Location: 548 W. 113th , next to Symposium Restaurant (544 W. 113). This brownstone was made available as a housing option for the first time last year, and has been spectacularly successful.

  • Nearby dorms: Across the street from Watt, down the street from McBain.
  • Stores and restaurants: Near a Chase ATM, Deluxe, Milano Market, Campo, and Oren’s.  Half a block away is Nussbaum & Wu, and Community.  Not that you will need outside food sources when you have the huge kitchens available in Symposium.


  • Unknown!


  • Bathrooms: Bathroom in each double.
  • AC/Heating: No AC, but has heating.  The Super for the building is very quick and dependable if you have any heating/utilities issues.
  • Kitchen/Lounge: Not only is there a kitchen in each double, but they are BIG kitchens.  Newer and bigger than Watt.
  • Laundry: There is one washer and one dryer way down on the bottom floor.  Residents frequently take their laundry across the street to Watt.
  • Computers/Printers: None.  Residents use McBain for printing services.
  • Gym: None.  But you have enough room for your own treadmill with these spacious doubles..
  • Intra-transportation: Only stairs!  That can be a bit daunting if you land either of the 4th floor doubles.  Also, if you need to go open the door for someone (because only building residents have swipe access) then you must walk all the way down and all the way back up.
  • Hardwood/Carpet: Hardwood flooring in the rooms, tile in the Kitchen/Bathroom.
  • Closets: Real closets in all the rooms!

Room variety:

  • Symposium is all doubles, besides the RA’s room on the first floor.  Two doubles per floor on floors 2-4, one double in the basement (the biggest).
  • The doubles average right about 300 sqft.  Unfortunately, there are no specific numbers or floor plans available from housing.


  • We talked to one resident who claimed that he picked into the second to last double in Symposium, and he had #750 as a rising junior.  So you need to have a pretty good number to have a chance at NYC Brownstone life.

Bwog recommendation:

  • Rising Juniors who want doubles should plan on Watt, but if you hit it right with the housing lottery, you should heavily consider Symposium.

Resident opinions:

  • “People are very quiet.”
  • “No rats or cockroaches.  No critters of any kind.”
  • “Great that people don’t have to be signed in. Bad thing because you have to go open the door.” [Only residents of this building can swipe in.]
  • “I’ve always wanted to live in a brownstone in New York.”
  • “The only drawback is the stairs, and the laundry doesn’t take Flex.”
  • Rumored that there is backyard access.”
  • “Sometimes you can hear the frats through the walls, but only faintly.  It’s okay because they invite you to the parties.”
  • “No Columbia-provided cable. You have to go through Time Warner”
  • “Symposium was great housing for a junior coming back from abroad. The location on 113th is perfect and the room set-up is awesome.”
  • “Even though they’re doubles, many (like ours) have full separate kitchens, so you have your own space if you need it!”


Photos by Elyse DeWitt