My heart is in Hartley.

Location: Between 115th and 116th and Amsterdam

  • Nearby dorms: John Jay and Wallach (Literally connected!)
  • Stores and restaurants: John Jay Dining Hall and JJ’s (once again literally don’t have to go outside), Strokos, and Amsterdam Halal carts?
  • 2 inches away from Hamilton Hall, I measured, and also close to Kent and the mail center
  • Cost: 2023-2024 year projected rates: $10,440/year for first-years, $11,600/year for upperclassmen.


  • Bathrooms: Each suite has two bathrooms. One of the floors of the two-story suites has fewer people and has a smaller bathroom with one toilet stall and one shower stall while the other has two of each. They are generally clean but look musty as heck. Unlike other suite-style buildings, bathrooms in Hartley are cleaned by Facilities.
    • In my suite’s bathroom, the light in one of the showers was out for the entire year, and once a piece of plaster fell on my head while I was showering. Kinda felt like I was showering in a cave. Fun vibe.
  • AC/Heating: You are out of luck here. There is no AC, and the heat is cranked all the way up during the cold months. However, there are AC units in the suite lounges and hallways.
  • Lounges: Yes, you read right in the previous bullet, there is a lounge in every suite! The lounges are really spacious and are probably the best parts of Hartley! Each suite makes its lounge its own one way or another. Since there are 2 floors in each suite, there is a lower lounge and an upper lounge. The floor with more people has the larger lounge which has a couple of seats and a TV. The smaller lounge has a table and a couple of chairs, but it is still a cozy place to chill. Some of the chairs are very comfortable armchairs, which gives you a great place to sit and relax! The arrangement of these lounges is up to the people in each suite, and there is a lot of room for different sorts of arrangements. There is also a sky lounge with AC that’s open to anyone and a large lounge on the first floor with ping pong and pool tables. The second-floor suites are only one floor, but they still have substantial lounges.
  • Kitchen: Connected to the larger suite lounge is a fully functioning kitchen. The appliances are a little old and, like the bathrooms, a little musty. Despite its ugly exterior, all the appliances are clean and work perfectly. All the suites have 2 gas-lit stoves, an oven, a dishwasher, a microwave, and a sink. As with most things in Hartley, the cleanliness of the kitchen is mostly dependent on how your suitemates care for it, so be ready to do some negotiating!
  • Laundry: There is a laundry room in the basement shared with Wallach. Like everything else in Hartley, the journey to the laundry room from the elevator feels like a life-or-death situation with low ceilings, hot humid air, exposed piping, and the occasional cockroach sighting. The machines were replaced over the summer of 2022, so they are all in good working condition!
  • Computers/Printing: There is a spacious computer lounge on the first floor that is often empty with a PawPrint printer station by the entrance. 
  • Fire Escapes: None
  • Gym: The building doesn’t have one, but you and your suitemates can turn your lounge into one?
  • Elevators: Two of the most consistent elevators on campus, but one only goes to the 9th floor while the sky lounge is on the 10th. 
  • Flooring: Carpet, everywhere—unless you are lucky and get one of the rare hardwood-flooring Hartley rooms. The bathrooms and kitchens have tile-esque flooring. 
  • Other: The “Hartley Hospitality Desk,” which is Columbia Housing’s 24-hour help desk, is helpfully located right by the entrance door to Hartley! This means that when something inevitably breaks, you are very close to the people who will fix it.

Room Variety:

  • Singles: 158 singles with the smallest being 92 square feet and the largest being a giant 176 square foot singles on the 10th floor. Generally, all the singles are around 100-115ish and there is 1 smaller single in every suite. 
    • Starting in 2023, much of Hartley was opened to Sophomores. Bwog estimates there are ~40 singles available for first-years.
  • Doubles: 36 mostly spacious doubles. The doubles on the outer A and C suites are all 200+ square feet while the doubles in the B suites are generally smaller with the smallest being 176 square feet. There are two doubles in the outer suites and four in the inner suites.
    • There are ~12 doubles open for first-years, including the only walk-through double, in-suite 2C.
  • Each suite for freshpeople is either a male or female suite.
  • The views are generally good but views on the North and South edges of the building could be viewed into Hamilton classrooms or facing Wallach. There is a good amount of natural light available in each room.
  • Some rooms (or all?) have a cubby space above the door where there is a lot of room to store stuff. Between this and the built-in closets in some rooms, the square-foot measurements are a bit misleading, because there is actually somewhere to store all of your stuff!
  • Unlike the card scanners in other buildings, Hartley rooms are locked with a physical key! Some people find this annoying to carry around, but you are guaranteed to not lock yourself out (as long as you don’t lose it), and if you prefer you can choose to not lock your room at all.
  • Every room has moveable shelves which can be placed pretty much anywhere on the wall, and the walls are completely pin-board, so it’s super easy to hang things everywhere.

Bwog Recommendations:

  • Some suites are quiet, while some are really fun and throw parties and hangouts and are good friends. Either way, you can definitely choose how you wanna live at Hartley.
  • You can have a close-knit with your suite or choose to lone-wolf it.
  • While the dorms are old and definitely need renovations, friends and I consistently agreed that having a Hartley suite would be the best housing option at Columbia, especially if it was renovated. 
  • I saw one roach, although there was a fair number in the basement.
  • “It exists”

Resident Opinions:

  • “I feel like your experience at Hartley definitely comes down to the people in your suite – and I feel like I lucked out big time!!”
  • “The biggest thing that will make or break your experience is your suitemates so I’d say definitely coordinate with them before move-in. Pros: great sense of community, nice kitchen to use, nice lounge area. Cons: semi-bad bathrooms, no AC.”
  • “Hartley is without a doubt the most underrated freshman dorm. It’s the perfect balance of privacy (mostly singles) and shared social space (suite lounges). The sky lounge is a great place to study and the game lounge is super popular. Make an effort to get to know your suitemates and you’ll have a great time in Hartley!”


Hartley Single

H(e)artley via Jake Torres and Bwog Archives