A housing review for the new to Barnard 121st street dorms: old, but charming.

Location:  537 West 121st Street (formally known as Goldsmith)

Nearby Dorms: Not super connected to other dorms but a block away from Noco

Stores and Restaurants: Near Olive Tree (a deeply underrated bodega), Cafe Au Lait, and a block and a half from Appletree Market

Cost: $10,826 for the year

Room organization:  

5-person 1 Single, 2 Doubles: 200/35

5-person 5 Singles: 300/10

4-person 2 Singles, 1 Double: 275/27

4-person 4 Singles: 300/10

This dorm may be new to the Barnard scene, but it has a long and storied history. Originally the Jewish Theological Seminary undergraduate dorms, the former “Goldsmith” name still is on the front of the building. The apartment-style suite with mostly singles is a great option for upperclassmen who want to live with a bunch of friends, cook up a storm, and be a little independent from campus life. The main lounge is a good place to hang out with the rest of the building’s residents, but you also have your own private space with your suite mates in the common areas. It’s an old-style dorm: fire escapes you technically aren’t meant to go onto, a romantically old main staircase, and no AC in the bedrooms.


  • Bathrooms: Each suite of 3-5 people has its own private bathroom.
  • AC/Heating: Every common room has A/C, no AC in private rooms 
  • Kitchen: One kitchen in every suite. Nicely sized with a stove, sink, dishwasher, and refrigerator along with moderately generous storage and counter space
  • Lounge: There are common spaces in every suite with couches and a bigger common lounge on the first floor
  • Laundry: In the basement, but free!
  • Computers/Printing: There used to be in the common lounge. Unclear if still there with Covid
  • Intra-transportation: One wide staircase, and a very small slow elevator. The floors are all wheelchair accessible, but there are stairs into the building.
  • Wifi: through Verizon Fios


“Goldsmith is pretty run-down, but also BELOVED. The suites/apartments combined with the common spaces provide a really great amount of privacy/small-group living and opportunities more communal interaction and hanging!”

“The million-year-old heaters made it so that you could turn your room into a sauna pretty easily- luxurious!”

“The Goldsmith dorms were pretty disgusting. The best part about them was (a) the apartment-style, which is perfect for COVID, and (b) the large lounge with incredibly comfortable couches.”

Photos from the Barnard website:

Exterior via Barnard Housing