Cathedral Gardens, or, ‘My ceilings are so high I don’t feel bad about skipping class’
The facts: Cathedral Gardens is a small dorm at the corner of 110th Street on Manhattan Avenue. As the farthest dorm from campus, not many people are too keen on living there, despite the fact that each suite has a huge common area and beautiful kitchen. The rooms run from slightly above average to a little small, but this is made up for by the fact that there is so much room elsewhere in the suite.
- four-person all singles
- four-person with a double
- five-person with a double
- six-person all singles
- six-person with a double
The facts (continued):
Gas stove: Yes
Elevator wait: <1 min
Computer lab: No
Vending machines: No
Air conditioning: Yes
Gym facilities: No (but Central Park is a block away!)
Unisex bathrooms: Yes
Number of RAs: Two RAs, one GHD
- beautiful building, huge common areas
- proximity to Central Park
- packages can be sent to dorm, food delivered to suite door
- access to the A/C/E line
- so damn far, no one will visit
- distance from the 1 line
Effectiveness of walls at blocking out sex: 7/10
General social environment: Everyone lives with friends, but a friendly dorm nonetheless
Quality of room lighting: Great
Shortest time to Hamilton: 16 mins
This is definitely one of the places you want to visit before picking in during room selection, both to get a feel for the distance and to check out the size of the rooms. Nearly every suite is a little different, so visiting more than one might be helpful.
There are some doubles with their own bathroom as well as the suite bathroom, some rooms have two windows that look out to the courtyard, and there is even an occasional walk-in closet.
Who is likely to live there: While Barnard does not make it as easy to analyze this sort of thing as Columbia does, certain generalizations can be made. Since only 90 students live in CG and with people more and more willing to trade proximity to campus for what is probably the best housing at Columbia or Barnard, you generally have to have a pretty good lottery number to score a suite here. There are only 18 suites here and the eight all-single suites are sure to go to seniors with great lottery numbers.
After that, the remaining ten suites will go mostly to senior-junior mixed groups and all junior groups (at Barnard, these two groups would pick on the same day, in order of appointment time). A couple of the suites with smaller rooms (the G-line, I believe) have ended up going to sophomore groups (or mixed groups with at least one sophomore). It’s hard to tell exactly who will get what as CG is a hard sell for some people due to the distance, but a good lottery number on your day is generally necessary.
What others think of it:
Senior, five-person suite
“In Cathedral Gardens, I woke up every morning to birds singing in the courtyard. My room faced Manhattan Avenue and the CG courtyard, so even though my suite was on the 2nd floor, the busy NYC street noises never kept me up at night. My 5-person suite with 3 singles and 1 double had soft, natural lighting, because every room had large windows. All CG suites have hardwood floors, full kitchens (yes, even dishwashers!), high ceilings, and “real people furniture.” The floor plan of my common area was a big square, so I was able to comfortably host quite a few people (12-18) for dinners, small gatherings, etc. All guests can buzz up, so you never have to go sign anyone in. CG is for people who want to live in a suite, but who also want a taste of the real world. It’s a 12-15 min walk from the Columbia campus and a 15-18 min walk from Barnard. I actually really enjoyed the walk—it gave me time to wake up in the morning before class, and it separated me from the stresses of school. And it’s always convenient to stop by Westside on your way home! The dorm is very quiet, and the RAs are responsive if you need them, but they pretty much leave you alone. The common area is spacious and almost never occupied. There are several big, comfy couches, and a huge flat screen TV. If you don’t mind the walk, it is hands down one of the best housing options available.”
We will continue to add testimonials as we receive them. Keep sending yours in as we roll out the rest of the dorms throughout the week. As always questions, comments, and corrections are more than welcome!
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