125 Stanford Stories

NO. 88
Student Life

New residence halls update historic Lagunita Court

Norcliffe Hall, opened in fall 2016, is part of the Lagunita Court complex.
Linda A. Cicero/Stanford News Service
Meier Hall, like Norcliffe, has a kitchen and common rooms of varying sizes to enhance sociability among residents.
Linda A. Cicero/Stanford News Service
Lagunita Court's dining room is nearly unchanged since this 1940s photo, except that hashers in white coats no longer serve meals.
Stanford University Archives
Lake Lagunita
Lagunita Court, named after the now-dry reservoir behind it, opened in the 1930s as a women's residence. Coed for decades, it was remodeled in 1998.
Stanford University Archives

Stanford opens new Meier and Norcliffe residence halls

When Stanford undergraduates moved to campus this quarter, they had some new places to lay their heads.

Meier and Norcliffe halls are the second and third new undergraduate residences opened by Stanford in the past two years.

Built in the historic Lagunita Court housing complex, they blend the best of old and new. They incorporate many students’ feedback on ways to improve sociability and interaction, such as kitchenettes, alcoves and common areas of various sizes.

They also pay homage to the gracious Mediterranean ambiance of Lagunita Court, built in the 1930s and renovated in 1998.

“Meier and Norcliffe offer us something that we haven’t had in a long time at Stanford – a true four-class house that is small and intimate,” said Deborah Golder, associate vice provost for student affairs and dean of residential education.

A group of freshmen who love cooking gathered to shop for ingredients before cooking a glorious feast at the new and amazing Norcliffe Hall kitchen.

– Jiang Peicun, ’20, Stanford Memories

Lagunita Court, on Santa Teresa Avenue near the namesake now-dry reservoir, was the first Stanford residence to combine founding landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted’s vision of student residences as individual cottages within the concept of a large-scale residence hall. It was originally built for women, and its long, refectory-style dining commons and picturesque courtyards evoke a bygone era.

Before the two new Lagunita Court halls and Ng House, the humanities-themed house opened in 2015 in the Gerhard Casper Quad, Stanford had added no undergraduate residences for about 20 years.

Meier Hall resident fellows Cheryl and Bryan Brown and their family.

Like most Stanford undergraduate living spaces, Meier and Norcliffe each have resident fellows – faculty members who oversee the halls’ intellectual and cultural environments. Each new hall has computer rooms, projection rooms and art- and project-making spaces.

And like many Stanford buildings, each honors people important to the Stanford story.

Linda Meier, ’61, is a former member of the Board of Trustees and a founder of the Cardinal Club scholarship program for Stanford women’s athletics. In 2000, she received Stanford’s Degree of Uncommon Woman, the university’s  highest volunteer honor and one given so far to only 29 recipients.

Norcliffe Hall resident fellows Nancy and Jack Kollman and their dog, Ada

Her husband, Tony Meier, ’57, has been involved with many Stanford causes including the DAPER Investment Fund, The Stanford Challenge and the advisory board to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

Meier Hall is the result of a gift in their honor from their children.

Norcliffe Hall was made possible by a gift from the Norcliffe Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 1952 by an alumnus who served on the Board of Trustees.

Learn more about Meier and Norcliffe halls, including their resident fellows.

Learn more about residential education at Stanford.