Middle Earth Housing

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The Middle Earth housing complex, with other student housing in the background

Middle Earth is a student housing complex at the University of California, Irvine[1][2] that houses approximately 1,690 students in 24 residence halls. The names of the halls and other facilities were selected from J.R.R. Tolkien's legendarium.[3]

A dormitory in Middle Earth

Middle Earth is located along Ring Road, toward the core of the university's campus. The residence halls were built in three consecutive phases, beginning in 1974;[2][4] the last phase was completed in the early 2000s.[citation needed] The first phase was designed by William Pereira.[5]


  1. ^ "The Dorms of Middle Earth", File 770, February 26, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Spangenberg, Lisa L. (2013), "Technological subcultures: Reception of Tolkien", in Drout, Michael D. C., J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment, Routledge, pp. 636–637, ISBN 9781135880347, Tolkien's popularity is not limited to scientists and engineers: it runs deeply and widely in academia. Between 1974 and 1990 twenty dorms were built at the University of California at Irvine and named after places in Middle-earth.
  3. ^ McCulloch, Samuel Clyde (1996), Instant university: the history of the University of California, Irvine, 1957-93, University of California, Irvine, p. 146, In September [1974], a new student residence cluster named Middle Earth after the mythical land of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings novel opened for 350 students.
  4. ^ "350 Students Now live in 'Middle Earth'", Los Angeles Times, October 13, 1974.
  5. ^ "Middle Earth (I)". Anteater Chronicles. University of California, Irvine Libraries. Retrieved 2016-09-14.

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Coordinates: 33°38′41″N 117°50′17″W / 33.6447°N 117.838°W / 33.6447; -117.838