Middle Earth Housing

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A dormitory in Middle Earth

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 The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.[3] The halls are divided into six clusters or theme areas of four halls and offer classes associated with their names.[4]


There is a basketball court, beach volleyball court, and a game room (Brandywine Student Center) for activities including pool, air hockey, foosball, Rockband on the Nintendo Wii, and ping pong, all of which are open only to Middle Earth residents. The community also has a trained staff that includes: Resident Advisors (one per hall), Community Council Board, Community Programmers, Professional Staff and Middle Earth Assistants.[citation needed]

Middle Earth also has two dining commons, Brandywine (located near Brandywine Student Center) and Pippin (located near Middle Earth Housing Office). When compared to the dining common in Mesa Court, Mesa Commons is larger to accommodate more people; because of that Mesa Court only has one dining common instead of two like Middle Earth.[citation needed]

Middle Earth is located along Ring Road, toward the core of the campus. The residence halls were built in three consecutive phases, beginning in 1974;[5][2] the last phase was completed in the early 2000s. The newer phases have larger rooms and elevators but are located farther from the main campus. Phase two and three dorms have three floors, while the phase one dorms have two.

Each hall has a common room with a TV, full kitchen, a study room, and card operated laundry facilities.[4]

List of halls[edit]

  • Aldor
  • Balin
  • Calmindon
  • Crickhollow
  • Elrond
  • Evenstar
  • Gondolin
  • Grey Havens
  • Harrowdale
  • Hobbiton
  • Isengard
  • Lorien
  • Mirkwood
  • Misty Mountain
  • Oakenshield
  • Quenya
  • Rivendell
  • Rohan
  • Shadowfax
  • Snowbourne
  • The Shire
  • Whispering Wood
  • Woodhall
  • Valimar


  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 trilogy The Lord of the Rings opened for 350 students. 
  4. ^ a b "UCI Student Housing". Retrieved 2010-01-23.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  5. ^ "350 Students Now live in 'Middle Earth'", Los Angeles Times, October 13, 1974 .

External links[edit]

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