Stern Hall

General Information         Pictures and Floor Plans         Stern Hall Houses          Furnishings          Rates Chart


Lucie Stern Hall, built shortly after World War II and renovated in 1995, represents Stanford’s brief departure into architectural modernism. Stern honors donor “Aunt Lucie” Stern, a popular local figure and friend of the university who often invited students to her Palo Alto house to make them feel at home.

Stern Hall consists of six small houses that accommodate about 50 students each, either in all-frosh or upperclass houses, except Casa Zapata which hosts a 4-class ethnic theme house. Stern houses were originally named for California pioneers, such as horticulturalist Luther Burbank and mother lode author Mark Twain. Casa Zapata reflects the Chicano/Latino cross-cultural theme program located at the complex. Sally Ride House was renamed very recently after alumna Sally Ride, a physicist and the first American woman in space. 

Stern and the post-war building boom

Stern Hall is a beloved residence on campus due, in part, to Lucie Stern. Lucie’s gifts and donations to Stanford University - including student loans, gifts to health services, Stern Hall, and a new Law School building – have allowed students, faculty, and staff to thrive and continue carrying on her spirit.

Today, Stern Hall's architectural style is often considered controversial at Stanford, but, when it was built in 1948, some saw it as a necessary shift toward modern architecture and planning. In his support of Stern and other building-boom projects at the time, Stanford President Donald Tresidder (1943-1948) called for “new educational buildings [that] will not…imitate, in steel and glass and concrete, the truly inimitable beauty of the stone-built quads…Rather we shall build with today’s materials, harmoniously, but of the present.”

Eldredge Spencer, a Beaux Arts-trained San Francisco architect, headed Stanford’s first planning office, established under Tresidder, and designed Stern. Abandoning Stanford’s familiar red-tile roofs and arcades, Stern organized the houses around small internal courtyards, but provided for a central kitchen and dining facility. Faculty resident apartments and common areas in each house - particularly libraries and lounges - were meant to encourage interaction among students and faculty.

Which houses are used to house frosh and which are used to house upperclass students is subject to change.

For information on the accessibility of residences for both living and visiting, please reference our Undergraduate Residences Accessibility Summary chart.


General Information

Residence Name Stern Hall – Map
Neighborhood Eastside
Navigation Address 618 Escondido Road, Stanford, CA 94305
Housing Front Desk Stern Hall Housing Front Desk
Dining Service Located in the center of the Stern residential complex and serving students from Burbank, Donner, Larkin, Sally Ride, Twain, and Casa Zapata (the Chicano theme house)Stern Dining is heavily influenced by the vibrant community that surrounds it. From the daily salsa bar to the rotating Latin American specials, the taste of the food is matched only by the beauty of the murals adorning the walls of the dining rooms.
Class Configuration All-frosh and upper-class, with the exception of Casa Zapata, the 4-class ethnic theme house
Co-ed Type Co-ed by corridor (students of different genders live on the same floor) except for one all-frosh house, which has two halls co-ed by corridor and two halls co-ed by floor (one all-male floor and one all-female floor)
Custodial Service University managed
Bathrooms Separate bathrooms and showers for men and women are located on each floor plus at least one all-gender restroom in each house.


Double Room (Used as a Single Room for Autumn 2020) - Top View
Double Room - Top View

Stern Hall Houses



Coed type

Res Ed Program

Burbank All-frosh (subject to change) Co-ed by corridor N/A
Casa Zapata Four-class house Co-ed by corridor Ethnic theme house - Chicanx/Latinx Focus.  See Residential Education's web page on Casa Zapata.
Pre-assignments offered.
Donner All-frosh (subject to change) Co-ed by corridor N/A
Larkin All-frosh (subject to change) Two single-gender floors and two mixed gender floors N/A
Sally Ride Upperclass (subject to change) Co-ed by corridor N/A
Twain Upperclass (subject to change) Co-ed by corridor N/A


*Important Assignment Information

Residential Education offers a pre-assignment system for Special Program Houses for academic year assignments. This process allows Resident Fellows, Faculty Affiliates, and house program staff to pre-assign, before the annual housing Draw, a set number of residents who complete a pre-assignment application and meet specific requirements. See the Residential Education website for detailed pre-assignment information.


Wall-to-wall carpeting Extra-long twin bed
Window coverings Desk and chair
High-speed internet access Wall-mounted bookshelves
Telephone and telephone line Dresser
Cable TV capability Mirror
  Waste basket and recycling bin