Bancroft Hall (Maryland) : The largest contiguous set of academic dormitories in the United States


( Bancroft Hall, at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, is said to be the largest contiguous set of academic dormitories in the U.S. Bancroft Hall, named after former U.S. Secretary of the Navy, and famous historian/author George Bancroft, is home for the entire brigade of 4,000 midshipmen,and contains some 1,700 rooms, 4.8 miles (7.7 km) of corridors, and 33 acres (13 ha) of floor space. All the basic facilities that midshipmen need for daily living are found in the hall. It is referred to as "Mother B" or "The Hall" by Midshipmen.

Bancroft Hall was designed in the Beaux-Arts style with its mansard roof and dormer windows by architect Ernest Flagg and its central rotunda and first two wings were built in 1901–06. Over the intervening years it has been expanded to encompass eight wings of five stories ("decks") each numbered 0–4. The original two wings are now the 3rd and 4th wings; the next pair, added in the 1920s, are now the 5th and 6th wings; a pair added in the late 1930s became the 1st and 2nd wings; and a final pair were added in the 1960s as the 7th and 8th wings. The 3rd wing was built over the remains of the old Fort Severn.

In addition to the midshipmen rooms, Bancroft Hall houses offices for the Commandant of Midshipmen, six battalion officers, six battalion chaplains, thirty company officers and their senior enlisted leaders, a barbershop, bank, travel office, a small restaurant known as "Steerage," textbook store, general store ("The Midshipmen Store"), laundromat, uniform store, cobbler shop, the USNA Band, the USNA branch of the United States Postal Service, a gymnasium, spaces for extracurricular activities, and full medical & dental clinics as well as small optometry and orthopedics clinics. The Hall has its own ZIP code (21412).

A nine-year renovation project completed in 2003 by Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. and RTKL Associates Inc. of Baltimore, Maryland included 1,600 miles (2,600 km) of wiring to equip the building with a modern data communication network.

The building also contains King Hall (named after Fleet Admiral Ernest King, (1878–1956), Chief of Naval Operations and Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Fleet in the Second World War) where all midshipmen are fed simultaneously three times daily, and Memorial Hall (see below). Memorial Hall and the Rotunda of Bancroft Hall are open to the general public, but access to the rest of the building is normally limited to assigned Naval personnel or accompanied authorized visitors.

There are rooms in Bancroft dedicated to each Academy graduate Medal of Honor recipient in the United States Navy or Marine Corps.

According to wikipedia

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