Stern Hall

Stern HallInformation on this page:


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 100 students each, either in all-freshman or four-class buildings. 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.

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



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 freshman and four-class

Co-ed Type

Co-ed by corridor (men and women live on the same floor) except for Larkin, which is 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

Common Areas

Each house in Stern has its own lounge, dining room, and other common areas, providing popular gathering spaces for residents.

The Houses

Burbank Casa Zapata
Burbank Casa Zapata* (Theme house)
Donner Larkin
Donner Larkin
serra Twain
Sally Ride Twain

House Facts



All Freshmen

Co-ed type:

Co-ed by corridor

Casa Zapata


Four-class house

Co-ed type:

Two single-gender floors and one co-ed floor

*Res Ed Program:

Ethnic theme house - Chicanx/Latinx Focus.  See Residential Education's web page on Casa Zapata.
Pre-assignments offered.



All Freshmen

Co-ed type:

Co-ed by corridor


Co-ed type:

All Freshmen
Two co-ed floors and two single-gender floors

Sally Ride


All Freshmen

Co-ed type:

Co-ed by corridor


All Freshmen

Co-ed type:

Co-ed by corridor

*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


Cable TV capability


Waste basket and recycling bin


Separate bathrooms and showers for men and women are located on each floor.

Sample Floor Plans

Stern double
Double room - Top View