It is one of the most famous fictional schools in all of fantasy. Older than the Jedi Temples on Coruscant, and Hogwarts, Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters is the home and school of the Marvel’s X-Men. It was founded in X-Men #1 way back in 1963. The same issue that Marvel’s Mighty Band Of Merry Mutants first made their debut.
For 55 years, the location has been widely known amongst fans and has been featured in every media iteration of the X-Men. The school has even made its way into Minecraft, as a devoted fan spent much of their time recreating the school and plenty of its rooms.
With that much history, surely not even a die-hard can know everything there is to know about a fictional school in upstate New York, can they? Read on true believers and find out 20 Cool Things You Didn’t Know About Xavier’s School For The Gifted.
20. X-Corp Corporate Headquarters
Despite all of the outlandish twists and turns the X-Men story has taken over the years, the core theme is still there – to protect a world that fears and hates them. To fight and die for Xavier’s dream for peace for not just mutant-kind, but the world at large too. For over forty years, the team’s base and seemingly capital of all mutant-kind was of course the mansion.
But thanks to Cassandra Nova, a monstrous twin of Charles that he tried to kill in the womb who found a way to form a body and then commanded an army of Sentinels to destroy the 16 million mutants who live in the mutant capital of Genosha, Charles decided to out himself as a mutant. Mutant-human relations had always been tense and this didn’t help so Xavier formed the X-Corporation to help.
With its headquarters being the Xavier Institute, the X-Corporation was similar to embassies that countries have, where “civilian mutants” could go to seek refuge. Each were fronted by former X-Men like Domino or Cannonball. But in the wake of widespread anti-mutant hysteria and terrorism thanks to M-Day, now the headmaster, Cyclops called for the end of the program.
19. Expensive Like Crazy
While Charles did inherit the land and the property at 1407 Graymalkin Lane, the upkeeps, rebuilding, and restructuring of this massive property costs more money than some small countries have. Thanks to realty site, Motovo, we have a real life price to go with the real life address.
Around the time that the Wolverine video game came out several years back, the realtor site presented a quote for the palatial estate that used pricing based on other large homes in the North Salem section – ($759.00 per square foot x 76,654 square feet = $58,180,386). Yep, for 58 million dollars, the X-Mansion could be yours.
And that doesn’t even factor in all of the ridiculous modifications that a mansion housing a bajillion mutants has had over the years. The pricing was based on several of the known rooms like the 60 dorm rooms, an assembly hall, library, study halls, computer labs, training rooms, and a swimming pool.
18. The Danger Room Became Sentient
For as smart as Professor Charles Xavier he is, he’s also equally careless, hubris, and sometimes even a little stupid, or a combination of all three. The guy uses mutant know-how and engineering to create a state-of-the-art gym for superheroes. Then crossed the technology with the same alien tech that housed the Phoenix Force. You don’t need to be a powerful telepath to realize that is a very bad idea.
When Xavier decided to add Shiar tech to the Danger Room, “she” became sentient, and held Xavier responsible for her years of being a prisoner. Shiar sent a sentinel to the school to obliterate it and convince one of the students to end their life.
17. X-Shaped Dorm Rooms
While Motovo did a real-life estimate of Xavier’s school, surely they didn’t factor in the massive rebuild that turned the mansion into one giant X. During Grant Morrison’s run on the comic, enrollment swelled to never before seen numbers. Morrison’s run also included the reveal of Cassandra Nova, which led to Xavier outing himself and the enrollment swelling.
With the increase, came the re-build, which if you look at this map, you can also see how strategic the place is stacked now, in order to prepare themselves for the next massive attack. The school is made so there is more than one way out, but only one way in, giving the people inside the school the advantage.
Though some people have definitely surprised the X-Men with attacks, it takes a lot to actually take them down. Even if the X-Men did not put up a fight in their own mansion, they could not only get away, but bring the fight outside, using their escape routes to give them the odds.
16. Jean Grey Was First
Outside of Wolverine, Professor X, and Magneto, Jean Grey is probably the most famous mutant around, both in the comics and on screen. Ever since the Phoenix saga stories of the early eighties, she has been an integral part of so many stories through the years. Most usually focus on her inability to maintain control over her powers or what happens when she can’t control them anymore.
