This spring we say goodbye to one of the oldest residence halls on campus, Quadrangle (Quad). From 1919 to 2016 Quad has served as home to many on the University of Iowa campus. It's hallways, rooms and community spaces house the memories of not only students, but army veterans and naval pre-flight cadets. Join us in celebrating the rich history of Quad as we prepare to raze the building and commemorate all it had to offer.
Celebrating Quadrangle Hall
Purchase a Commemorative Brick
Secure a timeless piece of University of Iowa history by purchasing an authentic Quad brick. Whether you lived in Quadrangle Hall, ate strawberry pie "back in the day" at Quad Cafeteria, or just love to hear stories about Quad, a brick is a special way to keep those memories alive. A limited number of these authentic bricks will be available for purchase. Each brick will include a signed certificate of authenticity, a gold plaque engraved with an image of Quad Hall, along with the verbiage "Quadrangle Residence Hall, 1920-2016, The University of Iowa".
Submit a Memory
Did you live in Quadrangle Hall or have a special memory you would like to share? Email us your story at email@example.com. We will be sharing stories periodically on social media, our website and at various events.
A Brief History of Quadrangle Hall
Quadrangle was completed in 1919 at the cost of $253,282.70, but its original intent was not to be a dormitory. Due to World War I, in 1918, over 1,000 members of the Student Army Training Corps were stationed on campus, and the War Department asked the University to build temporary barracks for these men. The university agreed with the idea, but with the hope of a permanent structure that could later be used as a men’s dormitory after the war. During the 1920s Quadrangle was the largest dormitory in the country, and was a very attractive building, with its vine-encrusted brick towers and center courtyard (complemented in the summer and fall with a bright array of flowers).
Quadrangle was not just a place for men to sleep and eat—it also provided its residents with a short-order grill, barber shop, library, lounge room, post office, and later music and darkrooms. The War Department repossessed Quadrangle during World War II, housing part of the naval pre-flight cadets from 1942-45. The pre-flight programs lasted approximately two weeks, with over 10,000 “graduates” between 1942 and 1944. One of its most famous residents is probably Nile Kinnick, who lived there while stationed in Iowa City. According to Wikipedia, the first American to orbit the Earth—John Glenn—also lived in Quad when stationed with the pre-flight cadets in Iowa City. In 1963, the West section of the building was completely remodeled. By 1976, because many rooms in the East section stood vacant for a number of years due to low student demand and oversupply of dormitory housing space, the decision was made to demolish that half.
Quadrangle hasn’t undergone many changes since 1976. The main lounge was remodeled in 1981 and named after former Residence Services Director Theodore M. Rehder. In 1999, the Quadrangle Public Cafeteria closed and, for those who might remember, the beloved Strawberry Pie served there disappeared. In 2000, the Quadrangle Dining Room was closed and the newly remodeled Hillcrest Market Place began feeding all students on the West side. Today, rich in history, Quadrangle still remains one of the grand old buildings of the West campus. With demolition and some other reconfigurations within the building, it is almost back to its original 1920 occupancy, with 350 students living there. Although Quadrangle hasn’t been an actual quad-shaped facility for almost 40 years, its now-open courtyard is still a beautiful Iowa green space and attracts students to relax, recreate, and study. Its ivied walls, its courtyard, its towers, and its gates will be missed, but nothing can ever demolish the history that Quad has lived through and experienced!