]

In 1898, Ina Law Robertson, an Oregon schoolteacher studying at the University of Chicago, founded "Eleanor Club"[23] to offer affordable housing for employed, single women.[24] The Eleanor Club was very similar to YWCAs.[25][26] Robertson eventually built six residences, with this one being designed by Schmidt, Garden and Martin and opened in 1916.[27] The building was purchased by the University of Chicago in 1968.[24] The proceeds of the sale created an endowment that funds grants for Chicago women and girls in need of financial assistance.[23] The University then named the building after Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge, who was the Dean of the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy, the University of Chicago's first graduate school of social work.[27] Breckinridge was also the first woman to graduate from the law school of the University of Chicago.

Broadview Hall[edit]

Broadview Hall

Broadview Hall is at 5540 S. Hyde Park Blvd. and accommodates 200 residents. Originally built as a hotel, as a dormitory it is organized into three "houses": Wick (the 2nd and 3rd floors), Talbot (the 4th and 5th floors), and Palmer (the 6th and 7th floors).[28] Most rooms are single with private baths.[29] Broadview is about a 20-minute walk from the main campus.[30]

Maclean Hall[edit]

Maclean Hall

Pronounced "muh-klayn," Maclean Hall is located at 5445 S. Ingleside Ave. and accommodates 98 residents (94 in singles, 4 in two doubles), in one house called Maclean House. Although it is part of the university campus, it is located in a different ZIP code (60615) from the rest of campus and is not featured on most campus maps despite being only one block North of the Gerald Ratner Athletics Center. The four-story building, originally built as a parish retirement home, was acquired by the university and renovated in 1991.[31] Maclean Hall features the most common space of any house in the Housing System, including a full commercial kitchen that residents may use, a large central lounge and dining room, a solarium, a basement game room and an assembly room with a 15' projector wall. It is named for Norman Maclean, a University of Chicago professor and author of the novel A River Runs Through It.

New Graduate Residence Hall[edit]

New Graduate Residence Hall

New Graduate Residence Hall, commonly called New Grad, is located at 1307 East 60th Street. It currently accommodates 200 undergraduates in three houses, Midway House, Henderson House, and Tufts House. Both Henderson and Tufts Houses originally occupied Pierce Hall, but with its closure and demolition in 2013, they migrated to New Grad.

Pierce Tower[edit]

A view of Pierce Tower from Henry Crown Field

Pierce Tower was located at 5514 S. University Ave. and accommodated 250 residents. It stood 10 stories high.[32] All of its houses were co-ed.[33] More formally known as Stanley R. Pierce Hall,[34] it was constructed during the 1950s and completed in 1960 at a cost of $2,400,000.[34][35][36] Its architect was Harry Weese of Harry Weese & Associates.[34] The journal Architectural Record described it as a "major breakthrough on the anti-slab front"; built while Hyde Park was undergoing urban renewal, it was also described as a fortress.[34][37] It was designed to connect to a twin building, which was never built.[34] Stanley R. Pierce, a fullback for the Chicago Maroons who had gone on to a career as a broker, had willed the university $800,000.[36] The money proved somewhat difficult to locate. Pierce had left a variety of clues that led to the discovery of buried gold coins.[37]

In 1970 the Gay Liberation Front sponsored one of the first openly announced same-sex mixers in Chicago at the dormitory.[38]

Pierce contained four residential houses: Tufts House, Henderson, Thompson, and Shorey.[39]

Pierce was dismantled during the second half of 2013.[40] The four current houses have temporarily been moved to other dorms until a new residence hall is built, which may or may not go by the name of Pierce.[41]

Shoreland Hall[edit]

Shoreland Hall
See also: Shoreland Hotel

The Shoreland is a former hotel that was added to the United States National Register of Historic Places in 1986. It was a residence hall of the University of Chicago as Shoreland Hall but was retired after the 2008-2009 school year.

Shoreland Hall consisted of the following residential houses: Faller (floors 1,2,3), Bishop, Dewey, Michelson, Fishbein, Compton, Hale, Filbey, Bradbury and Dudley.

