Freshpeople Housing Reviews 2016: Furnald

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Artfully arranged armchairs in the floor lounge


Have you already started posting on the Columbia 2020 Facebook group in search of a roommate, not realizing you will both hate each other by the end of first semester and will never talk to each other again outside of “It’s your turn to buy hand soap.” Well, Bwog’s here to help nurture your neurotic tendencies: our first year dorm reviews will (hopefully) make your decision a little easier. Next up: Furnald. 

Location: 2940 Broadway & 115 Street, easily accessible from inside campus

Nearby dorms: Carman, Schapiro, the Brownstones, the LLC, and John Jay

Stores and restaurants: Ferris, Morton Williams, Starbucks, M2M, sweetgreen, Vine, Bernheim & Schwartz

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


  • Bathrooms: From the third to tenth floor, there are separate men’s and women’s bathrooms that are cleaned every weekday. The floor bathrooms each have three showers, three toilets, and five sinks. The first floor has an ADA bathroom and those on the first and second floor are co-ed.
  • AC/Heating: Yes, which is great for the first month or so of school.
  • Kitchen/Lounge: The floor lounges are nice and roomy, with a seating area (four armchairs and a coffee table), cable TV, a large kitchen table with chairs, and a decent kitchen. The kitchen area has two microwaves, an oven, and two stovetops, along with granite countertops. There is a main lounge/lobby on the first floor that looks warm and inviting.

  • Laundry: Laundry room in the basement with six washers and six dryers. Though Furnald has over 200 residents, the laundry room is never too busy.
  • Computers/Printers: A small computer lab on the first floor with three computers and one printer.
  • Intra-transportation: Two pretty slow elevators, one on the north side and one on the south side. Most people opt for the elevator on the north side, for some reason.
  • Hardwood/carpet: Hardwood floors in rooms, carpeting in some of the hallway.
  • Wifi: Yes.
  • Bonus: Queer lounge (!) and bike storage (!!) in basement.
A typical Furnald floor

A typical Furnald floor

Room Variety:

  • Singles: There are plentiful singles—190 in total, although 40 are reserved for sophomores. None are inhumanely small, with the smallest being 104 square feet and the largest an impressive 130 square feet. Floors 1, 2, and 10 are smaller and have fewer rooms than floors 3 – 9. And Furnald 2 is special in that it is divided into two “suites”: male and female. Rooms 201-8 make up the female suite, and rooms 211-18 make up the male suite; each suite has its own lounge and kitchen.
  • Doubles: There are 28 doubles, which can be enormous (around 275 square feet), or almost-but-not-quite miserable (around 175 square feet). There are four doubles each on floor 1 and 2, two doubles each on floors 3-9, and one double on floor 10.

Bwog Recommendations:

  • Furnald might have an anti-social reputation, but if you aren’t into the party life/don’t want to bring the party life home with you after you stagger out of Carman during NSOP/think you have other avenues to make friends, go for it! As it is, the reputation far exceeds the reality and you will likely still make friends at Furnald.
  • East-facing rooms on higher floors have beautiful views of South Lawn, along with Butler and College Walk.
  • All dorms might be getting lounge air conditioning this upcoming year, but in-room AC is still a huge perk during the first month of school.
  • The tenth floor is the smallest, and has the cleanest bathrooms, which residents of other floors sometimes patronize. The room ceilings are dizzyingly high.
  • The kitchen and its amenities can be incredibly convenient. The lounges are well-designed and inviting, or at least more so than Carman’s; a lot of students actually lounge about in their lounges.

Resident Opinions:

  • “It’s really clean: no rats and other creatures. And there’s a nice old timey lounge without an annoying piano.” (Shade to Hartley?)
  • “It’s close to Ferris, which is all that matters in the winter.”
  • “My floor is really quiet but some of the others are fairly social, so it can go either way. The building is pretty small, so you end up knowing most people anyway.”
  • “I really love Furnald: it’s clean, has great facilities, and I can go to bed without having to endure constant noise or partying. My floor has definitely bonded a lot.”
  • “My entire floor smells like weed on Thursday nights. I honestly think it might be the RA.”
  • “The bathrooms always seem eerily empty. Like, I’ve never showered at the same time as another person no matter what time of the day I do it, which is nice, but odd.”

Images courtesy of Bwog Staff

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