We’re kicking off our housing reviews series by starting off with good ol’ plomp.

Location: 1235 Amsterdam (121st and Amsterdam)

Nearby Dorms: 537 W 121st, Wien, and EC

Stores And Restaurants: Appletree, Foodtown, Hartley Chemists, Subsconscious, Dunkin’ Donuts, Columbia Deli, Flat Top, Friedman’s

Cost: $5,052 per semester (Spring 2021 information)


  • Bathrooms: There is one private bathroom for a suite of six people. The space behind the bathroom mirror is prime real estate (pre-COVID-19 restrictions).
  • AC/Heating: There is air conditioning until about October when it gets colder outside and then the building switches to heat. The air conditioning and heat levels can be adjusted within your own room by a switch with off, low, and high settings.
  • Kitchen: There is one kitchen per suite which includes a refrigerator, an oven with a gas stovetop (four burners), and a decent amount of cabinet and counter space. It’s a fine kitchen but can get cramped if there’s more than one person in there at a time. 
  • Lounges: There is a wooden table with four chairs in each suite and a study lounge, a piano lounge, and a computer lab in the lobby. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, all common spaces are currently closed. 
  • Laundry: The Plimpton laundry room, consisting of six washers and six dryers, is located in the basement. Strategic planning is sometimes needed to make your laundry journey—a hidden gem is Barnard’s Laundryview app. 
  • Gym: No gym in the building, the closest option is Dodge (120th and Broadway) or the Barnard Gym (Barnard Hall).
  • Intra-transportation: Two relatively small but quick elevators that make an eery ring when they arrive. Also, two sets of stairs (only one goes all the way down to the basement though).
  • Hardwood/Carpet: There is hardwood flooring in the bedrooms.
  • Wifi: You can use Barnard Secure or Barnard Guest.

Room Variety:

  • There are four suites with four singles and a double floors 2 to 15. The single farthest from the suite door is the largest.
  • The doubles are in the corner so they have two windows.
  • All of the bathrooms and flooring in the bedrooms were renovated in Summer 2017. The only differences in renovations are that there is a countertop, rather than a wall, separating the kitchen and the common area on floors 7 and 8.


  • Plimpton houses about 336 people at one time, with mostly Barnard sophomores and juniors with a few suites of CC/SEAS students.
  • The cut-off for the 2020 housing selection was 100/70. The first number denotes the group’s average class ranking (rising-sophomore). The second number is the group’s lottery slot. For reference, in the 2020 housing selection, there were 114 groups in the 6-person lottery.

Bwog Recommendations:

  • Plimpton is great if you’re looking for a separation between home-and-school life. However, if proximity to campus is high on your list, Plimpton may not be the best dorm for you.
  • It is also a bit far from the Barnard dining halls, so if you prefer to cook, Plimpton would be a good bet. Otherwise, trekking to campus for dinner can be a hassle sometimes.
  • Plimpton has a ton of singles so it’s a good bet if you’re a sophomore looking for a single.
  • If having A/C is a priority for you, Plimpton would fit that criterion.
  • If you live on a higher floor you can get a really great view.

Resident Opinions:

  • “I’ve now lived in Plimpton for two years and I think it’s a great dorm! I have my grievances with it, but all in all, it’s nice to have a separation from school and home (when in-person learning).”
  • “I love living farther away from campus; it helps facilitate that separation between home and school life that I struggled with last semester. Plimpton feels like home, rather than just an extension of the classroom. Having a semi-private bathroom makes me feel more at home as well.”
  • “There’s a portrait of a man in the lobby and there’s no name under it and I assume it’s Plimpton but I really want to know.”
  • “My view of a brick wall in Plimpton is better than the view of the brick wall in 600.”
  • “Appletree sandwiches and pre-made food keep me going.”
  • “Nice room size for a single and you get ac!”
  • “Foodtown is a great place for groceries, it’s fairly cheap and has a large selection!”
  • “Kitchen is smaller than other suites like the 600s, so don’t have grand schemes of having multiple cook different dinners at the same time, but for one person it has an okay amount of counter space if you keep it clean.”
  • “Lights in the room are sometimes a little funky, so I would recommend getting a few strings of tree lights to spread around your room to use instead of the gross one.”


images via Bwoggers