Construction crews late last month demolished Staughton Hall – a yellow-hued, brick building tucked behind Gelman Library that formerly served as a women’s residence hall and naval research center – after standing on the 700 Block of 22nd Street for more than a century.
Officials applied for a permit to demolish the property and convert it into a green space last July as part of the University’s 15-year-old plans to develop the site, which the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs approved the next month. A University spokesperson said necessary precautions before demolition, like asbestos removal and plumbing and gas inspections, were underway in late January.
“While a timeline has not been developed for a new building, Staughton Hall has been vacant for many years, and the site is well suited for additional green space until the redevelopment occurs,” the spokesperson said in an email in January.
The building was constructed in 1916 and served as the Madeira apartment building until 1942, when the University bought the property, painted the building white, and renamed it Staughton Hall. Officials housed only male students in the building in the year following, but then converted Staughton Hall to an only-female dormitory in 1943, housing 80 to 100 women in the building for the next seven years.
Staughton Hall closed as a dormitory in 1950 and officials used the property for U.S. Army and Navy research for over 20 years, before the University moved the Engineering Administrative Offices to the building in 1976. Officials administered the Department of Defense Science and Engineering Apprentice Programs from the building ten years later in 1986.
Henry Huvos contributed reporting.