Portrayed by Famke Janssen in the original X-movies, she is seen more as Charles’ peer and less as student, even though she is still frightened of what her powers could do. In the last flick, Game Of Thrones’ Sophie Turner does the honors, and she will again in Dark Phoenix, due out later in 2018 and will hopefully finally realize the classic X-story properly.
Jean has always been linked to Charles’ prized student, Scott Summers, and while he is also among the first class of the school, it is in fact Jean who was the first student ever enrolled in the school when Charles opened the doors.
15. Rebuilt Several Times
The mansion had been around since the 1700s and there would bound to be renovations here and there. Now add to that notion that the people who live there protect the world that fears and hates them. That makes for a whole lot of times the X-Men and their enemies tore through the mansion.
Mr. Sinister, Magneto, Danger, Stryker, Sentinels, you name the villain or the group and it stands to reason that entity destroyed all or a part of the mansion. At one point in the books, when Wolverine is heading the team, the newly named Jean Grey School For Gifted Youngsters was built using a spawn of Krakoa, the living mutant island.
14. Teen Titans Destroy The Mansion
In one of the most interesting moments on the list, the Teen Titans, a team of teenage superheroes from the D.C. Universe, led by Batman’s faithful little buddy, Robin accidentally blew up the X-Mansion! This wasn’t even a crossover between the two companies!
Writer Scott Lobdell, who was writing for Uncanny X-Men, was supposedly unceremoniously dropped from the House Of Ideas back in 2011 and found his way to rival company, DC and was given the assignment of writing Teen Titans. What better way to poke fun at the situation than in the pages of your new book.
As part of the story, the team’s Kid Flash attempted to evacuate a burning building but wound up blowing the damn thing up. The location of the building? You guessed it, Westchester County, New York – an obvious dig at his former employers.
13. Can Be Found On Google Maps
One of the fun features on Google Maps is that you can search for many addresses that exist in comic books and other works of fiction. You could tour stately Wayne Manor, and get walking directions from a tiny Hobbit hole in Shire to the fiery pits of Mount Doom in Mordor. So clearly when an address is as plain as day at 1407 Graymalkin Lane in Salem Center, Westchester County, or course it would be searchable.
As with most of the locals in the Marvel Universe, the X-Mansion does reside in the real world, similar to Spiderman’s hometown of Forest Hills, Queens. There is an actual Graymalkin Lane in the Salem Center section of Westchester, a neat Easter egg for citizens of the ritzy town.
Complete with many rave reviews of the school, according to Google Maps, the address resides on a road overlooking the water. Naturally powerful telepaths are constantly working to shield the mansion from Google’s nefarious camera’s car.
12. The Graymalkins
The mansion sits on 1407 Graymalkin lane. But what or who is a Graymalkin? According to Marvel lore, there is a dark sordid history of the Graymalkin clan and it is tied explicitly to Charles Xavier and his school. During “Manifest Destiny,” all of this came to light.
During the story, an ancient mutant comes up from the ruins of the mansion that Beast declares is over 200 years old and his mutant powers have kept him alive. He happens to be Jonas Graymalkin, the son of a Charles Graymalkin, who beat his son after finding out he was a homosexual and then buried him alive. The Xavier family inherited the land and built a mansion and the rest is history.
11. Hatley Castle Is The Real X-Mansion
Speaking of Google Maps, if you did actually want to check out the real-life Xavier Institute, plug 2005 Sooke Road in British Columbia into your Google machine and you’ll see a Canadian landmark – Hatley Castle. The castle, part of the Hatley Park National Historic site hosts the Royal Roads University.
But for entertainment purposes, the gargantuan estate might seem very familiar to comic book fans. It is the home of Oliver Queen on Arrow, Auradon Prep in the Disney Descendants films, and Lex’s home on Smallville.
Perhaps most notably though is the castle being heavily featured in not just one, but all of the X-Men movies, even including the abysmal TV Generation X movie, and Deadpool. Talk about continuity for a location! Rest assured Hatley house will again be featured in the upcoming Dark Phoenix movie and beyond.
