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Housing Reviews 2019: Wien Hall

Are you an architecture snob with delusions of grandeur in need of some privacy? Welcome to Wien. Leo, a resident Wien-er, takes you through Wien Hall in this Housing Review. 

Leo’s swanky single, which has been visited by twink and mosquito alike.

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, NY Basics, Friedman’s, and the 116th & Amsterdam halal cart

Cost: standardized to $9,872/year

Amenities:

  • 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 benefits of Wien: your own personal sink and the fact that the package center is literally in your basement! I mean having your mail/packages in-house is worth bragging rights and as for the sink, it makes a huge difference. However, with great power comes great responsibility, i.e. do not pee in the sink and get lazy.

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.

Numbers:

  • 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

Leo’s recommendation:

Wien would be Hotel if it were a season of American Horror Story. It has this faded grandeur to it like a dilapidated plantation in modern day Mississippi. Like very Faulkner. Like the deep South, if you live your window open in the hotter months, you will find all sorts of exotic insects in your room. You just know Allen Ginsberg’s past hookups are haunting this luxe yet old fashion dorm. The lounge literally has a chandelier and Game of Thrones-esque giant fireplace. Would recommend for dramatic soliloquy-ing. The sink in the room is honestly a life-saver. My biggest problem with Columbia housing is the dry-ness so this definitely counteracts that. Make sure you get a room with a view of campus. The Wien community is actually really nice and people are generally congenial and social unlike other dorms like Shapiro and Broadway, which are notoriously alienating and anti-social.

Resident opinions/stories:

  • “So, a lot of people leave their windows open. One night, a student decided the sink was even too far and decided to pee out the window and, it being a windy night, the wind blew his urine into a number of unfortunate student’s dorms. Talk about a golden showers fiasco.”
  • “You really need a thick skin to counteract hearing your neighbors shit-talking you behind all too thin walls”
  • “I didn’t choose Wien. Wien chose me.”
  • “I came for the grandiose architecture and I stayed for the impromptu singing that can be heard while you’re doing your laundry.”
  • “I chose Wien just to indulge my Amazon addiction.”

Wien hallways: straight out of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Paging Nurse Ratched.

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

Leo’s swanky suite, which has been visited by twink and mosquito alike.

The main lounge, view from a balcony. St. A's who??

The main lounge, view from the second floor balcony. St. A’s who??

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2 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Which rooms have a view of campus?

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous How much do the windows open?

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