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Freshpeople Housing Reviews 2015: Wallach

In the fourth installment of our Freshpeople Housing Reviews, we move to the meat of the Hartley-John Jay sandwich: Wallach Hall. If renovated rooms and single-use bathrooms are your cup of tea, read on!


Location: 1116 Amsterdam Avenue

  • Nearby dorms: Hartley and John Jay are connected by tunnel; Carman and Furnald are just a hop, skip, and a jump away.
  • Food: JJ’s Place and the John Jay dining hall are closer to most Wallach residents than to some in John Jay. Ferris isn’t much of a walk, but it is outside. HamDel is tantalizingly close; Strokos et al. aren’t much of a walk, either.

Cost: $7,418/year for freshpeople; $8,522/year for upperclasspeople.


  • Bathrooms: Floors 3-8: seven unisex bathrooms per floor (1 shower, sink, and toilet), including one handicap accessible. Floors 2 and 9: three per suite, same features. They’re exceptionally spacious and generally clean; miles ahead of Hartley.
  • AC/Heating: No AC except on the 10th floor lounge and in the lobby. Heating, but—as with other residence halls—outside your control. You may have to play with your window a bit to get the right heat-cool balance in the winter.
  • Kitchen/Lounge: The middle floors (3-8) have one kitchen per floor, while the second and ninth have one kitchen per suite. Each kitchen has an oven, electric cooktop, and ample cabinet space. The kitchen is connected to a large lounge, which features a table, armchairs, a loveseat, and a huge flatscreen. There’s also a building lounge on the 1st floor (with a piano!), as well as the (air-conditioned) “skylounge” on the 10th.
  • Laundry: Large laundry room in the basement (12 washers, 12 dryers), though it’s shared with Hartley so you’ll still want to avoid peak hours.
  • Computers/Printers: No, but there’s a computer/printing room right next door in Hartley and a pair of printers on the first floor of John Jay.
  • Gym: Nope.
  • Intra-transportation: Four staircases, two elevators.
  • Hardwoord/Carpet: Fake hardwood—not half bad!

Room variety:

A standard Wallach floor

A standard Wallach floor

  • Recent renovations have made Wallach one of the best options for freshpeople and for sophomores looking to get singles. Floors 2-5 were renovated summer 2013, and floors 6-10 summer 2012. Floors 2 and 9 are suite-style; every other floor is corridor.
  • Singles: 140 total. The majority of rooms in Wallach are singles, which range from 94 sq. ft. to 125 sq. ft.
  • Doubles: 49 total. Range from 200-206 sq. ft., and are almost exclusively occupied by first-years.
  • Almost all sophomores who live in the LLC pick singles. As a first-year, you can expect to get one of the smaller singles (almost certainly <100 sq. ft.) or a double.


As part of the LLC, Wallach doesn’t operate on the standard housing lottery system. For upperclassmen, admission is based on an application that seems to be skewed towards students who were part of the LLC during their freshman year. Fear not, though: Housing doesn’t publish the LLC acceptance rate, but it seems to be near 100%.

Many first-years and nearly all upperclassmen get singles.

Bwog recommendation:

  • A good middle-road on social interaction—neither the circus of Carman nor the cemetery of Furnald. Hartley’s suite-style might make Wallach the less social of the two LLC dorms, but the deciding factor in floor sociability remains the luck of the draw.
  • Aesthetically unparalleled for freshman dorms, with the possible exception of Furnald. The recent renovation has pushed it away from Hartley’s questionable rugs and peeling walls, and the abundance of hard surfaces comes off as modern rather than sterile.
  • Excellent location on campus. Dining halls, Hamilton, and Butler (Cafe!) aren’t far, and a quick stroll out the gate puts you in the midst of a dozen local eateries. Campus is small; you aren’t far from anything.

Resident opinions:

  • “You’ve got a pretty good shot at a good view of campus or of Amsterdam…a few people get stuck looking at John Jay or Hartley, but they close their blinds and enjoy their singles.”
  • “Thin walls, but at least they don’t look like they were ripped out of a Moldovan brothel.”
  • “I don’t feel like I’m living in a prison or a grocery store so thumbs up.”
  • “I lived in Hartley once.”
  • “The bad news is that you can’t host a rager. The good news is that neither can your neighbors.”
  • “Like a cheaper, hotter, more social Furnald.”
  • “Some floors are pretty social and some aren’t. But at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter because the bathrooms are simply majestic.”

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