Washburn is near academic and administration buildings, libraries and the athletic complex. Downtown Northampton is a five-minute walk.
Washburn House was built by Smith in 1878 to house the incoming class of 1882. One of the original three houses constructed to integrate a full academic experience for women, Washburn was named for William Barren Washburn, one of the first trustees of the college.
Washburn House has evolved a great deal over its long history. From 1933 to 1938, it was a cooperative house, and residents performed all the household chores. During the Spanish Civil War (1936–39) it served as the Spanish-speaking house on campus, as it was not possible to send students to Spain for academic study.
Past residents of Washburn have remained devoted to their college home and have returned to Smith to celebrate significant reunions. Former Washburn residents presented Washburn with a 400-book collection on the house’s 50th birthday.