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Boston University: Warren Towers - View from Charles River

Warren Towers is one of the three Boston University dormitories traditionally intended for underclassmen. The building is located at central campus along the Boston University East stop of the MBTA's Green Line "B" Branch.


Originally, when first built in 1965 and occupied just a year later, the building’s name was simply "700," in reference to its 700 Commonwealth Avenue address. It’s three towers were simply called, from east to west A Tower, B Tower, and C Tower. In 1976 the building was rechristened "Warren Towers" as a tribute to three generations of the Warren family at Boston University: William Fairfield Warren , a Methodist minister who founded the First Methodist Church on Bowdoin Street; his son William Marshall Warren a professor of philosophy and dean of CAS; and his grandson, Shields Warren, M.D., an internationally renowned pathologist who graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1918 and served for 30 years as a trustee and as chairman of the BU Board of Trustees. Additionally, each tower was renamed in honor of one of the men; A Tower is now Fairfield Tower, B Tower is Marshall Tower, and C Tower is Shields Tower.


Home to 1,650 students, Warren Towers is the largest non-military dorm in the United States. The three towers sit atop a four-storey base structure. The first three floors (and a basement) are a University parking facility; the fourth floor is the dorm's lobby and houses the facility’s numerous amenities. This makes the total height of the building 18 floors.


Each of the tower’s 14 residential floors house approximately 40 residents with two shared bathrooms. Most floors are co-ed, with a common room.


A variety of nicknames have been applied to this facility over the years. The most infamous of these is "The Zoo." Legend has it that this moniker was arrived at when some witty students painted a line on the bottom of the building’s street number outside, changing "700" to "ZOO." The paint was washed off, but the name stuck.


Charles River Basin Historic District National Registry #78000436

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Taken in May 1996