Quigley’s future uncertain

University officials said they are still unsure what will occupy the Quigley’s building nine months after the geography department vacated it. The two-story building is located at 21st and G streets across from the University Police Department.

Although plans for Quigley’s are still in the conceptual phase, officials said they would consult the Student Association Dining Services Commission in formulating plans for the building’s future.

“The University is interested in exploring concepts for venues that will provide outstanding products, quality service and a gathering place for members of the GW community,” said Michele Beamer, project manager for the University’s Office of Business and Operations.

In previous interviews, University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg said he envisioned a 24-hour food venue for Quigley’s but would not discuss specific plans for the building in an interview last week.

“Our plans for the future of Quigley’s are still highly speculative, very contingent and absolutely undecided,” Trachtenberg recently said.

Some students and Foggy Bottom residents have asked for a hardware store to be put in Quigley’s, said Trachtenberg, who did not say whether he supported that idea.

Junior Ryan Geist, director of the SA’s Dining Services Commission, said he has not met with officials to talk about Quigley’s but added that discussions “may start soon.”

Geist said a number of venue ideas for the building have been floated around, including an ice cream shop and a hardware store.

The building’s long and unique history began in 1891, when GW alumnus Richard Lucien Quigley opened Quigley’s Pharmacy. In the early 1900s, it transformed into a soda shop and served as a student gathering area into the early 1970s. In 1974, the University bought Quigley’s and converted it into an office building.

This February, the geography department left Quigley’s for more spacious and newer offices in the 1957 E Street building.

Some SA senators said they would like to see something other than a dining venue occupy Quigley’s.

“Dining, especially with all the new off-campus partners, is something that I do not think needs to be expanded on campus,” said Sen. Ben Traverse (U-CCAS). “Looking into other alternatives is setting us down the right track,”

Sen. Anyah Dembling (U-ESIA) said she would like to see Quigley’s become a University art museum.

“Rotating exhibits by students, combined with an exhibit about the history of the University, would be interesting and would give student artists a unique area to display their talents,” she said.

“I do believe that 24-hour dining is an option that the University ought to provide,” she added. “I do not think that Quigley’s Pharmacy would be the best location.”

Some students said Quigley’s should not be used for academic purposes and should be converted into a facility that will benefit the entire GW community.

Junior Becca Valle said, “It would be nice if they turned it into an ice cream parlor.”

Michael Barnett and Gabriel Okolski contributed to this report.

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