What You'll Find Here
- Residence hall rooms
As World War I progressed, the military became increasingly short of recruits and eventually established the Student Army Training Corps to combine military and academic training of college students for the formation of officers. These student recruits swarmed to the University of Iowa, overwhelming its ability to house them. President Walter P. Jessup (1916–1934) combined funds from the War Department (intended for the construction of wooden barracks) with state money to build the Quadrangle dormitory. Students referred to the project as “Jessup’s Folly” since the war ended before it could be completed. After opening, however, this facility became a model for residence life on campus. In the 1920s and 1930s it was largely self-governing, and its students often earned the highest GPAs on campus.
Quadrangle Residence Hall is an example of Collegiate Gothic, as are most of the other early buildings west of the river. Originally a closed quadrangle with four entry pavilions—one in the middle of each side—it was reduced to about two-thirds its original size when the disused northeast quadrant was razed in 1975. The entry at the west side of Quadrangle is topped by a crenellated parapet wall, appropriately communicating its original military function and proximity to the Armory (razed in 1989). Brick reliefs on the entry pavilion’s side bays bring medieval spur buttresses to mind, and the passageways are framed in limestone. Some of the entry pavilions have heraldic shields at the top. The west pavilion, which faces the direction of the Armory, has a limestone-trimmed monumental portal and stretched limestone window lintels and sills to suggest the letter “I.”
The building is accessible to persons with disabilities. This guide will address only the public areas of the building. For more information contact University Housing at (319) 335-3000.