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Housing Reviews 2019: Carlton Arms

The walk weeds out the weak, leaving Carl only for the strong. Here’s our review of Carlton Arms, the hidden gem of the quasi-Upper West Side. 

Location: Riverside between 108th and 109th.

  • Nearby dorms: 110 (Barnard) and Harmony, but other than that, nothing. Carlton is the furthest dorm from campus.
  • Stores and restaurants: The new CVS! Absolute Bagels! 1020, Mel’s, and Koronet’s if you’re into late nights! Not one, but two Duanes Reade.

Cost: The cost for upperclassman dorms is standard: $9,538/year.


  • Bathrooms: Each suite has two bathrooms with two sinks, two stalls, and a shower.
  • AC/Heating: No AC, but the heating is aggressive. Many rooms have multiple windows, some of which open to the Hudson, so a few well-placed fans can enhance the natural airflow and get your room cool.
  • Lounge: Each suite has a centrally-located lounge, though there’s not a communal one for the whole floor.
  • Kitchen: Each suite has one kitchen with an oven, microwave, fridge, stove, and ample cabinet space.
  • Laundry: In the basement of the building, only accessible through an elevator. Normal busy-ness.
  • Fire escapes: There are fire escapes that are accessible but you’re not allowed to go on them.
  • Bike storage: In the basement.
  • Computers/printers: In the first-floor lobby.
  • Gym: Small gym on the top floor with a treadmill and some lifting equipment.
  • Intra-transportation: Two elevators that are decent.
  • Hardwood/carpet: Rooms have hardwood, the rest of the suite has carpet.

Room variety:

  • Suites have anywhere from 4 to 10 rooms.
  • The building has 25 singles and 53 doubles.
  • Transfer students, SEAS combined plan (3-2) students, graduate students, and even a few “regular people” (i.e. non-Columbia students) live here alongside undergrads.


From the housing website:

  • Carlton Arms – 3 Person Suite (1 Sgl/1 Dbl) 10/321
  • Carlton Arms – 4 Person Suite (2 Sgl/1 Dbl) 10/983
  • Carlton Arms – 4 Person Suite (2 Dbl) 10/981
  • Carlton Arms – 5 Person Suite (5 Sgl) 30/2407
  • Carlton Arms – 5 Person Suite (3 Sgl/1 Dbl) 20/2436
  • Carlton Arms – 6 Person Suite (2 Sgl/2 Dbl) 20/2502
  • Carlton Arms – 8 Person Suite (2 Sgl/3 Dbl) 10/393

Not sure why they don’t have numbers for a 9 person suite?

Bwog recommendation:

It may be the longest walk at CU, but Carlton provides great value in terms of comfort and space. I like how the lounges are centrally located so they’re actually a communal space for everyone in the suite. River views are a bonus rarely found in Columbia Housing, and almost never for sophomores. Big rooms open up the opportunity for walking, though your guests may complain. And some rooms are shafted and don’t get a lot of like, or are weirdly shaped. If you’d rather run into young couples walking their dog than daydrunk frat bros, Carlton may just be the place for you.

Resident opinions:

  • “The spacious rooms are worth the walk”
  • “The elevators are very chatty”
  • “You can’t ever turn off the light in the common area but at least we have a TV”
  • “Bougie as hell”
  • “Try to get a view of the river, you’ll want a room that faces 109th or Riverside Drive”
  • “So far from JJ’s…
  • “A slept-on Queen!”
  • “Hands down the best New York real estate I will ever be able to afford”
  • “I watch the sun set over the river through my bay window every night”


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