Driscoll and Morrison Halls
1607 W. Cesar Chavez Lane
Boise, Idaho 83706
Boise State University Neighborhood
|Architect||Hummel, Hummel and Jones|
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Built in 1951, Morrison and Driscoll Halls were the first on-campus living residences at Boise State. While Boise Junior College at the time, Driscoll originally housed men while Morrison housed women. It wasn't until the 1972/73 school year when Driscoll and Morrison Halls became Boise State's first co-ed residence halls. Fast forward to modern day, Driscoll and Morrison now serve as the living quarters of Boise State University's Honors College students.
Located directly north of the original Student Union Building (today's Communication Building) and along the Boise River, the construction of these halls was attributed to the rise in Boise's student population as well as predicted the continual growth of the college in the foreseeable future. As World War II GIs flooded into universities from 1946-1950 and with birth rates on the rise, College President Eugene Chaffee foresaw a great growth of student enrollment. While at the time he was serving in the United States Navy in 1946, Chaffee wrote to the College Board of a need to stabilize Boise Junior College's future during this unstable time of war. He suggested, "New dormitories could be used for military training of young men".
The board seemingly approved of this request and on April 11 1950 a bond election was passed by a vote of 87% in favor of building dormitories for young men as well as young women.
Designed by the Boise architectural firm of Hummel, Hummel and Jones, the dormitories predicted cost was around $500,000 and their projected completion date was set at September 1951. The actual total cost, however, was $448,495, which included all expenses such as construction, furnishing, and electrical.
Nearing the building's construction completion date, the new residences still needed names. At a Board of Trustees meeting on July 27, 1951, "Morrison Hall" and "Driscoll Hall" were decided upon. The women's residence would be named after Ann Daly Morrison, in honor of a benefactor of the college and wife of a former member of the Board of Trustees. The men's residence would be named after John Lynn Driscoll Jr., in honor of a Boise boy who lost his life in WWII and son of former president of the Board of Trustees.
At the time of completion Morrison and Driscoll Halls both consisted of 48 single and 15 double rooms within 2 floors and a basement level. Located within the basement was a janitor's room, laundry/kitchen, mechanical, storage and electrical rooms as well as game and computer rooms.
Currently in 2017, Driscoll and Morrison are both co-ed and home to approximately 150 of BSU's current Honors College students. If choosing to live in either, you will reside in a furnished suite of 8 to 12 students, with laundry and kitchen located in building. 2017 housing costs range from $4200-$5200 for an academic year as compared to $70-$141 monthly in 1972. As a resident, you will also be assigned a Resident Director and/or live amongst a Resident Assistant.
Throughout Boise State's history, Resident Directors and Assistants have been vital components in maintaining the rules, function and success of the residence communities. In fact, in 1968, being a "RD" was an "experience proven to be one of the best recommendations possible for job opportunities after graduation". Applicants must have been a sophomore or junior who would live in the dorm with a "high degree of social competence and ability to work well with other students". The salary consisted of room and board plus $50 a month.
You will also be pleased to know that Driscoll and Morrison have always been keeping up with the times. Vending machines were added in the late 1960's and revenued $140 from October to December 10, 1970. In the 1980-1981 fiscal year, new color televisions were added to each of the lounges. Today, each residence is equipped with Wifi and HD cables.
Evident in their architecture, Driscoll and Morrison Halls both have Boise State's signature red brick exterior in a common bond pattern, a triangular gable roof, square stone entry ways and small jalousie windows at the top point of the facade which provides the building with ventilation. Virtually Identical, Driscoll and Morrison Halls are reminiscent of Boise State's charming past in their Post-Modern styles with classical influences.
Walking by these historical halls, you can't help but feel reminiscent of the times when Boise State was a mere Junior College with vast open spaces and few buildings; little did they know of the magnificent university it would become.
Chaffee, Eugene B. Boise College; an Idea Grows. Boise, ID: Printed by Syms-York, 1970.
Ching, Francis D.K. A Visual Dictionary of Architecture. 2nd ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2012. Print.
"Boise State Special Collections Archives." Boise State SPECIAL COLLECTIONS AND ARCHIVES. Boise State University, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.
Building submitted by Kadi