10. Anti-Mutant Registration Camp
The X-Men’s overarching story has always painted Xavier as some sort Martin Luther King Jr. figure and his best friend Magneto as a man who despite believing in Xavier’s dream also has seen the absolute evil of mankind being not just a persecuted mutant, but a survivor of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. It’s one of the best dualities of a hero/villain in all of literature, much less comics, as both men are not wrong in how they feel. However, what makes Magneto the “bad guy” is how he chooses to act in life.
Imagine the Master of Magnetism’s surprise when the home of his beloved friend was turned into a Mutant Registration Camp.
During the events of “M-Day,” Magneto’s own daughter, the Scarlet Witch used her reality bending powers to de-power every mutant on the planet. Her plan didn’t work fully and 198 recorded mutants were left still with abilities. If they sought refuge they were directed to head to the mansion which was now being guarded by Sentinels in a makeshift concentration camp.
9. Xavier Institute For Higher Learning
After mentoring, teaching, fighting, and leading the X-Men into battles for years; all based out of a mansion in Westchester County, New York; it was time to branch out a little bit. While plenty of mutants still tried to hide their identities, Xavier began working with former student, Banshee to create another school.
As Headmaster, Sean Cassidy would need a partner. In an odd choice for the time, the writers of the upcoming Generation X comic would turn Emma Frost, formerly the White Queen and member of the despicable Hellfire Club, into a hero, albeit a stern taskmaster.
The pair headed to Massachusetts to set up their new school and they dubbed their new academy the “School For Gifted Youngsters.” With Xavier’s original name for his school now bestowed on Sean and Emma, he rechristened 1407 Graymalkin as the Xavier Institute For Higher Learning, which of course would be the mutant equivalent to a graduate program.
8. You Can Call The School For Information
Stranger Things isn’t the only entertainment property dripping in 80’s nostalgia. The last X-Men film, Apocalypse, did a pretty good job of recreating the decade of decadence as well, complete with Storm’s awesome punk rocker look. Even though she was created in ‘89, the film also made some use out of Jubilee, a mutant who was certainly primed for the eighties with her look and demeanour.
Played by Lana Condor, perhaps her biggest contribution to the film was its actual marketing. She appeared in a few shorts that can now be found on YouTube, inviting those who are different to enroll at Xavier’s school, because “being gifted doesn’t always feel like a gift.”
There was an 800 number to call as well, although it is no longer in use and supposedly it never was (since the X-Men were off fighting Apocalypse), but there are also a few messages on the school’s voicemail, one of which is from Deadpool looking for Jean Grey’s number.
7. Enrollment Packet
While not the greatest film in the series, Apocalypse had a slew of great marketing behind it. Since the film was set in the eighties, way before social media, there were eighties-inspired VHS-style ads for the school with Jubilee inviting you to join.
Fox’s press mailers for the flick were awesomely designed admission packets to the school. The folders come emblazoned with the school’s motto, “Mutatis Mutandis,” and features a lot of cool things that any X-geek would want. An acceptance letter signed by the professor himself. There’s a calendar for special and upcoming events like a lecture from Moira McTaggart, aptly titled, “Bridging Humans And Mutants Affairs.”.
There’s even a flier for the school field trip to Cairo, Egypt; where of course most of the film takes place. Parents don’t be worried, they’ll be chaperoned by professors Raven Darkholme and Hank McCoy.
6. School Cemetery
Sure, the Xavier mansion doubles as a school. But any fan knows that it is also a place for a paramilitary highly trained mutant fighting force, complete with an underground training facility and a fighter jet that comes out of the basketball court.
When you’re protecting a world that fears and hates you, every so often you might lose a few heroes. While not a whole lot of comic book deaths actually stuck, there are still an awful lot of X-Men buried on the school grounds. Yes, there is even a cemetery on site to ensure proper mutant burials take place.
The courtyard features ginormous Phoenix memorial for Jean Grey, in addition sites for Thunderbird and Banshee. In the films there are everlasting flames for the Professor’s headstone symbolizing his dream for mutant-human coexistence will forever burn. Heroes aren’t the only mutants buried here, kids like Sammy Pare (Squid Boy), and Laurie Collins (Wallflower), who also died fighting for Xavier’s dream are stationed there.
