This residence hall opened in fall 2017 as part of the Central District development. It houses women and men and is arranged in two- and four-bedroom suites. Features include a full kitchen, laundry rooms on each floor, and a recreation room. Residents may participate in an Academic Accelerator Program for international students.
The cost was $49 million and the design was by Treanor Architects of Lawrence. It is connected to Oliver Residence Hall immediately to the east by the 22,000-square-foot South Dining Commons, used by residents of both halls.
The hall is named for Cora M. Downs, a Summerfield Distinguished Professor of Bacteriology who taught at KU from 1917 to 1963. She took the first of her three KU degrees in 1915 and became an instructor of bacteriology in 1917, while working on her master’s. Except for her top-secret work for the U.S. Army in World War II, she remained on the KU faculty until her retirement. The first woman to earn a doctorate at KU, in 1924, she was an internationally recognized scholar and inventor of scientific applications. Her grandmother, also named Cora Downs, was the first woman member of the KU Board of Regents.