Pre-frosh! Upon reading this review you will be appraised of 3/4 of your housing options! You’ve already learned your Carman from your John Jay. That’s like first-year housing ABCs! You’ll be ready for May 1st in no time.

Now, behold Furnald. It’s a pretty cool, and different, place. Tomorrow we’ll give you a taste of the LLC, and then you’ll be all set.

Furnald is, strictly with regard to physical quality, superior to all other freshman dorms. The place is often called a “hotel” for its beautiful lounge, carpeted floors, and damn fine facade. Furnald boasts great views of Broadway in west-facing rooms, and campus in east-facing rooms. If you’re lucky to get a high enough floor on the western side, you’ll have a view of Riverside Park, the Hudson, and Jersey. Living arrangements are mostly singles, mixed in with a few (smallish) doubles.

What really sets Furnald apart from Carman and John Jay is the presence of a few sophomores. Some Columbians contend that since sophomores have established social circles, floors are quieter and community is stunted; others hold that since most students make their good friends through student groups, having a quiet room to retreat to is desirable. Lately, however, the administration has been allocating more rooms to first-years and fewer to sophomores, so this perception may be growing outdated. Indeed, it could be useful to have a nice sophomore around for advice!

It may be the fact that it’s the less-social reputation which endows Furnald with “nerdy” and studious rep. Basically, if it were a Harry Potter house, it’d be Ravenclaw. But don’t let that turn you off from Furnald: there are plenty of places to party besides your own dorm, and really, it’s the nicest housing option. You can’t lose.

Just the Facts:

  • Nearby places: Furnald, like all other freshman dorms, is basically close to everything.  It’s adjacent to Lerner, across South Field from Hamilton, and a short walk from Butler. Also, Furnald is very close the the 1 (especially the 115th Street exit!) and Broadway attractions. It is the furthest dorm from John Jay dining hall, but we’re talking about a matter of a few feet.
  • Bathrooms: Floor bathrooms, male and female.
  • AC/Heating: Yes and yes!
  • Kitchen/Lounge: The lounges at Furnald kick ass. Each floor has a big plasma TV, couches, and a full kitchen which—in most cases—is actually clean, and can provide community and a break from John Jay.
  • Laundry: In the basement, 6 washer and 5 dryers.
  • Computers/Printers: There’s a lab on the 1st floor with three computers and one printer.
  • Intra-transportation: Two elevators.
  • Wi-Fi: In the basement lounge; only Ethernet for the rooms

Resident Opinions:

  • “The ongoing joke is that we live in Hotel Furnald—but it’s kind of true. Everything is fresh, bright, and clean in Furnald—walls, carpets, even the doors seem a bit classier in Furnald. It’s recently (a relative term) renovated, and you can tell. The bathrooms are large and bright and also relatively new. The flat screen and almost full kitchen (no fridge) in the lounge on every floor doesn’t hurt either.”
  • “I can’t imagine having lived anywhere else for my first year. Furnald is incredibly clean (have you seen the bathrooms?), really quiet, and has a great location right on Broadway. Don’t believe the rumors about this dorm being antisocial. Many of my best friends at Columbia I met on my floor. I also love to cook, so the huge kitchens were not only good for me individually, but also as a way for my floor to bond over community breakfasts and cookie baking sessions. In fact, I love Furnald so much that I’m living there again as a sophomore!”
  • “I just went through the Housing Lottery. Next year, I’ll be in McBain, in a pretty big double. That room won’t hold a candle to my Furnald single. Get the good housing as a first-year, and get a double as a sophomore.”

Images by Elyse DeWitt, Allen Johnson, and Alex Jones