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

Designers: Ambrose, William Clement, AIA, and Spencer, Eldridge T., FAIA, Associated Architects (firm); William Clement Ambrose (architect); Alton Salisbury Lee (architect); Eldridge Theodore Spencer (architect); Wesley A. Talley (architect)

Dates: constructed 1954-1955

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658 Escondido Road
Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305

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Originally designed as a dormitory for male students, Wilbur Hall was named for Ray Lyman Wilbur (1875-1949), a noted physician and the third President of Stanford University, from 1916-1943. Wilbur also remained as Stanford's President during the time he served in Herbert Hoover's Cabinet, as Secretary of the Interior, from 1929 until 1933. Wilbur was a friend of Hoover's while both attended Stanford in the mid-1890s.

Building History

Architect Alton S. Lee (1912-1996) served as the Design Principal for Wilbur Hall at Stanford University, Stanford, CA. Lee produced a plan that produced a central dining hall and offices surrounded by 8 decentralized dormitory wings. The wings included decentralized wings named Soto, Trancos, Arroyo, Cedro, Junipero, Okada, Otero and Rinconada Halls. Lee positioned courtyards to separate wings from one another and the central dining space. In this use of courtyards, Wilbur Hall's architects followed plan typologies developed in the 1890s Stanford Quad and other earlier building projects such as Branner (1923) and Toyon Halls (1923).

In 2017, Stanford University described this dormitory: "Wilbur Hall is a large residence complex - home to 707 students - consisting of eight houses which surround a central dining commons. One of the houses, Okada, is a four-class house with an Asian American cross-cultural theme. Trancos is an upperclass house. The other six houses are all-freshmen residences. Each house has a lounge, computer cluster, and other common areas, providing gathering spaces for the closely-knit communities, and all residents eat at Wilbur dining hall. The complex has breezeways that connect adjacent houses from the second and third floors and extensive laundry equipment in its basement." (See Stanford University, Residential ahd Dining Enterprises, "Wilbur Hall," accessed 10/05/2017.)

PCAD id: 619