Campus Tour: Halloway Suites

-July 10th, 2013

Earlier in our campus tour we stopped by the Danford Male Dormitory, so it’s only fair that today we take a look at the Halloway Suites female dorm. Standing here on the sidewalk, the differences couldn’t be more any more plain. While Danford is a modern, five story building, Halloway is more like a vintage Queen Anne-style, two-story bed and breakfast.

Halloway is the oldest standing building on campus, having been built in the 1890s to serve as the only dormitory in a time before the school accepted male students. Of course no matter how well built, few buildings of that age can claim to be completely untouched. Over the years remodeling included the addition of indoor plumbing, electricity, a new wing for a larger kitchen and dining area, air conditioning, and much more.

Sadly, by the mid 1990s Halloway was in terrible  condition and universally scorned by female students. Although many people called for the building to be bulldozed and a female version of the Danford dorm built in its lot, history buffs rallied a few wealthy alumni to save the grand old home. With their sponsorship, campus officials hired an architectural preservationist to oversee a major renovation.

Over the next 24 months contractors tore out much of the shoddy or gaudy additions (including–I kid you not–moldy green shag carpet) and restored old Halloway to its original architectural glory. During this period, rumors surfaced that construction workers made more than a few unexpected discoveries such as a “weird design” under some wallpaper and an “unusual symbol” painted on the wooden floor hidden beneath some carpet. One construction worker even claims to have found human remains inside a wall, but campus officials insist that what he was were bones from a trapped an animal.

Regardless of any idiosyncrasies uncovered during renovation, the preservationists did a marvelous job of erasing all signs of Halloway’s bumpy past and restoring it to its former glory. When completed, the building featured beautifully restored wooden floors, comfortable private suites, modest but classical bathrooms, fire safety features, and a state-of-the-art security system. After its grand reopening Halloway skyrocketed from the butt of jokes to the most sought-after female dorm on campus. At only 24 rooms, it is the most exclusive and expensive dorm on campus.

Those ladies lucky enough to be residents of Halloway Suites tend to be an extremely tight-knit group. Sadly, that has lead to unkind things said out of jealousy.  Depending on who you talk to, students have claimed that Halloway is haunted, that the residents are witches, or that an invitation to Halloway requires membership in an all-female secret society.

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