Structure Type: built works - dwellings - housing - student housing

Designers: Clark, W.G., Construction Company (firm); Mahlum Architects, Incorporated (firm); W. G. Clark (building contractor); Edward Kristian Mahlum (architect); David Swenson (architect)

Dates: constructed 2010-2012

6 stories

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NE Campus Parkway and Brooklyn Avenue NE
University District, Seattle, WA

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This L-shaped dormitory, one of the five dormitories names for trees on the west side of the UW Campus, was notable for being formed around an existing elm tree. This tree was a tall and elegant specimen, one of the last remaining at UW. It was felled by Dutch Elm Disease in 2020.

Building History

Elm Hall, an L-shaped building formed around a mature elm tree, was one of four dormitories built between 2010-2012. Elm and Alder Halls were finished at about the same time, about a year after Cedar and Poplar Halls completed in 07/2011 and 08/2011 respectively. Elm had 433 rooms on 6 floors, most rooms being double-occupancy with a shared shower. In size, Alder Hall was the largest at 589 rooms, Elm next, Cedar with 344 and Poplar with 270. In total, this provided 1,636 new student rooms, creating a new source of revenue for the University of Washington, hard-hit by state cut-backs in funding following the serious recession of 2008. W.G. Clark served as the General Contractor for Elm Hall. In two phases, the UW hoped to add 3,000 beds to its dormitory capacity between 2010-2015. UW administrators located all of these new projects on the west side of campus, creating a whole student neighborhood in a very short time. These dorms provided a new revenue source for the cash-strapped university, appealing particularly to affluent new students from abroad.

Building Notes

Work on Elm Hall began in 01/2011 and was finished in 07/2012. The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Washington gave the W.G. Clark Construction Company a 2013 Build Washington Award in the Public Building $25-$50 Million Category for its construction of Elm Hall.

As can be seen in the Google Maps/Street View satellite image from 2022, a mature 65-foot-tall elm tree around which Elm Hall was formed had been removed by that time. This majestic tree, with its long, spreading branches, stood where the round brown spot remained in the photograph. It died of Dutch Elm Disease, a microfungal malady spread by elm bark beetles, was removed during the COVID 19 Epidemic on 08/12/2020. Dutch Elm Disease began to decimate American elm populations during the 1950s and remained a threat seventy years later. Another significant elm tree on campus, located on the south end of Memorial Way, to the east of the flagpole was cut down in 2011.

PCAD id: 17795