Woodward Court[edit]

Woodward Court was a residential hall on the campus of the University of Chicago. It consisted of six houses—Upper and Lower Flint, Rickert, and Wallace. Designed by architect Eero Saarinen,[42] Woodward was constructed between 1957 and 1958. The dorm was demolished in 2001, replaced by the Charles M. Harper Center of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. It was on E. 58th St. between S. Kimbark and S. Woodlawn Avenues, affording residents views of Robie House and Rockefeller Chapel.[43]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Halls & Houses". The University of Chicago. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "About Graduate Housing". Retrieved July 24, 2009. 
  3. ^ "University Of Chicago Student Life". US News & World Report. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Historic Timeline". University of Chicago Housing. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  5. ^ Pridmore, Jay; Kair, Peter (2006). University of Chicago: The Campus Guide. Princeton Architectural Press. p. 44. ISBN 1568984472. 
  6. ^ a b Jay Pridmore; Peter Kiar (2006-02-02). The University of Chicago: an architectural tour. p. 106. ISBN 9781568984476. Retrieved 2010-03-23. 
  7. ^ "Campus North Residential Commons". Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  8. ^ "International Houses Worldwide". 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2009. 
  9. ^ "Reversal of I-House fortunes: Building, programs to stay". The University of Chicago Magazine. June 2000. Retrieved 18 August 2009. 
  10. ^ a b Max Palevsky Residential Commons
  11. ^ "Pledge of $20 million from Max Palevsky to enhance residential life". University of Chicago. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  12. ^ "Chicago 101 - Architecture". The Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  13. ^ Jay Pridmore; Peter Kiar (2006). The University of Chicago: an architectural tour. Princeton Architectural Press. p. 169. ISBN 9781568984476. 
  14. ^ "Renee Granville-Grossman Residential Commons". Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  15. ^ "Renee Granville-Grossman Residential Commons". Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  16. ^ "Scav Hunt Results". 
  17. ^ "Stony Island Hall". Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  18. ^ "Blackstone Hall". Office of Undergraduate Student Housing, University of Chicago. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  19. ^ "Blackstone Hall". Photographic Archive. University of Chicago. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  20. ^ a b c d University of Chicago. Office of the President. Kimpton Administration. Records, Box 51, Folders 1 and 5, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.
  21. ^ a b University of Chicago. Office of the President. Beadle Administration. Records, Box 370, Folder 2, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library
  22. ^ "Breckenridge Hall". The College of the University of Chicago. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  23. ^ a b "The Eleanor's Women Foundation". Archived from the original on 2001-12-04. Retrieved 2013-12-09.  "Eleanor's Club". Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  24. ^ a b http://breck.comli.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=6&Itemid=53 Retrieved 2010-03-27.
  25. ^ Jeanne Catherine Lawrence (2000). Chicago's Eleanor Clubs: Housing Working Women in the Early Twentieth Century. Vernacular Architecture Forum. JSTOR 3514415. 
  26. ^ Lisa M. Fine (Spring 1986). "Between Two Worlds: Business Women in a Chicago Boarding House 1900-1930". Journal of Social History. 19 (3): 511–519. JSTOR 3787862. 
  27. ^ a b http://photofiles.lib.uchicago.edu/db.xqy?show=browse2.xml%7C30 Retrieved 2010-03-27.
  28. ^ University of Chicago Virtual Dorm Tour: Broadview (Basic Stats)
  29. ^ University of Chicago Virtual Dorm Tour: Broadview (Typical Room)
  30. ^ University of Chicago Virtual Dorm Tour: Broadview (Location)
  31. ^ "Maclean House". Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  32. ^ "Pierce Hall". Emporis. Retrieved 2010-03-23. 
  33. ^ Pierce Tower
  34. ^ a b c d e Alice Sinkevitch, American Institute of Architects. Chicago Chapter, Chicago Architecture Foundation (2004). AIA guide to Chicago. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 450. ISBN 978-0-15-602908-7. 
  35. ^ University of Chicago Prospective Students Advisory Committee. "University of Chicago Virtual Dorm Tour." Retrieved on 2008-07-29.
  36. ^ a b "Stanley R. Pierce Hall". University of Chicago Archival Photographic Files. Retrieved 2010-03-23. 
  37. ^ a b Jay Pridmore; Peter Kiar (2006). The University of Chicago: an architectural tour. Princeton Architectural Press. p. 163. ISBN 978-1-56898-447-6. 
  38. ^ "Hyde Park & Kenwood Issue: Dance for Your Rights". The Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2010-03-23. 
  39. ^ University of Chicago Housing & Dining Services. "Profiles - University of Chicago Housing & Dining Services." Retrieved on 2008-07-29.
  40. ^ "Pierce Tower Demolition". University of Chicago - Facilities Services. Archived from the original on March 15, 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-15. 
  41. ^ http://chicagomaroon.com/2012/11/13/residents-to-be-relocated-after-official-close-of-pierce-in-june-2013/
  42. ^ Franz Schulze; Kevin Harrington. Chicago's Famous Buildings: Fifth Edition. Retrieved 2010-03-23. 
  43. ^ The University of Chicago Magazine: December 2001, Campus News

External links[edit]