Yes, it really can be that bad…

Location: 562 W. 113th (Right on the corner of Broadway and W. 113th)

Nearby dorms: Watt, 600 W. 113th (Nuss), Broadway, Hogan

Stores and restaurants: Wu and Nussbaum, Tom’s, Junzi, Milano Market, Community Fruit & Juice, University Hardware, and many more. 

Cost: $12,180 (projected upperclassmen rate for 2024-2025)


  • Bathrooms: Seven single-use bathrooms per floor (every bathroom can be occupied during certain times).
  • AC/Heating: Only shafted rooms have AC. 
  • Kitchen/Lounge: There is a main lounge in the lobby and every floor has a spacious lounge with a TV, seating, and a kitchen.
  • Laundry: Laundry room with 13 washers and dryers for the entire building on the first floor.
  • Computers/Printers: There is a computer lab and printers on the first floor.
  • Gym: Small gym on the fourth floor with two treadmills and one elliptical (equipment got taken away recently and hasn’t been replaced yet :( )
  • Intra-transportation: Two elevators that constantly smell of gas and a narrow staircase.
  • Hardwood/Carpet: “Hard surface.”
  • Wi-fi: Yes
  • Facilities: Bathrooms and kitchens are cleaned Mondays to Fridays, which means they can get very nasty. Residents are responsible for taking out the trash to the bins outside.

Bwog’s Recommendation:

McBain is known as the bottom-of-the-barrel sophomore dorm. People typically end up here if they have a lottery number near the bottom. Unfortunately, this reputation isn’t undeserved. During my time here, there was a mice infestation on my floor to the point where some people had to be moved to temporary housing. There are also constant issues with the bathrooms undergoing repairs (still struggling to understand how the toilet seat keeps breaking in two). But for the most part, McBain has been pretty nice. It is a fairly social dorm, so it can get louder on weekends depending on who your neighbors are. It also has a great location where you get the independence of being off-campus but can still wake up 15 minutes early for class. It has also helped reduce my fear of rodents through exposure therapy. The single-use bathrooms are also great for privacy, but not so great during rush hour and when they don’t get cleaned. The kitchens have a stove, sink, and storage areas (no fridge) and some people actually survive by cooking there. Again, you may run into issues of people not cleaning up after themselves if facilities doesn’t clean over the weekend. All in all, try to avoid McBain if possible but if it comes down to it, I survived and you can too!

Resident Opinions:

  • “I think McBain is great. The community is lovely. The biggest downside is the bathroom situation.” 
  • “There were more mice on my floor than women”
  • “You get to live with the whole sophomore class!”
  • “Rooms are better than expected, I liked the AC in my shafted room.”
McBain Bathroom
Smallest McBain double (177 sq. ft.)
the mcbain lobby
McBain lobby

Images via Bwog Archives/Author