Are you a big fan of walking and/or the M60 bus route? We may just have the perfect dorm for you.

Location: 1235 Amsterdam Ave. (on the corner of 121st & Amsterdam, though the entrance is in the middle of the block).

Nearby Dorms: 537 W. 121st is only about a block away. Columbia dorms EC and Wein are also fairly close. 

Nearby Dining Halls: Chef Don’s Pizza Pi

Nearby Stores and Restaurants: Appletree (a grocery/deli) and Dunkin’ Donuts are both right below the building, and restaurants Massawa, Subsconscious, Elysian Fields, Dun Huang, and Nikko are all within a two-block radius. 

Cost: $11,738 per academic year (academic year 2022-2023 information


  • Bedroom Furniture: Every bedroom includes a twin XL bed, a desk with a chair, two dressers, and a wardrobe with an additional dresser drawer. 
  • Bathrooms: Bathrooms are fairly small, but very modern, having been renovated in 2017. They include a shower, toilet, sink, towel racks, and some storage above the sink in the medicine cabinet.
  • A/C and Heating: In general, temperature control varies quite a bit in this building. All bedrooms have heaters, though only some are air-conditioned. Additionally, you can control the temperature settings in some suites, while others have heaters that are controlled remotely. Bwog would strongly recommend purchasing a fan. 
  • Kitchen: There is a kitchen in every suite with a gas oven and stovetop, refrigerator, sink, and many, many cabinets. Kitchen size varies from suite to suite, though they are generally on the smaller side of dorm kitchens.
  • Lounges and Common Areas: The common areas are pretty small in most suites, but most include a dining table with four chairs. Some suites have an open-concept kitchen with bar stools. Outside of the suites, there are three common areas on the first floor: a study lounge with plenty of couches, armchairs, and tables with chairs and/or barstools, a piano lounge, and a computer lab. There is also a lovely courtyard with several tables, chairs, and benches, accessible through the first floor.
  • Laundry: There is a laundry room with six washers and six dryers located in the basement (though at least one machine is often out of order). You can use the LaundryView app to check which machines are available.
  • Intra-transportation and Accessibility: Plimpton has two (relatively small) elevators, which can get pretty crowded around popular class times. There are also two staircases, one with basement access. The main entrance is only accessible by a flight of stairs on the exterior of the building.

Room Variety

  • While there are no suites on the first floor, the layout of every floor (two through 15) is virtually identical. Every floor contains four six-person suites, each of which contains four singles and one double. Each double is located on a corner of the building, meaning they have two windows (singles each have one window).

Your Odds

  • Plimpton is home to about 336 students, mostly Barnard sophomores and juniors. However, some suites go up in Columbia’s housing lottery, rather than Barnard’s, so there are some CC/SEAS student residents.
  • Rooms in Plimpton go up twice. Full suites first go up in the 6-person lottery, and the remaining unselected rooms go up in the 123 lottery (where students can select from available single, double, and triple rooms) a few weeks later. 
    • For the 6-person lottery, the cut-off for the 2022 housing selection was 100/78. For context, the first number represents the group’s average class ranking, while the second number is the group’s lottery number, meaning the aforementioned group was made up of rising sophomores and received the lottery number 78. 
    • For the 123 lottery, the cut-off was 100/211 for a single room and 100/445 for a double room.

Bwog Recommendations: 

  • This dorm is actually much more convenient to Columbia’s campus than Barnard’s. It’s not the longest walk to Barnard’s campus, but if you frequently have early-morning classes or late nights on campus, it’s definitely far from the most convenient. 
  • Similarly, if you’re a frequent visitor of Barnumbia dining halls, this might not be the best dorm for you—while it’s less than a block away from Chef Don’s, it’s a long walk to any of Barnard dining halls and most of Columbia’s larger dining options.
  • If getting a single as a sophomore is important to you, Plimpton might be your best bet! The building is mostly single rooms, which are usually very accessible to sophomores in both the 6-person and 123 lotteries. 
  • Because the building is on a corner, many suites, especially on higher floors, have a great view of Amsterdam and/or 121st St! 

Resident Opinions: 

  • “Dark.” 
  • “Lifeless.”
  • “A great school-life balance!”

Plimpton Exterior, Bathroom, Kitchen, and Suite Common Area via Barnard Housing

Plimpton Entrance and Single Room via Bwog Archives