Opened in 1905, West Hall is the oldest residential hall on Elon University's campus. Adjacent to Virginia Hall, West is a traditional, hall style all-girls dorm that houses up to 87 females. This dorm is a traditional hall style, where most rooms are doubles, but eight girls on floors 2 and 3 are given "suites". These girls split up in two groups of four and are able to share one bathroom per suite, while the rest of the floor must share their hall's two bathroom and showers. West Hall is also the back drop to freshmen convocation and graduation under the oaks. Close places to eat include Varsity Grill (Elon University), McEwen Dining Hall, and the newly opened Chick-Fil-A.
When first opened, West was the third building to be built on campus and featured an annex at it's northern side with a dining hall for both male and female students and a gymnasium for male students. Also at the time of its opening, the architecture was state-of-the-art for its time, including electric lights, indoor plumbing and bathrooms, and fire walls and fire doors. After the main college building burned down in 1923, West's traditional architectural style of red brick and white columns and trim helped to guide the the aesthetic design of the buildings that replaced the one that burned down. In 1942, West's fire walls and fire doors saved the dormitory when the annex caught fire and burned down, but left the rest of the building intact. In 1956, a new dormitory for women, Virginia Hall, was built on the site of the annex.
The rooms in West Hall come with air conditioned and are on average 9'x12', depending on their location in the hall - corner rooms are smaller yet they have two windows. These rooms, just like the ones in the other dorms, come with a bed, a desk, a chair, and a dress of drawers, for each girl. Doubles usually have to share one small closet in West Hall, but some rooms have big walk in closets for roommates to share. Students at Elon University are allowed to have mini fridges, microwaves, fans, tapestries, and even curtains in the rooms. Other items like lighters, alcoholic substances, etc. are not authorized and may result in the student's expulsion or suspension from the school.
The Story of West's Ghost
One of Elon's favorite tall-tales is the mysterious hauntings of West Hall. The rumor is that a student named Mary jumped to her death from the third floor of West on January 18, 1923 during the historic fire. However, the flames never reached West so not a single student in the dorm died. It was also observed that students were seen throwing their suitcases and trunks from windows, however, no one was ever seen jumping. Some students still firmly believe that Mary exists and attest to having witnessed her swinging the chandelier in the parlor, flickering the lights, and even making occasional appearances in students' dorms. Others say it's just a story made up to scare Freshmen.
A Recent Birthday Celebration
The Historic Neighborhood of Elon put together a birthday celebration for the beautiful West building. November 14, 2013 marked West’s 108th birthday. Students and faculty all gathered in the common room to celebrate with food, balloons, and cake. This birthday party is the first for West Hall, but this tradition is said to continue for the many years to come.