Posted April 4, 2014

Morgan Hall heralds new era in residential living at Temple


When members of the Class of 2017 moved into Mitchell and Hilarie Morgan Residential and Dining Complex in fall 2013, they helped usher in a new era for living and learning at Temple University.

The opening of the block-long facility at Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue represents the future of residential living at a university that little more than a decade ago was known primarily as a commuter school. Designed with an emphasis on shared spaces, technological innovations and connections to the city, the Morgan complex puts that notion to rest permanently.

“For so long, I think people would say that Temple didn’t have the capabilities to do this,” said Michael Scales, associate vice president for Student Affairs. “This shows that we value our students for who they are and what they mean to this institution. I think it sets the bar extremely high.”

The complex includes two residential buildings: a 27-floor tower known as Morgan Hall North that houses upperclassmen, and a 10-story, L-shaped midrise building, Morgan Hall South, that houses first-year and sophomore students. A third building overlooking Broad Street is host to a multitude of dining options, including a primary dining center, a café, Tony Luke’s cheesesteaks, Auntie Anne’s pretzels and several others. 

At the center of the complex is a 30,000-square-foot outdoor terrace that serves as a gathering point for students and community members. With outdoor furniture, landscaped gardens and wireless internet access, the court provides an ideal space for small group meetings or larger events. With a wide staircase open to Broad Street, that space connects the facility with its North Philadelphia neighbors.

Students live in a combination of single rooms and four and five-bed suites, arranged in a series of neighborhoods supported by two-story, glass-enclosed lounges. Suites are outfitted with flat-screen TVs, kitchen units, sofas and dining tables. Most feature stunning views of the city.

Programmed largely based on input from Temple students, the complex’s many features add up to more than just a highly desirable living space, Scales said.

Morgan Hall is the latest indicator of Temple’s increasingly residential nature—approximately 14,000 students now live on or near Main Campus. Built in response to rising student demand for on-campus living options, Morgan Hall's buildings accommodate 1,275 students.

The complex is named in honor of Temple Trustee Mitchell L. Morgan, FOX ’76, LAW ’80, and his wife, Hilarie, for their lifetime of support of the university, including a $5 million commitment that helped make the residential complex a reality.

With the many opportunities for collaboration and socialization in the space, Scales jokes that his staff faces a new hurdle as students settle into their surroundings.

“One of our challenges may be getting them to leave the complex.”