Freshpeople Housing Reviews: Hartley

Written by

The “Hart” of campus (not really, but it’s close enough to JJ’s)

One half of the LLC (aka the two identical buildings next to John Jay), Hartley Hall in one of the oldest dorms on campus, and sometimes, it feels like it. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t also a great place to live during your first year at Columbia and beyond!

Location: 1124 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027 (between Hamilton and Wallach)

Nearby dorms: Wallach and John Jay are literally connected. Furnald, Carman, and Wein are a bit more of a hike but still only 3 minutes away.

Stores and restaurants: John Jay, JJ’s, Hamilton Deli, Arts and Crafts

Cost: $8,412, standard for freshpeople


  • Bathrooms: A two shared, co-ed bathrooms for each suite, cleaned twice weekly. The larger has two stalls/showers and the smaller, on the second floor of the suite, only has one of each.
  • AC/Heating: Heat but no AC. Buy a good fan for the first few months, or keep your windows open.
  • Kitchen: One in each suite, with two stoves, a sink, and a microwave, as well as lots of cabinet space. Cleaning them is resident responsibility so they can get disgusting pretty quickly but Hartley definitely has the smallest kitchen/resident ratio for freshpeople.
  • Lounge: One in on the main level of each suite, with a few chairs, a table and a  television (that has cable) with a smaller, essentially ineffectual lounge on the upper level as well that’s mostly just a few chairs and a small table. The lounges in the A and C suites tend to be a lot larger than those in the B suites. There’s also a sky lounge on the 10th floor and a first floor lounge with pool and ping pong tables!
  • Laundry: Free and in the basement, shared with Wallach. Though it tends to get full during certain peak hours (some evenings, the weekend, etc.) you can definitely find times when it’s completely free.
  • Fire Escapes/Bike Storage: No
  • Computers/printers: There’s a computer lab on the first floor and two PawPrint stations by the door, perfect if your computer malfunctions mid-essay or you forget to print until you’re walking out the door.
  • Intra-transportation: Two pretty slow elevators; one only goes to the 9th floor and the other that can take you to the sky lounge on the 10th.
  • Hardwood/carpet: Ugly 80s carpet in both the halls/lounge and the bedrooms; the kitchens and bathrooms have tile.
  • WiFi: Yes; and it’s pretty fast most of the time.

Room variety: 158 singles ranging from around 95 to 13o sq. feet though most of the larger singles will have been picked by upperclassmen living in the LLC. There are 36 doubles. Those in the A and C suites around about 215 sq. feet, while those in the B suite are smaller, usually between 180 and 195.

Bwog recommendations:

  • Hartley is definitely very hit or miss. A big attraction, and the whole point of the LLC, is living with upperclassman and finding a sense of community during your first year at Columbia. Some are really great about this and provide a truly wonderful and friendly environment to get you acclimated to the way things work in Columbia. If they only picked in for easy access to singles, then it might be a lot more lonely and the old facilities don’t redeem the experience.
  • The kitchens and bathrooms can get super gross if you and your suitemates don’t keep on top of it, and much like in other dorms, can lead to mice and other pests if you aren’t careful.
  • The activities the LLC puts on might not appeal to everyone, but if you want to live there after your first year, it helps to have gone to at least a couple (and honestly, they can be pretty fun!)

Resident opinions:

  • “I like the communal atmosphere, the layout of the lounges, and the size of the kitchens. I’d recommend it to first years because it’s a really good way to meet people and get a community vibe. As for downsides, maintenance is uneven, shit’s old as hell, and the walls are really super thin so it sucks if you have loud suitemates like me”
  • “I had a great experience living in Hartley my freshman year. My whole floor got very close and people were always hanging out in the lounges. A couple of the upper classmen were very approachable and gave lots of good advice. That being said, not every suite or floor ends up being like that so it’s a bit of a gamble. Also, everything is pretty run down and the bathrooms are tiny. Based on my experience, I would recommend Hartley for people who want a chill community but don’t care too much about how nice the facilities are.”
  • “If Hartley were renovated, it would be the best option on campus. The suite layout is really nice and homey, without forcing you to live on top of each other, like in a Carman suite. The location is also super convenient; you’re so close to everything. But I had a suite that didn’t really talk to each other or interact, which ultimately made everything feel kind of isolating.”


Tags: , , , ,

© 2006-2015 Blue and White Publishing Inc.