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Mar

29

Housing Reviews 2018: Broadway

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Broadway – the view from 114th street

Think of Broadway Hall as the alternate-universe version of Wien — it’s mostly singles, but it’s clean and well-located. Senior Staff Writer and former Broadway resident Ross Chapman takes you through one of the nicer corridor-style dorms on campus.

Location: 556 West 114th Street, on the southeast corner of 114th and Broadway. The building is connected to Hogan Hall and sits next to the Beta Theta Pi house on Frat Row.

Nearby dorms: Hogan, Carman, Ruggles, McBain, Watt, 114th Brownstones

Stores and restaurants: The closest places to get quick food include Strokos, Amir’s, Sweetgreen, Nussbaum & Wu, and Junzi Kitchen. The closest sit-down restaurants are Tom’s Restaurant, Community, and Le Monde. Morton Williams is your closest grocery, but Westside Market isn’t too far out of the way. Duane Reade will be your go-to pharmacy.

Cost: All Columbia upperclassman housing will cost $9,538 next year. Previously, the dorm was on the cheaper side at $8,166/year.

Amenities:

  • Bathrooms: Four dormitory-style bathrooms on each floor, two assigned male and two assigned female (talk to your RA about setting up one as a gender-neutral space). Bathrooms are located close to the elevator. Bathrooms on the third and fourth floors are larger to accommodate the higher number of residents. The individual shower stalls (2 per bathroom) are neither flashy nor large, so consider this a big minus compared to suite-style living.
  • AC/Heating: Broadway has both air conditioning and heating. While the building controls whether the heat or AC is on, residents can control the fan speed. No dealing with radiators here!
  • Storage: Rooms contain a desk, a chest of drawers, and a small closet. Broadway does not give residents furniture bookshelves, but it does supply adjustable wall-shelves as compensation.
  • Kitchen: One small kitchen (approx. 100 square feet) per floor. Kitchens have ample cooking space (two ovens/eight electric stove burners), but can get short on counter space and are hard to use when multiple people are cooking at once. The kitchen has storage space, but how much of that you’ll get to use depends on the other people on your floor. No seating in the kitchen.
  • Lounge: Each floor has a large, half-octagon lounge with two tables, four wooden chairs, one sofa, and two overstuffed chairs. They’re nice spaces to eat, hand out, and watch TV, but there’s often at least one group in most lounges, so you shouldn’t expect privacy. Aside from floor lounges, there’s a first floor lounge/meeting space with a large table and about a dozen chairs (often used by student groups) and two sky lounges on the 14th floor, one of which is dedicated for studying.
  • Laundry: The basement laundry room features 11 washers and 9 dryers. It’s pretty well-sized considering the number of residents (about 350), but it will occasionally take a couple of tries to find an open machine.
  • Computers/Printers: A computer lab on the third floor features eight computers and one printer, and there’s another printer in the building’s lobby.
  • Gym: The gym on the fourth floor is pretty bare, with two treadmills, one bike, and one elliptical. Bring your own entertainment, as the gym has no television. It can get pretty stuffy and sweaty in there, as well.
  • Transportation: Three big, fast, beautiful elevators will take you all the way from the basement to the 14th floor in style with fancy wood panels. They do show wear, though, as the side handles are damaged.
  • Hardwood/Carpet: Lounges and hallways are carpeted, while individual rooms are paneled with wood.
  • Wi-Fi: Yes, and it doesn’t generally have any connection issues.
  • Miscellaneous: The second floor features four music practice rooms which you can access by borrowing a key from Dodge Hall for the semester. Since they’re locked, they’re generally free for individual or small-group practice. The building also has a CPS office with Tuesday evening drop-in hours.

