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Housing Reviews 2020: Wien Hall

Wien Hall! Along with being the low-hanging fruit of dorm puns, it’s the dorm that has singles… with sinks. Need I say more?

Location: 411 West 116th Street (between Amsterdam Ave and Morningside Drive)

Nearby dorms: East Campus (and if you’re really looking for a dining hall, John Jay)

Stores and restaurants: Hamilton Deli, Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor, 116th halal carts (both of ’em), Lenfest Cafe (inside the Columbia Law School)

Cost: $9,872/year (standardized)

Amenities:

  • Bathrooms: One men’s communal, one women’s communal, and one gender-neutral single-stall with shower. All communals have one sink (that’s now two sinks at your disposal), three showers, and three toilets, with men’s featuring two urinals.
  • AC/Heating: No AC, but heating that either doesn’t work or works too
  • Kitchen: Yep. See below.
  • Lounge:
    • There is a floor lounge that you will never use regularly unless you are: a) Bwog Senior Staff Writer and Swing Dance Club President Sophie Tobin, or b) a pianist looking to share their talent with the world.
    • Each floor has a lounge with sofas, a kitchen, and TV. You may use this more often.
  • Laundry: Eight washers and nine dryers available on the second floor, free of charge. Laundry “etiquette” remains the same.
  • Computers/Printers: There’s a computer lounge with one iMac, three Dell computers, and a printer on the second floor. There’s also a printer on the ground floor, for when you’re running late for class.
  • Fire escapes: Nope.
  • Bike storage: See “Fire escapes.”
  • Gym: See “Bike storage.” (However, you could just run up and down the stairs leading to EC.)
  • Intra-transportation: Two elevators that’ll take you between all thirteen floors (including the basement and main floors), and a conspicuous stairway.
  • Hardwood/Carpet: Rooms and lounges are hardwood, hallways are carpet. (Save for the second floor lounge, which is carpet.)
  • Wifi: It’s here, and it’s… fine. No better than what you’ll get anywhere else on campus.
  • Extras:
    • Wien’s basement houses the Mail Center. This is especially appreciated when it’s raining and you don’t have to trudge back to your dorm with a mattress topper in tow.
    • The third floor is, per Housing, an “all female floor.”
    • Columbia Law School is right next to Wien. It’s a good study space, especially if you’re trying to pull an all-nighter. Doors may close at 10 PM, but when you’re in, you’re in.
    • Right next to Prezbo’s house and a block away from a Catholic church. If that matters to you, there you go.

Room variety:

  • 283 singles and 45 doubles. If you’re looking at Wien, a double probably isn’t the first thing on your mind.
  • Singles average around 110 square feet.
  • Standard doubles (16) average around 200 square feet. (From what I understand, they’re not the best doubles around.)
  • Walk-through doubles (29) average around 290 square feet.
  • Residents are mainly sophomores and juniors, with a smattering of seniors.

Bwog’s Recommendation:

Keep in mind that I’m only here after a “summer shuffle” request transferred me out of a double to “any random single,” so my being in Wien isn’t by any explicit preference.

Wien’s not incredibly social unless your housing group decides to choose into a bunch of singles (but even then, you’re probably better off in a suite). The hallways are garishly lit with exposed wire, which only compounds the seasonal affective disorder you get from spending a winter in New York City. Despite there being a kitchen, no one uses it, and every time you think that you’re going to actually use the lounge for something, you’ll actually end up going right back to your single after you catch a glimpse of a tight-knit group of friends that you’re not part of enjoying McDelivery, doing homework together, and living out their four years.

Assuming yours is a good RA, they will attempt to put together some group activity for the floor to create some semblance of a community, but no one on your floor will care — and thus, why should you? Caring is for fools, and we’re much too busy, anyway. Walls are thin, naturally, but at least there’s no glaring issues with insect activity. It’s a place to live, and that’s the best I can say about it.

But yeah, the sinks in-room are kickass.

Resident Opinions:

  • “It is a building of tradeoffs.”
  • “Don’t go to Wien expecting a great deal of “floor culture”; there’s barely any.”
  • “Wien is a great space but really antisocial.”
  • “The location is mostly convenient to campus, and the sink is an underrated plus.”
  • “Views over Morningside park are great, if you can get one.”
  • “Package center is also in the basement which is really convenient!”
  • “Decent option for a single as a junior.”
  • “Far from dining halls and stuff on Broadway.”

 

Header via Jeffrey Ndubisi

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2 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Which room numbers have good views over morningside park?

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous I would say to go for mostly anything with an even number on one of the higher floors – if you look at the housing website’s floor plan for basically any floor other than 2, everything on the right will be Morningside Park-facing views. (I’d have much preferred that to Columbia Law…)

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