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Freshpeople Housing Reviews 2019: John Jay Hall

Named after one of our favorite founding fathers, John Jay’s got the singles that mingle. And lots of food.

Location: 519 W. 114th Street, New York, NY 10027

Nearby Dorms: Hartley, Wallach, and Ruggles.

Nearby Stores and Restaurants: Hamilton Deli, John Jay Dining Hall, JJ’s Place, Arts and Crafts, sort of Halal Cart.

Cost: For First-Years: $8,412/year


  • Bathrooms: Shared single-stall bathrooms on every floor.
  • AC/Heating: No AC (unfortunately), but there is heat (obvi).
  • Kitchen/Lounge: Each floor has a lounge with a counter and a microwave.
  • Laundry: Free laundry in the basement. Machines fill up quickly.
  • Fire Escapes/Bike Storage: Nah
  • Computers/Printers: Two printers by the door. There’s also a computer lounge in nearby Hartley. You’ll be good getting last-minute papers in on time.
  • Intra-Transportation: Two slow elevators. One goes to the 13th floor, and the other goes to the 14th floor. Residents on the 15th floor have to walk the last flight of steps.
  • Hardwood/Carpet: Rooms have hardwood floors. Halls have carpeted floors.
  • WiFi: Yahh
  • Room Variety: Most rooms are 100 sq. ft. singles, but there are also some walk-through doubles (composed of two ~100 sq. ft. singles) and some traditional doubles (~200 sq. ft.) on the 15th floor.
  • Bonus: Great views of Columbia’s campus and NYC skyline from higher floors. You’ll also be living right above two popular dining halls, JJ’s and John Jay.

Bwog Recommendation:

  • “If you’re looking for a single, but still want a social dorm, John Jay is for you.”
  • “You should live in John Jay. There are so few chances to live in a nice single in college, especially in a situation where no one knows each other, and everyone is obligated to make friends. After freshman year, mostly-single dorms are antisocial. During freshman year, they’re ideal. If you’re at all hesitant about a roommate, go for JJ.”

Resident Opinions:

  • “Living above JJ’s is a blessing, believe me.”
  • “Think before going for a walk-through double, you might get stuck in the traditional doubles which are terrible, tiny, and get no light.”
  • “You can shower for as long as you want.”
  • One person said . . .
    • “Bathrooms are GROSS but people are great”
      • But another person said . . .
        • “My floor bathrooms were always nice.”
          • And another person said . . .
            • “Yeah, my floor always had clean bathrooms.”
  • “John Jay probably will be my favorite dorm until senior year (I’m excited for EC). Perfect mix of single and private. I literally chose to live in Wallach this year as a sophomore because I figured it’d be the closest thing to living in John Jay. Wallach’s much more antisocial, though.”
  • “Lounge is great, but I don’t use it often.”
  • “Friendly people here.”
  • “I didn’t bond much with my jj floor but having a single was KEY.”
  • “John Jay initially comes off as fairly high-school-dorm-y in that it’s one long hallway, has too few bathrooms to share, has no air conditioning, and most of the time, smells a little funny. But over time, you’ll learn to love the little things, like the privacy, the chats across the halls, the gatherings in the lounge, and the option to crash in other people’s rooms. It’s a love hate relationship that is essential to the Columbia relationship. Plus you can’t beat being able to go to jj’s in your pjs.”


John Jay via Bwog Archive

Room and View Photos via Much-Appreciated Bwog Contributers

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