[Photo by Rob Ketcherside]
Does District House say GW to you?
The George Washington University is building a new dorm on H Street between 21st and 22nd Street, encompassing two existing dorms and a recently closed alley. Currently referred to as the "Superdorm," the $130 million dorm will house 850 students when it opens in 2016. A few weeks ago, GW launched a contest, which they called #HistoryLivesHere, to get a name for the building. Folks could submit names via a website, with the winner getting a MacBook Air. And the winner? District House.
— Andrew Wiseman
The 400+ submitted names ran the gamut from those related to the city like Cherry Blossom Hall to famous alums like Colin Powell, the Dulles brothers, Kerry Washington and Glenn Greenwald to sillier names like Hippo Hall after an unofficial mascot of the school and #RaiseHigh Hall after the school's basketball Twitter hashtag.
Last week, the university then narrowed down the names to four finalists, all of which are pretty boring and generic: District House, Tricentennial Hall, Unity Hall and University Commons. Students were nonplussed. Then again, those choices fit into the school's current blah naming scheme, with examples like South Hall, City Hall and the since-renamed New Hall. The only recent clever name was the Ivory Tower at 23rd and G.
GW Hatchet commenters are not happy with the result, with some speculating that the university kept the name generic so a donor could later donate money to rename it.
While the idea of crowdsourcing a name is pretty cool, the final four and winner were pretty uninspired. Out of the over 400 names submitted there were some better options, but GW has since taken down the submissions. So, time to offer a few new and improved suggestions.
Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Hall: Love him or hate him (and Foggy Bottom residents are mostly in the latter category) the university's former president raised the university's profile while acquiring a ton of land, making GW one of the biggest landowners in the city. He also oversaw the university as it made national news for high tuition.
Ken Starr Hall: Why not celebrate famous GW alum and Whitewate/Monica Lewinsky special prosecutor?
Haddaway Hall: The Euro-disco music act, famous for "What is Love?" studied politics at GW. Foggy Bottom residents may ask the university "baby, don't hurt me."
Mike Hall: One of the stars of GW's 2005-2006 NCAA tournament basketball teams, Mike Hall played in the NBA and overseas. Or, if you want a wackier name, Pops Mensah-Bonsu Hall after another star of those teams.
Your Name Here Hall: If you're looking for a donor to rename it, why not be overt?