Housing Review: 616

616_west_116th_street_residence_hall
Finally, a chance for a real kitchen!

The combination of suite-style living and closeness to campus makes 616 a popular choice. You may appreciate the pre-war charm (the building was originally built in 1906) but it hasn’t been renovated since 1962 leading to complaints about things breaking or not working. The lounge has new furniture (and a piano) and there is also a computer lab with semi-reliable printers. There are also study lounges scattered throughout the building, which are great if you need a break from your suite or are having a study party.

 

Bathrooms

There is one bathroom per suite that you have to clean yourselves. The bathrooms are fine, but there are complaints about the plumbing. There is a shower with a tub (but not typically in good enough condition to actually take a bath), a toilet, and two mirrors in each bathroom. There is only one door to the bathroom so you can either get comfortable having suitemates walk in and use the bathroom when you’re showering, which is less awkward than it sounds, OR pro tip: there is a bathroom in the lobby that you can ask for the key to in those emergency situations.

Kitchens

You get a full kitchen with a gas stove/oven, sink and a full size fridge but kitchen size depends on your suite and who you live with, with many reviewers bemoaning their small size. There is a lack of counter space and it’s hard to have multiple people cooking at once, but welcome to Manhattan. But for people who are moving out of the Quad or Elliott, 616 is great for people who are planning on making their own meals rather than relying on Hewitt. Facilities issues also are frequently aimed at the kitchens, everything from blown fuses to broken ovens.

Pros

  • The doubles are on the bigger side which could ease some grumbling about living in a double.
  • Some rooms have great views or closet space.
  • A real kitchen with a table you can eat at.
  • 616 is the center of activity in the 600s since it has the only building lounge.
  • Campus is just across the street, meaning you can make it to class on time even if you hit snooze one too many times.
  • The computer lab in the lobby makes it easy to print out assignments without having to go back to main campus.

Cons

  • Room size varies widely within each suite so chose carefully. Some of the singles are incredibly small and shafted (especially the ones on the corner).
  • With the exception of two study lounges and the lobby lounge, there is no common space aside from the kitchen, which in many suites is too small to be much of a social area.
  • Living on the shaft robs you of natural light, and a view, making it hard to tell what time of day it is or what the weather is like.
  • The building is old so you’ll have to get used to regularly filing work orders to get this thing or the other fixed.
  • There is no AC in the summer – invest in a fan or two.

Recommendations

  • Live on a higher floor and avoid the shaft to get as much natural light into your suite as possible.
  • Decide ahead of time who will get the bigger or smaller singles.

Check out our housing reviews from last year here.

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