Adams' Art Defines House Life

TOURING THE HOUSES Fourth in a continuing series on House life.

A voyage through the Adams House tunnels is a subterranean journey everyone should experience. The tunnels' walls, filled with colorful paintings, aphorisms, poems and prose, chronicle the creativity of Adamsians past and present.

"One day I saw giraffes in a zoo and I loved them because they were beautiful," one message says. Another student wrote, "Love has pitched his mansion in the place of excrement." The tunnels' paintings include rainbows, a life-size. Spiderman and a diverse assortment of animals.

And despite three years of randomization and non-ordered choice, Adams House--like its tunnels--continues to be liberal, artsy and dar- ing, according to many current residents.

Adamsians rave about the many interesting parties and special events that are unique to Adams. At one recent party, students danced by can delight through the maze of tunnels. Chocoholiday was the theme for the house's Valentine's Day celebration, at which residents indulged in about $1000 worth of obscene chocolate. Other events this year have been Drag Night and Erotic Night.

Some Adams residents went to Erotic Night clad strategically in socks, and one man wrapped his whole body in cellophane, according to Fred I Leidner 95. He added that one woman, wearing all leather, spent the evening dragging a man around on a leash.

But there's more to Adams House than just its quirkiness, according to several residents who believe the house is becoming slightly more traditional.

"The stereotype is still true, but it's lessening," one anonymous senior Adamsian said.

"When I first came in," she said, "there was a certain sense of a group of people who belonged and a group who didn't. That's decreasing now--it's also easy to ignore it."

One resident, who did not want to be identified, also said that Adams is heading toward the mainstream.

"Three years ago each house had its stereotype. Now [Adams is] not much different from any other house," the resident, an ROTC student, said. "What we like the most about it is that the house lets you get away with anything. At half the parties everyone's completely naked."

Although the non-ordered choice housing lottery has begun to chip away the house's stereotype, House Master Robert J. Kiely '60 said he thinks even a small group of people can maintain the Adams tradition.

"A house's so-called reputation is often built on a particular group of students. It's always a kind of particularly active group that gives [a house] its atmosphere," he said.

Kiely also organizes Adams House events, such as the weekly Master's Tea, which hundreds of Adamsians attend. Another weekly tradition at Adams is "Cafe Mardi," at which students play music, drink espresso and eat pastries.

Kiely also said Adams House has regular poetry readings in one of the house's common rooms.

But more than just the house's special events make Adams House unique, according to several residents.

Students also praise the food in the house's dining hall, which last year won an award from Dining Services Director Michael P. Berry.

Also integral to the Adams experience is the house's beautiful architecture and decor, students said.

Some of the house's features are the unique Gold Room adjacent to the dining hall, large sculptures, a pipe organ and a swimming pool (used primarily for parties). Also, a large golden gong and a pair of greenish Foo dogs adorn the dining hall. The house also boasts two hand-letter printing presses.

Adams residents also plaice the quality and size of their rooms students live in one of three buildings. Westmorely Court, which also holds the dining room and junior common room. Randolph Court, and Claverly Hall.

"There are enough single rooms for every senior to have one," said Housing Tutor Michael K. Dunn Most of these singles are in West morely Court, he said.

Westmorely Court and Randolph Court are connected by tunnels, but Claverly Hall is completely separate from the rest of Adams House.

Dunn said, however, that students in Claverly, who are mostly sophomores, are compensated with nice rooms and non-walk through doubles. Adamsians share Claverly Hall with residents of Lowell House.

As William J. Hulkower '94 noted, the many tunnels and enclaves of Adams House's three buildings all contribute to the unusual mystique of the house.

"I like Adams because it's dark and has lots of little passageways that go to places I don't know about and has lots of people doing things I don't know about. Maybe if I knew what they were doing, I wouldn't like it so much," he said