Healy Hall Outline

Construction: Work began in 1877 and the exterior was completed by 1879. Gaston Hall was completed in 1901

Area: 118,388 Gross Square Feet

Architects: John Smithmeyer and Paul J. Pelz. They contributed to the design of the Thomas Jefferson Building in the Library of Congress


  • Named after Patrick F. Healy S.J., the 27th president of Georgetown.
  • First building on campus to look towards the city rather than the river. This signaled Georgetown College/University’s goal to establish itself as a nationally renowned educational institution
  • In order to fund construction, the Jesuits had to exhaust all of their budgets including their food budgets.
  • In 1815 a congressional act raised Georgetown’s status from a college to a University.
  • Healy Hall is on the US National Register of Historic Places, and is one of two Georgetown buildings on the US National Register of Historic Places.The other building on the register is the Heyden Observatory.
  • Gaston Hall is named after the University’s first student enrolled, William B. Gaston, who would go on to be a member of Congress
  • The Healy Cannons were used by Lord Baltimore in the 1600’s to guard Fort Point, Massachusetts and St Mary’ City, Maryland; there are unconfirmed theories that the cannons were originally from a wrecked ship of the Spanish Armada
  • Contrary to popular opinion, the Philodemic Room was actually not funded by the Philodemic Debate Society. Rather, Georgetown University paid approximately $2300 for Brother Schoren’s work throughout Healy Hall.
  • Gaston Hall is named after Georgetown’s first graduate William Gaston. He was 13 years old when he arrived on campus in late 1791.
  • Riggs library was originally named the Georgetown University Library and was the Universities first library.
  • Riggs library is named after a banker named E. Francis Riggs and is one of the few remaining cast iron libraries in the country.