Thurston Hall (official name Mabel Thurston) is a co-ed student residence hall on the Foggy Bottom campus at 1900 F St. hosting 1,116 freshman students.


Thurston Hall


Thurston Hall is located in the south-eastern part of the Foggy Bottom campus, near Mitchell Hall and around the bend from the Elliott School Building. Thurston Hall is the closest residence hall to the White House, being situated only four blocks away.


Thurston Hall from above

Building and Room StructureEdit

Thurston Hall consists of 9 floors and one basement of 4 hallways per floor in a square configuration. Rooms are single-sex; floors are co-ed.

Breakdown of available room types:

  • 16% of residents will reside in doubles
  • 13% of residents will reside in triples
  • 55% of residents will reside in quads
  • 3% of residents will reside in fives
  • 12% of residents will reside in sixes

For the floorplan of specific Thurston rooms, visit

Amenities and FeaturesEdit

  • TV Lounge and Piano Room on the first floor and large study room in the basement
  • Laundry facilities per floor
  • Room specific: Study area with desk and chairs, private bathroom, twin long beds (bunkable), microfridge, cable tv capabilities, individual high speed internet, and individual phone line.


(the following comes from the GW Hatchet article "Within These Walls", written in 2003 by Liz Bartolomeo, found at


Mabel Nelson Thurston, first GW female graduate

Since 1930, a large building has dominated the corner of 19th and F streets. Formerly the Park Central apartments, GW purchased the building in 1963 to make it an all-female residence hall called the Superdorm. From 1964 to 1972, the hall housed all of the University's female residents. It provided beds for over 900 students.

The first residents of the Superdorm had to comply with the University's dress code for women. Not only were "girls not to be in the lounge or lobby in shorts, jeans, slacks or similar attire," but the campus provided a chart that clearly listed what women could and could not wear, according to a 1964 pamphlet put out by the Office of the Dean of Women. Informal dances - better known as fraternity parties - required a tailored dress or sweater and skirt, while cultural events mandated a tailored suit or date dress, gloves, optional hat and heels.

The building was officially named Mabel Nelson Thurston Hall in 1967, after GW's first female undergraduate. Thurston was admitted to the then-named Columbian University in 1888, but she didn't take classes with other students because she was considered a distraction to the male students, according to University archives. Instead, she had to see her professors for her assignments.

The 1972-73 school year marked the introduction of coed housing for GW, with Thurston, Mitchell, Madison and Crawford halls housing men and women. But even before the mixing of the sexes, Thurston was a place of scandal and controversy.

On September 30, 1968, a group of student protesters staged a "love-in" in one of the lounges to protest the enforcement of the University's midnight curfew for males and non-residents, according to the book "From Strength to Strength." The book highlights the history of the University, including interesting events at Thurston. The students posted a sign that read, "This lounge has been liberated."

In 1971, Thurston residents hung a banner outside the residence that featured a picture of a penis to protest the war in Vietnam. The banner was just one of the frequent disputes between Thurston residents and the neighboring Embassy of Uruguay - now home of the University Club.

House StaffEdit

There are 18 House Proctors that reside in Thurston and two community directors assigned to the house.

House ThemeEdit

The first four floors of Thurston Hall (commonly referred to as "lower Thurston") are designated as the Culture and Arts House. The top five floors of Thurston Hall (commonly referred to as "upper Thurston") are designated as the Politics and Public Policy House and also serve the Honors, SEAS, Politics and Values, and Substance Free communities. Both lower Thurston and Upper Thurston house freshmen of all majors.

(The following is taken from

The Culture and Arts House at Thurston: Residents of the Culture and Arts House have the unique opportunity to live closely amongst other students who have similar interests in the visual arts, creative writing, performing arts, culinary arts, art history, ethnic diversity and cultural exploration. Many play musical instruments, dance, watch movies from different cultures, cook ethnic foods, sing, and experience the diverse D.C. community together. The Culture and Arts House is a place for students’ talents and interests to flourish within an artistic community alongside their peers.

Politics and Public Policy House at Thurston In a setting situated just four blocks from the White House, the Politics and Public Policy House at Thurston provides first-year students with the opportunity to engage their interests in politics through lobbying, debate, law, and campaigning. Students with an interest in political systems and the people behind the authority and power of politics will thrive in this environment.


Thurston is one of two residence halls at GW that has a University Police Officer stationed in the lobby 24/7 (the other is Potomac House).

UPD officers patrol the halls of Thurston every few hours, more so on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

There are video cameras in every corner of Thurston that look down each of the 4 hallways.


  • Thurston is held to be an example of the true freshman experience. Over a thousand freshmen crammed into one building can cause more than a little stress, but often gives each resident an experience they will never forget.


  • Due to the large number of freshman students, noise is a constant issue. Additionally, 3 elevators serving 9 floors make the stairs about the only reasonable option during busy transit times.
    IMG 0157

    Student being Emerged in front of Thurston Hall

  • Although a 6 person room comes with far more space than other rooms, sharing one bathroom with five other people comes at a great inconvience.
  • Because of Thurston's reputation, University Police patrol the hallways every half hour. This can be considered a pro or con, depending what your outlook is.
  • Rooms differ in their furniutre. Some rooms come with newer beds, dressers, chairs; while others have broken or missing furniture.
  • ....

Other factsEdit

External LinksEdit