Freshpeople Housing Reviews 2016: Wallach

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Welcome to the good life of Wallach Hall in the LLC!

Location: 1116 Amsterdam Avenue, accessible from inside campus

Nearby dorms: Connected directly to Hartley (part of the LLC) and John Jay; Furnald and Carman are located directly across Butler Lawns

Stores and restaurants: Artopolis and Strokos are located to the south across 114th, while Hamilton Deli and Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor are up Amsterdam. JJ’s Place and John Jay Dining Hall are both accessible without leaving the building.

Cost: $7,928 (the cost of all first-year living)


  • Bathrooms: Floors 3-8: seven individual, unisex bathrooms per floor (shower, sink, toilet); one is handicapped accessible. Floors 2 and 9: three individual, unisex bathrooms per suite. These are some of the best bathrooms you can find in fresheople housing.
  • AC/Heating: No AC except in the 10th floor lounge and floor lounges, with new window AC units in floor lounges. Heating (outside of your control) in individual rooms, which means that you may have to leave your window open during the winter to balance out weird thermostat changes.
  • Kitchen: Floors 3-8: one kitchen per lounge. Floors 2 and 9: one kitchen per suite. Each kitchen has an oven, electric stove, and a good bit of cabinet space that you can reserve with Post-it notes. Unfortunately, no fridge in the kitchens.
  • Lounges: Floor lounges are fairly spacious on 3-8, with couches, armchairs, a table with standard chairs, and a flatscreen TV with cable and accessible HDMI ports. Building lounge on the first floor features a piano and more seating. Lounge on the 10th floor is a “sky lounge” with a good bit of natural light, some table to study at, and AC!
  • Laundry: Laundry in the basement underneath the LLC with 12 washers/dryers, but since it’s shared with Hartley, it gets busy during peak hours. John Jay’s laundry is also accessible through the basement.
  • Computers/Printers: No, but Hartley’s computer lab with printers is just next door, and there is a set of two printers on the first floor of John Jay.
  • Gym: Nope, not even an elliptical.
  • Intra-Transportation: Two elevators (one of which runs a bit slow). Four staircases. Nothing special, but they’ll get you where you need to go.
  • Hardwood/Carpet: Fake hardwood in the rooms, carpet in the hallways. Some weird linoleum tiled flooring in the lounges that was described as “surprisingly resilient.”
  • Wifi: Solid connection pretty much everywhere.
  • Bonus: You’ll have the chance to live with sophomores and a few upperclassmen as a first-year, which is a unique experience and can lead to some really amazing friendships.

Room variety:

  • Wallach is a mix of doubles and singles. There are 140 singles (a majority of the rooms), which range from 94 sq. feet to a nice and roomy 125 sq. feet. The 49 doubles range in size from 200 to 206 sq. feet.
  • Nearly every sophomore/upperclassman in Wallach picks into a single. That being said, Wallach is still a good option for freshpeople trying to get a single because the LLC reserves some singles just for freshpeople. As a first-year in Wallach, expect a small single (<100 sq. feet) or a double.

Bwog recommendation:

  • The standard of living in Wallach is ridiculously high, even for a first-year dorm. Its fairly recent renovation makes it feel like you’re living in something akin to a decent hotel (with semi-private bathrooms). Compared to Hartley’s weird rugs/carpeting and Carman’s coat of first-year grunge, Wallach is truly incredible.
  • Sociability on different floors can sometimes be hit-or-miss, and it really depends on how well people on your floor click with each other early in the year. Most floors generally have a core group of people (first-years and non-freshpeople) who hang out in the lounge, but floor chemistry is still up to luck. That being said, Wallach is a good choice for first-years not interested in living in the chaos of Carman or the quiet halls of Furnald.
  • Once winter hits, you’ll be thankful for Wallach’s proximity to Hamilton Hall for classes, the Hartley Hospitality Desk if you get locked out, and both JJ’s Place and John Jay Dining Hall for your first-year meal plan.

Resident opinion:

  • “A clean space to breathe. I’m truly thankful that my neighbors can’t throw ragers.”
  • “The bathrooms are incredible! Like, shower-sex: it’s not only possible, it feels like it’s encouraged!”
  • “I didn’t think the walls in Wallach were that thin until my neighbor got a significant other. But on the plus side, my neighbor’s banjo music is a great thing to wake up to in the mornings!”
  • “Instead of just being around 30 other freaked out freshmen, you’re are 20 slightly less freaked out sophomores and juniors.”
  • “The upperclassmen are definitely characters. I refuse to say whether they’re good characters, but hey, at least we get advice. But honestly, even that’s questionable.”

Disclaimer: some of astute and avid Bwog-readers might notice that these photos are exactly the same as the photos from both the 2015 review and 2014 review of Wallach. This is because renovations in Wallach were finished back in 2013, and given Columbia’s aversion towards change, it’s very unlikely it’ll be changing anytime soon. Still, it’s better than the Carman chaos.

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