Named for Patrick Francis Healy, then the President of Georgetown University, Healy Hall began construction in November 1877 and was largely finished by 1879. Reverend Healy consulted with a number of prominent architects, but decided to select the firm of J.L Smithmeyer and Paul Pelz.
The building, constructed of load-bearing brick and grey Potomac gneiss, is located on a 90-acre site belonging to the University. The most striking part of the building is the large central spire, which rises 200 feet above grade. The building was articulated in the Northern European Romanesque style, containing arches and towers typical of this stylistic revival.
Healy Hall is one of the last large-scale High Victorian Gothic buildings in America. This style enjoyed a good deal of success in America, especially as it was applied to churches and institutional structures. Healy Hall was built along the influence of prominent Gothic Revival architects such as Richard Morris Hunt, the first American to study architecture at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Healy Hall stands as a monument to a rich, decorative episode in American architecture.
DC Inventory: November 8, 1964 (Joint Committee on Landmarks)
National Register: May 27, 1971
National Historic Landmark: December 23, 1987
Within Georgetown Historic District
This site is included in the Capital City Slavery Tour for the enslavement and sale of over 270 individuals by Georgetown University. For further information on slavery in the District, view DC Preservation League's Capital City Slavery Digital Exhibit.