Room Variety:

  • Columbia’s Housing Resources recognize the following room varieties in Broadway: interior singles, singles, large singles, small doubles, interior doubles, doubles, and large doubles.
  • Broadway features ten large singles of 134 square feet or more: 305, 405, and the -07 line on floors 6-13. 305 and 405 are oddly shaped and shafted, while the -07’s are rectangular and at the end of the hall, looking South towards downtown.
  • The bulk of the rooms in Broadway are boring old singles, which can face North towards campus, West towards Broadway, or South towards McBain and downtown. They range from 101-125 square feet, so take size into consideration. Also think of location in relation to the bathrooms and what sort of view you’ll get.
  • The main double type, meanwhile, is a small double at the end of the Broadway side of each floor. The -39 and -40 lines account for 20 doubles total on floors 4 through 13, and they are not too desirable. These doubles are 162 to 165 square feet, and the views don’t really make up for it. (For context, the average Carman double is about 215 square feet.)
  • There are 14 better doubles in Broadway: The -22 line of Corner Doubles overlooking Broadway and 114th (200 sq. ft.),  Room 340 (214 sq. ft.), the gym-adjacent Room 402 (200 sq. ft.), and its neighbor Room 456 (173 sq. ft.). These doubles are more comparable to other doubles on campus, and are well-situated on the floor.
  • Floors 6-13 share the same floor plan, in a rough “C” shape. Floors 3 and 4 go all the way around in a square, while Floor 5 has carved out some room for a special faculty-in-residence suite.

Numbers:

  • Broadway singles are reserved for online selection only. You cannot elect to get a few Broadway singles next to each other. Per Columbia’s numbers, last year’s Broadway single cutoff was 10/1581, although it was 20/1795 the year before. However, the large singles are generally scooped up by seniors – last year’s large single cutoff was 30/2425, about 1,000 points lower than 2016-2017’s 30/1428.
  • Broadway’s end-of-hall, 165 sq. ft. doubles generally last to the bitter end, along with Wien’s and Schapiro’s. Last year’s cut-off for Doubles was 10/2912, consistent with the academic year beforehand. However, the corner doubles generally go significantly before then. Per our internal records, the last corner doubles were snatched up at 10/1743 in 2017’s housing selection.

Bwog Recommendation:

  • The best thing about Broadway is that it feels nice. The building is pretty, quiet, well-lit, and clean. The combination of a lack of parties and a recent construction (the hall was built in 2000) make it feel a lot less like a gross college dormitory than, say, Wien Hall.
  • In addition, Broadway is centrally located, especially if you’re a fan of Ferris and Butler. You can roll straight out of bed and rush to class, if that’s your style, and it’s easy to duck out for a quick bite.
  • For all its nice looks, Broadway doesn’t have superior amenities. The rooms aren’t huge compared to suite singles, the bathrooms are a bit dingy, and the kitchens can be hard to multitask in.
  • If you’re a single student looking for a clean, quiet place to live and don’t mind a bit of isolation, Broadway is a great option. If you’re in a double, you should really think twice about living here if you can’t get one of the bigger doubles. To quote a disgruntled student at housing selection, “It was a tough decision between that trash can right there, which would offer better location and mobility, and Broadway. It’s 163 square feet.”

Resident Opinions:

  • “Having the kitchens separate from the lounges is really annoying, more than you might think. That said, the lounges are usually pretty quiet and are a really nice study space. But if you really like to cook you’d be better off in Schapiro.”
  • “It’s a convenient place to live, because it’s so close to south campus. Plus it has access to just about everything you might need: computer lab, workout room, practice rooms, CPS office, etc. Only thing is, don’t expect a lot of social interaction with other people on your floor.”
  • “I wouldn’t want to live on one of the lower floors in only because you don’t get a lot of light with an inner facing room.”
  • “There isn’t a lot of mingling on the floors and pretty much people just keep to themselves.”
  • “Corner doubles have great views if you’re high up. Showers are suspect because there are no stalls. The hottest fucking water on campus. Not in a good way. Like you will scald yourself if you’re not careful. Thin walls, but Bwog already knows about Broadway’s thin walls. Unbeatable location.”

Photos:

Images via Bwog Staff

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