Behind the scenes, with Disney having the rights to the Inhumans and Fox having the rights to the X-Men (at least up until a few weeks ago), many fans felt the Inhumans vs. X-Men crossover was Disney/Marvel trying to usurp and replace some of their most popular comics and characters with lesser known Inhumans. Beginning with The Death Of X (Cyclops), seemingly at the hands of Inhuman king Black Bolt, the story featured the Terrigen Mists being released all over the world and having a deadly effect on many mutants all over the world.
During this war, the mutant sorceress Magik moved the entire school to a pocket universe called Limbo to protect the mutants from the Terrigen Mists. The school was renamed X-Haven and stayed as such until the Terrigen cloud was destroyed.
4. Cerebro Gains Sentient Life
The Danger Room was the only inanimate object that acquired self-awareness and tried to go all Skynet on the X-Men. Cerebro was Professor Xavier’s greatest ally in amplifying his mutant telepathy powers to help find mutants in need (or pretty much anyone on the planet). It turns the world’s most powerful mind into the galaxy’s most powerful mind.
So why not turn that into a weapon for evil against the X-Men? The machine is hacked by the android Bastion and infected with nanotechnology to create its own brand of X-Men, whose powers are various forms of both X-Men and Brotherhood squads.
Bastion used Cerebro to put humanity in a stasis while he collected information on all of the world’s mutant population. He would also use information Xavier had collected and stored in Cerebro called the Xavier Protocols against the team in an attempt to kill them all.
3. Spider-Man, Guidance Counselor
During Wolverine’s tenure as Headmaster of the newly christened Jean Grey School For Higher Learning, he had made sure that Spider-Man was able to come to the school to help out with the troubled youngsters. He also was trying a root out a double agent that Logan thought had infiltrated the facility.
While you might be saying to yourself that Spidey is not a mutant per se, he is still someone who experienced some of the same drastic changes a mutant would go through during their formative years, which makes ol’ Webhead uniquely qualified to help the team. Seeing as he hadn’t trained with them, he’d be capable of seeing without blinders on.
With Spidey’s help, the team was able to route out Ernst as a traitor but also being manipulated by Mr. Sinister. Spider-Man and The X-Men were able to defeat Sinister, and Spidey rewarded the kids by letting them patrol with him.
2. The School’s Motto
For the many kids who go to schools like Harvard, Yale, or UCLA, terms like “Veritas,” “Lux Ex Veritas,” or “Fiat Lux” are well known mottos of their beloved alma matters. Like many grand universities all around the globe, even the School For Gifted Youngsters has its Latin motto – “Mutatis Mutandis.”
The Medieval Latin phrase might sound like something Stan Lee and Jack Kirby would have come up with when creating the team and their school. But in reality, the phrase had been around for centuries. It means, “The necessary changes having been made.”
While the motto doesn’t have a lot of stories to go with it, it does suit the X-Men and Charles Xavier perfectly. Besides the changes that happen when one becomes a mutant, Xavier’s dream that society will one day evolve to have peaceful coexistence between mutants and humans is also a necessary change. Just a cool tidbit, you’ll thank me when you get this question on HQ.
1. Ridiculous Tech
Between Tony Stark, Reed Richards, and even Peter Parker, there’s a whole heap of futuristic tech running around the Marvel Universe. But don’t discredit the X-Men and their school. Sure there’s the Blackbird jet coming out of a retractable basketball court, and a giant mutant-finding machine that any telepathic mutant can use, but there is a whole slew of technology.
Remember, the Xavier Institute is also a school with top of the line, state of the art research equipment for scientifically gifted mutants like Beast, and there are all kinds of Klaxon alarms in case of intrusion. Every now and again, the X-Men need to detain one of their own or an outsider who intends to do them harm, hence impenetrable cells in the basement.
Not to mention the Danger Room, and other outlandish training rooms including a war room. There was even a time machine in the mansion that Forge had used – how else would we have gotten time traveling mutants like Bishop?
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