The second-oldest building on the Washington State’s campus, Stevens Hall was built in 1895 and 1896. The building is a women’s residence hall and was named for Isaac Stevens, the first territorial governor of Washington. Stevens Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the oldest operating residence hall west of the Mississippi.
Stevens Hall, a women’s residence
hall, is the second-oldest building on the Washington State campus. It was
built in 1895 and 1896 and has been in continuous ever since, aside from a
year-long closure in the 1950s for remodeling.
In its early years, Stevens was
the social center of the campus, and hosted numerous dinners, receptions, and
events for visiting state officials. Stevens is known for its tradition of
afternoon tea, which is apparently nearly as old as the building itself. In the
building’s foyer are numerous glass cases containing dozens of tea cups, many
of which were donated by former Stevens residents. It’s customary among former
residents to donate cups following major life events, like a marriage or the
birth of a child.
In addition to its teacups,
Stevens also holds numerous other reminders of the building’s long history.
Stevens is home to a baby grand piano which was donated in the early 1900s with
the stipulation that it never be used to play jazz. The building also contains
a hand-carved grandfather clock, a gift to Stevens by male students from Old
Ferry Hall in the 1800s as an apology for a “panty raid” which resulted in the destruction
of some of the Stevens furniture. And
like more than a few college residence halls across the country, Stevens is
also said to be home to a ghost.
The building is listed on the
National Register of Historic Places.