“Women don’t deserve to pee:” An Interview with the Creative Mind Behind Hamilton Hall

Graphic by Olivia Ruble

Could you introduce yourself to our readers?

Sure! My name is McKim. You may recognize my name from the famous architecture trio, McKim, Mead, and White. 

That’s awesome!

Do you?

Do I—what?

Recognize my name.

Uh…no, sorry.



So tell me about the building. Where did it get its name? It’s so unique!

What? [pause] It’s based on…Alexander Hamilton. You know. Hamilton? [pause] First US treasury secretary and founder of the national bank?

Sorry, never heard of him. Anyway…so you named the building after a friend or something? Cool.

What? No, not a friend. He was alive like hundreds of years before I built this.

Got it. I’m bad with centuries, haha! So what was the inspiration for this building?

Honestly, I just wanted a central space for the community. I specifically envisioned a space with tons of classrooms that theater groups can co-opt and steal for late-night rehearsals when they can’t book actual theater spaces, or even the Math building. But really, I think the most revolutionary part was the bathrooms.

What do you mean?

Well, we were dealing with some pretty intense pushback on our decision to have two bathrooms on each floor for Hamilton back in 1907. I remember sitting in Milstein with Mead and White, trying to figure out what to do, and then it hit us: women don’t deserve to pee.

Wait, sorry, what did you just say?

I mean, it came to us like an avalanche: women don’t deserve to pee. It’s not that they don’t need to or don’t want to, because they do. But the reason we took out the bathrooms was a simple question of merit: because women are the weaker sex, they should have to walk up or down at least 47 individual stairs to get the privilege of using the bathroom.

Are you trying to tell me that you don’t think women should have the right to use the bathroom?

I’m so impressed that you’re understanding this so quickly! Yes, yes, that’s exactly what I mean! 

What about other uses for the bathroom? Number 2, etc?

Oh, women don’t do that. They only pee, which they don’t even deserve to!

Oh. As a woman, to be honest, I like having equal access to fundamental human needs. Maybe that’s just me.

That’s what makes Hamilton Hall so special to us, actually. We know that women like to urinate. Frankly, we relish the idea of a woman standing outside a stall, banging on the door, with her legs crossed a little too tightly. The fact that they like it so much makes it even more thrilling that they can’t!

So, you seem to be a sort of masochist when it comes to women peeing?

Yes, or as we like to call it, masopisst. 

Sophie Simons is a freshman studying disruption of peace in modern day grocery stores. She has interviewed Columbia graduates such as Jason Everhart (Nirvana), Amelia Earheart (Bermuda Triangle), and Roaree (the Lion). 

Emily Olson is Sophie’s life coach.