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Housing Reviews 2017: Wien Hall

Wien’s stately exterior hides its interior – stressed out and isolated sophomores/juniors.

Did you have a terrible experience with your roommate and are desperately searching for a single? Don’t worry, you’ve want plenty of options. Bwog takes you through Wien Hall in this Housing Review. 

Location: 411 West 116th Street, between Amsterdam and Morningside

  • Nearby dorms: East Campus
  • Stores and restaurants: Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor, Hamilton Deli, Strokos Deli, Artopolis, Friedman’s, and the 116th & Amsterdam halal cart

Cost: standardized to $9,292/year


  • Bathrooms: Standard dorm bathrooms on each floor, separated by gender and with three stall-style showers each. Also: a gender-neutral, wheelchair accessible, private bathroom on each floor.
  • AC/Heating: No AC at all. The radiators, which were supposedly renovated recently, either run much too hot or not at all. You’ll definitely want a fan or an (illegal) AC unit of your own to counteract the heat.
  • Kitchen: There’s a general kitchen on the second floor with two stovetops, two ovens, two microwaves, and a sink, which is not particularly kept up. However, some of the floors have recently renovated lounges with half-kitchens: a stovetop, microwave, and sink, but unfortunately no oven.
  • Lounge: Columbia actually put some money into updating the lounges, so now each floor has at least some form of a lounge. These usually feature a standard square table with chairs, as well as a coffee table, a number of armchair-style seats, and a TV. It’s not the height of luxury, but it’s something.
  • Laundry: There’s a free laundry room on the 2nd floor that’s always full and crowded; this includes piles of wet laundry sitting around or strewn across the floor.
  • Computers/Printers: There’s a computer lab on the 2nd floor with a printer that’s usually fairly consistent. The ground-floor printer is usually a bit more temperamental about when it works, but at least it’s there for when you forget to print and don’t want to swipe back in.
  • Fire escapes: Nope.
  • Bike storage: There’s a Zagster bike rack for bike rental outside, but no officially designated student bike storage for Wien.
  • Gym: Enjoy the hike to Dodge! Not available.
  • Intra-transportation: The two elevators are generally quick, when operational. One of the elevators was not functional for a bit over a week this semester, and they occasionally will get stuck on floors / experience door jams.
  • Hardwood/Carpet: Neither! While the halls are carpeted, single rooms have lovely color linoleum tiles. Some double have updated to hardwood, however.
  • Wifi: Yes, thankfully.
  • Bonus: By this point, you’re probably aware of the biggest benefit of Wien: your own personal sink! However, with great power (brushing your teeth without leaving your room) comes great responsibility (like not pissing in your sink).

Room variety: 

  • Supposedly 283 singles, although the construction of floor lounges might have altered that number. Most of the singles range around 120 square feet, with a few inhumanly small ones interspersed.
  • 16 doubles that are around 200 square feet apiece. Try to avoid these; there are better options for doubles at Columbia, and just by square footage, these are not great.
  • 29 walk-through doubles, which are better than the standard double, but only just. 8 of these walk-throughs are “big,” totally around 290 square feet. If you can’t get a single, or better double options run out, these aren’t wholly terrible picks.


  • Singles: 10/1079 – only rising sophomores should really be concerned over getting a Wien single, since this number is fairly consistent.
  • Doubles: 10/2893
  • Walk-through Doubles: 10/2794

Bwog recommendation:

All things considered, Wien singles aren’t terrible places to live. Sure, Wien kind of looks like an industrial prison, the linoleum isn’t a great look, and the lack of AC can turn rooms into little saunas during the first few weeks of class; the trade-off for privacy as a sophomore is still a plus. Additionally, some of the higher floors that face east have spectacular views of Morningside Park and Harlem, complete with sun rises. The doubles and walk-through doubles are a bit less desirable, though.

Resident opinions:

  • “The walls are so incredibly thin – I can tell you exactly what kind of candles my neighbor uses, and when the girl five doors down finishes.”
  • “From the exposed pipes to the blue linoleum floors, there’s good reason that Wien is known as the Ritz Carlton of Columbia.” – “Feel free to attribute to ‘a proud Wien resident’ or ‘prince of Wien.'”
  • “I learned to love my Wien single, much like how a masochist loves pain.”
  • “The proximity to both EC and St. Luke’s was really compelling when I was making my room selection!”



Images via a Bwog staffer and Ross Chapman 

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1 Comment

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Your own private courtyard and tables.

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