New York’s hottest club is 121, Barnard’s hot spot for living AC-free in the elusive five-person suite.

Location: 537 W. 121th St., at the corner of 121st & Broadway.

  • Nearby dorms: The closest dorms are Plimpton and NoCo, each a block away. The building itself is about two blocks from Barnard’s Diana entrance (on Broadway and 119th St.).
  • Stores and restaurants: 121 is right above Olive Tree, around the corner from Cafe Au Lait, and a block-and-a-half from Appletree Market. One thing to note is that unlike the Quad and the 600s, 121 is not in immediate proximity to a subway station (the closest stations are about four blocks up on Broadway & 125th, and five blocks down on Broadway & 116th).
  • Cost: $5,603 per semester.


  • Furniture: Every student is provided a twin XL bed, a desk, a chair, and a dresser. Some rooms come with wardrobes, while others have closet space built in. 
  • Common Areas: Each space has its own (pretty spacious) common area, but there is also a building lounge on the first floor.
  • Security: 24-hour attendant at the front desk.
  • Internet: WiFi is provided through Verizon FIOS. Each suite has its own SSID & password.
  • Bathrooms: All suites have one private bathroom. 
  • Kitchens: Each suite has a kitchen with a sink, an electric stove/oven, a dishwasher, and a refrigerator. 
  • Laundry: The laundry room is located in the basement. Laundry is free in all Barnard dorms. 
  • Mail/Packages: All students receive mail and packages at the Student Mail Room in Altschul.
  • Accessibility: While the elevator inside the building stops on every floor, the main entrance is not wheelchair accessible.
  • Air Conditioning/Heating: All common areas have AC. Each bedroom also has a window AC unit.

Room Variety: 

  • Three-to-five person suites, with mostly single (and a few double) rooms.
  • Most rooms in the B, C, and D line suites (e.g. “Suite 4B,” “Suite 6C,” etc.) have a view of Broadway or 121st St. (B line suites are on the corner, with views of both streets). Some rooms in the A and E line suites have views of Broadway or 121st, while others are shafted. All rooms in the F line suites are shafted.
  • While 121 has only been a Barnard dorm for two years, meaning the data on room selection is more limited than it is other dorms, historically most suites in this building (especially those made up of all-single rooms) have gone to lottery groups with a 275 point average or above (mostly or all rising seniors).

Bwog Recommendation:

This building has everything. Huge common areas, pre-war character, a plethora of singles, and the elusive five-person suite. However, if you’re looking for something with a convenient location, this may not be the dorm for you. While 121 isn’t terribly far away, it’s notably farther from campus, the subway station, and Riverside Park than many of Barnard’s other dorms. Unlike the Quad and the 600s, 121 isn’t in immediate proximity to Columbia or to the many restaurants and shops Morningside Heights has to offer. That being said, if you’re looking to be somewhat separated from campus, 121 could be perfect for you.

Overall, whether you’re liking the sound of 121 or not, it’s worth noting that if you’re not a rising senior, this quite possibly will not be the dorm for you. By and large, the majority of suites in 121 have gone to groups with a 300 average, with a few each year going to groups with a 200-to-275-point average.

Resident and Visitor Opinions:

  • “Overall great experience, clean, huge common rooms and kitchens.” 
  • “Downsides are that it is farther from campus, the subway, and Riverside, and also has smaller singles than the 600s.” 

Update made on February 28 at 5:31 pm: This post has been updated to reflect that individual bedrooms do have individual AC units after erroneously stating the contrary.

All Photos of 121 via Barnard ResLife