Georgetown University-Washington DC


Georgetown University, Healy Hall
Photo courtesy of the DC SHPO

Georgetown University, founded in 1789, is the oldest Catholic University in America and since 1805 has been administered by the Society of Jesus. The first buildings were constructed around the “old quadrangle,” including Healy Hall, constructed between 1877–1909 and designed by Smithmeyer and Pelz. Healy Hall was erected under the stewardship of the Rev. Patrick S. Healy, S.J., who undertook the massive fundraising needed and as a result the building was completed in several stages. The building houses the elaborate auditorium Gaston Hall and the recently restored Riggs Library and has a 200-foot-high central clock spire and a smaller, secondary spire on its southwest corner. The Old North Building, begun in 1792, the Chapel of the Sacred Heart, a row of brick academic buildings and the old Infirmary form the other sides of the old quadrangle.

The first parcel of land that was to become Georgetown University was acquired in 1789 by a committee of five clergymen. On this 1 ½ parcel the committee began to construct the first university building which was ready for occupancy in 1791. Referred to as “Old South,” it was torn down at the turn of the 20th century. The first students enrolled in September, 1791 and by the end of the school year, the enrollment was 66 students. In 1793, an additional two acres was purchased to provide a site for what is now know as the Old North Building which was used as a dormitory and refectory for boarding students. In 1805 the Society of Jesus was reestablished in the United States and took over the administration of the college from the Corporation of the Clergy of Maryland. Georgetown University remains a Jesuit school today. By the early 19th century the College was firmly established as a leading Catholic educational institution, and in 1815 a congressional act raised the rank of Georgetown from a college to university

Georgetown University is located at Prospect and 35th Sts., NW. The Georgetown University Transportation Shuttle (GUTS) provides a free ride to Georgetown University to and from Metrorail locations at Dupont Circle (in the District) and Rosslyn (in Arlington, VA). Tours of the campus can be scheduled by calling the Admissions Office at 202/687-3600 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.