Hartley is might be the ugly duckling of the freshpeople dorms but it’s hiding a heart of gold (and sometimes cockroaches).

Location: 1124 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027 (between Hamilton and Wallach)

Nearby dorms: Wallach and John Jay are literally connected so no need to worry about braving the cold to get your 2 am gummy bears. Furnald, Carman, Wein, and Ruggles/Frat Row are a bit more of a hike but still only 3 minutes away.

Stores and restaurants: John Jay, JJ’s, Hamilton Deli, Arts and Crafts, Strokos, NY Basics—pretty much anything on Amsterdam is relatively close by.

Cost: 2019-2020 cost for freshpeople were standardized at $8,718/year


  • Bathrooms: A two shared, co-ed bathrooms for each suite, cleaned twice weekly. The larger has two stalls/showers and the smaller bathroom has only has one of each.
  • AC/Heating: Heat but no AC. Buy a good fan for the first few months, or keep your windows open.
  • Kitchen: One in each suite, with two stoves, a sink, and a microwave, as well as lots of cabinet space. Hartley definitely has the smallest kitchen/resident ratio for freshpeople but kitchen cleanup is resident responsibility and none of your suitemates will be as hygienic as you really want them to be. Also, no communal fridge, which could be a pro or a con depending on how you spin it.
  • Lounge: One on the main level of each suite, with a few chairs, a table and a television (that has cable). There’s also an essentially ineffectual lounge on the other level; it’s just a few chairs and a small table. The lounges in the A and C suites tend to be a lot larger than those in the B suites. There’s also a sky lounge on the 10th floor and a first-floor lounge with pool and ping pong tables!
  • Laundry: Free and in the basement, shared with Wallach. Though it tends to get full during certain peak hours (some evenings, the weekend, etc.) you can definitely find times when it’s completely free.
  • Fire Escapes/Bike Storage: No
  • Computers/printers: There’s a computer lab on the first floor and two PawPrint stations just behind the security desk (also useful for the Columbia student with a class in Hamilton and an essay they forgot was due in 10 minutes)
  • Intra-transportation: Two pretty slow elevators; one only goes to the 9th floor and the other that can take you to the sky lounge on the 10th, which is an underrated study spot.
  • Hardwood/carpet: Ugly carpet in both the halls/lounge and the bedrooms (vacuuming? in my good Christian suite? more likely than you’d think!); the kitchens and bathrooms have tile.
  • WiFi: Yes; and it’s pretty fast most of the time.

Room variety: 158 singles ranging from around 95 to 13o sq. feet though most of the larger singles will have been picked by upperclassmen living in the LLC. There are 36 doubles. Those in the A and C suites around about 215 sq. feet, while those in the B suite are smaller, usually between 180 and 195.

Bwog recommendations:

As someone who chose Hartley as their first choice (?!?) in their first year but decided not to go back, I’d say you probably shouldn’t make the same mistake I did, but also don’t be super forlorn if you end up living here for your first year. The LLC is meant to give upperclassmen a chance to mingle with and mentor first years and I think Hartley’s suite-style living facilitates that better than Wallach. If you’re an upperclassman living here, it’s super important that you reach out to first-years in your suite and first-years, don’t be afraid to talk to your suitemates. That makes or breaks the Hartley experience.

Aside from that, Hartley is also a great way to enjoy suite-style living for first-years who are trying to avoid the louder atmosphere of Carman, as the dorm tends to be pretty quiet. The amenities (aside from lack of AC) are relatively nice given the age of the dorm but kitchens and bathrooms can get gross if your suite isn’t on top of keeping everything clean. Also, keep in mind that if you want to live in the LLC after your first year, you should try to go to some of the activities they put on throughout the year.

Resident opinions:

  • Hartley is kind of a hot mess; to be frank, it has no air conditioning, gross carpet, and hasn’t been renovated in 5ever. It is, however, one of the only places in first-year housing that you can experience suite-style living, so that’s something. There’s also a kitchen in each suite, which is cool, and easy access to the hospitality desk. It can be a really fun living environment if you connect with your suitemates or it can just end up sort of awkward, but a lot of that depends on how you handle the situation.
  • So I really enjoyed living in Hartley my first year, enough that I chose to live there sophomore year too. The rooms are alright with good heating in the winter but no ac. It’s one of the oldest buildings though so one might have some pests. The suite-style I really enjoyed because it forces socializing and helps first years meet others and get mentored by upperclassmen. I’ve made great friends in my suite that I would not have made if I were living in another building, and the first upperclassmen I met were in my first-year suite and I’m still in touch today. I like to emphasize the social aspect of Hartley because if you can get to know the others in your suite, I think it makes up for it being an old building and much more valuable to me than other res halls, tho that’s a hot take. The kitchen is useful to those who use it, though hard to keep clean, and if you don’t want others using your pans and plates, the cabinets are there for a reason.
  • The kitchen is useful to those who use it, though hard to keep clean, and if you don’t want others using your pans and plates the cabinets are there for a reason


images via Bwarchives