Hampton House History

For parts of six decades (1926-1973), Hampton House was where Johns Hopkins student nurses crammed for exams, decompressed and debriefed after hospital shifts, and dreamed of one day being the leaders and innovators its brilliant and demanding namesake, Isabel Hampton Robb, had commanded that all must become. Hampton Robb was first superintendent of nurses at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and principal of its nurse training school.

But Hampton House, like any student dormitory, was also a place of fun and celebration (and even mischief) as those dreams became reality. Those who lived and grew there, like Dean Emerita Martha Hill, can share amazing stories of the triumphs and struggles that forged a Hopkins Nurse. From a fascinating March 30, 2000 interview housed with JHU Libraries:

 Dean Emerita Martha Hill

“On the day we arrived to move into Hampton House and start the orientation, it was 104 degrees. There was no air-conditioning, and it was awful. I was assigned to the seventh floor of Hampton House. Everything had to be hand-carried up because the elevators were overloaded. I thought, “What have I done?” The place and the people she shared it with quickly won her heart.

A tunnel beneath the East Baltimore streets led directly to and from Johns Hopkins Hospital, a weatherproof walk—no excuses!—that nursing alumni have continued to take each year as part of reunion activities.

On May 16, 2024, alumni had a final chance to walk around the place, reminisce, and say goodbye before Hampton House, later utilized as office and classroom space by the Bloomberg School of Public Health and various other JHU groups, is demolished to make way for a Johns Hopkins Life Sciences Building. The new structure will be a keystone of JHU’s Life Sciences Corridor in East Baltimore, a modernized ecosystem for foundational, basic biomedical research.

Hampton House Commemoration