Celebrating 100 Years of Carroll Hall

We’re gonna need a lot of candles for this birthday.

Carroll Hall, the imposing building that appears to be part gothic monument, part turreted castle, this year celebrates 100 years of gracing the Regis campus. The grand dame has seen plenty during the past century and has had some work done — a new roof in 2021, a general rehab around her 50th birthday in 1973, and assorted touch-ups here and there. Nevertheless, Carroll Hall looks great for her age, and there’s no reason to think the building with the graceful arched entryway won’t be around for another 100 years.

In celebration of Carroll’s centenary, we present the top 10 fascinating Carroll Hall Facts:

  1. Work began on Carroll Hall in January 1923. The building, initially a residence hall, cost a whopping $200,000 and included 150 single occupancy rooms.
  2. The building is named for Rev. John Carroll, S.J., but Rev. Carroll never made it to Colorado, much less Regis. But in 1777, he did establish in Baltimore the first Jesuit Catholic parish in the United States and helped organize the Catholic Church in the United States.
  3. In April 1923, an estimated 600 people braved a spring snowstorm to watch the building’s cornerstone be laid. That chilly throng included the mayor of Denver and Colorado Gov. William E. Sweet, who, according to a Brown and Gold correspondent, “spoke with grace and forcefulness.”
  4. The cornerstone supposedly included a time capsule. As for its contents, The Brown and Gold mentioned only — and a bit self-centeredly — copies of The Brown and Gold. Legend of the capsule has endured, but Mike Redmond, associate vice president for Physical Plant, says there is no trace of it in Carroll Hall documents or plans. The mystery deepens ...
  5. From 1924 to 1925, the residents of Carroll Hall’s 150 dorm rooms were, as far as the city of Denver was concerned, living there illegally. The city didn’t recognize the building as a residence until 1925.
  6. The stained-glass depiction of Rev. Carroll was a gift to the college by the Class of 1924.
  7. An underground tunnel stretches from Carroll Hall beneath Hopkins Gardens all the way to DeSmet Hall. The tunnel’s pipes pull warm or cool air into Carroll from its younger, presumably more robust, neighbor. The tunnel’s ceiling is slightly caved in, so air is the only thing that can travel back and forth in the subterranean byway.
  8. Carroll is haunted – apparently by a ghost with very specific tastes in furnishings and academic subject matter. The Brown and Gold reported that the third-floor Language House was “ransacked” by someone or something that replaced furnishings with “items one would associate with a scholar and scientist…” In a Letter to the Editor supposedly from the culprit, the ghost of the late Rev. Armand Forstall, S.J., claimed responsibility for the vandalism, saying “no one has the right to make a language lounge out of MY STUDY.” The legend of Forstall’s spectral chicanery dates to his death in 1948, whereupon his scientific work was lost. Word around campus was that he won’t rest until his work is found.
  9. While numerous smart and perhaps saintly students, faculty and luminaries have passed through the doors of Carroll Hall, none got more attention than President Bill Clinton and Pope John Paul II. The pair of world leaders famously and privately met inside the walls of Carroll Hall for more than an hour in 1993 when the Pope hosted World Youth Day in Denver.
  10. Presumably, the president and the Pope didn’t realize they had more company during their private chat than just Secret Service men and women. The elegant Carroll Hall actually was quite batty for much of its history. The building was home to more than a thousand bats until the original roof was replaced in 2021. The bats migrated to Regis every year from New Mexico.