The Lord Baltimore Hotel will house about 440 Morgan State University students for the fall semester. Screenshot via Google Maps.

About 440 college students will call the Lord Baltimore Hotel home for the fall semester, after Morgan State University reached an agreement to use the downtown hotel to help solve its housing needs.

The MSU Spokesman, Morgan State’s student-run newspaper, reported that about 440 students, mostly freshman and out-of-state students, have moved into the hotel this month.

Located at 20 W. Baltimore St., the Lord Baltimore Hotel is a 15- to 30-minute drive from the Morgan State campus.

According to the Spokesman, the students are in about 275 double-occupancy rooms “clustered around the hotel,” and the university has arranged for vans and drivers to shuttle them to and from campus. Morgan also funded the redecoration of a hotel lounge for the students to use, security guards and additional housing staff, the publication reported.

The university this summer projected its largest enrollment ever, with close to 9,000 students attending classes this fall, up from 8,469 last October. More than half of the freshman are from out of state, straining resources. Aug. 22 was the first day of classes.

Administrators opened a 670-bed, $95 million facility, Thurgood Marshall Hall, at 1700 Argonne Drive to meet some of the demand for on-campus housing, and they plan to open another new residence hall in the fall of 2024.

In recent years, some Morgan State students were housed in the Delta Hotel by Marriott at the Village of Cross Keys on Falls Road, but that arrangement has ended. The Lord Baltimore had an agreement with the city of Baltimore to house homeless people during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that contract was over in July, freeing up its rooms.

Earlier this month, University President David Wilson announced that Morgan State would lease an additional 500 beds at a local hotel to accommodate students on its housing wait-list, but he didn’t name the hotel.

Spokesman Managing Editor Trae Mitchell reported that vice president of student affairs Kevin Banks said Morgan is currently in a semester-long lease with Lord Baltimore but will likely continue to house students at the hotel throughout spring.

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Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.