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Housing Reviews 2019: 620 W 116th St

Generally considered to be among the best of Barnard’s dorms, 620 is highly desired among seniors and juniors with great lottery numbers. On the upper floors, there are massive windows, lots of singles, and great views. Just watch out for the hill and dangerous proximity to Shake Shack. 

Nearby dorms: 600, 616, The Quad, Schapiro, Woodbridge, Claremont, Elliot

Stores and restaurants: Shake Shack, Pret, Sweetgreen, Morton Williams, Halal Cart

Cost: Standardized at $10,435 a year


Bathrooms: Each suite has its own bathroom. You clean it yourself, so have fun negotiating that with your suite mates.

AC/Heating: You’re out of luck: 620 has no AC and not-great radiators, therefore it is hot as balls in the summer and low-key chilly in the winter.

Kitchen/Lounge: Every suite has a pretty sizable kitchen with a gas/oven stove, a sink, and a full refrigerator. There’s also lots of cabinet space, and in some lucky suites, room for a table and chairs so you get that home-y vibe. Some of the cabinets are unrealistically high up, though. The A, B, and D suites have common rooms, but the C suites do not.

Laundry: Located in the basement, six washers and six dryers that are pretty much always available and working.

Fire Escapes: Yes.

Gym: The Barnard gym is pretty close, and Dodge isn’t that far, but it’ll feel like it in winter.

Intra-transportation: Two pretty decent elevators and one staircase.

Hardwood/Carpet: The floors are black linoleum, which can be kind of uncomfortable and ugly, so invest in some cute carpets and rugs.

Room variety:

The number of singles/doubles per suite depends on the floors, and the number of people per suite ranges from 4-7. The first four floors have both doubles and singles in suites, and above that they are 4-5 person suites made up of singles. These are unsurprisingly usually snatched up by seniors, while underclassman occupy the lower floors, with 2/3 doubles and 1/3 singles per suite.

Bwog recommendation:

620 is a great housing option with privacy and decent space, which is why it’s so popular with seniors. The location is very conveniently located near both Barnard’s and Columbia’s campuses (you can make it from 620 to International Affairs in ten minutes), although the hill can get old. It has less of a dorm and more of an apartment feel – closer to 110 than the Quad in terms of the College Experience™. However, your experience can depend on what floor you live on.

Resident opinions:

“Close to the subway, great kitchen, occasional bugs and mice though.”

“I love having so much kitchen space. It makes having meals here really nice, but even if you don’t like cooking, the dining halls are close as well!”

“The first floor is right next to the security desk and the elevator, which gets very noisy. It also has no view to speak of and feels somewhat cave-like. If you can’t get one of the upper floors, I’d skip.”

“It’s kind of annoying that there are no printers and no dorm lounge, and if you are in a double you will be pressed for space. But the singles have massive closets.”

“There’s a fuckton of construction going on right now. Beware.”

Pics via Bwog

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