A yellow and red Quincy House crest tacked onto the brick exterior of Hampden Hall signifies the building’s new use as one of three swing spaces which will house 179 students while Old Quincy undergoes a complete renovation this academic year.
Students who moved into the buildings this week said that apart from small bedrooms and traffic noise from the streets, they have so far enjoyed their apartment-style housing and their new home’s proximity to classes.
“Who gets to live on Mass. Ave. right outside Harvard Yard without paying a fortune?” Quincy House Committee Co-Chair Scott J. Yim ’13 said.
Yim, who has toured all the swing housing, said the buildings have beautiful common spaces complete with flat screen televisions and pool tables.
“Swing spaces are much better than I expected,” he said. “Harvard and Quincy House have put in a lot of effort to make House life great regardless of where you are physically.”
Joy C. Ming ’15 lives in a quad in Ridgely Hall, another swing space at 65 Mt. Auburn St., with two bedrooms, one common room, a kitchen, and a bathroom. Ming said her suite is not as spacious as her room in Grays last year, but it is “really homey because it has an apartment feel.”
Katherine M. Kulik ’15, who also lives in Ridgely Hall with two roommates, said her favorite parts of the room are the bathtub and the kitchen. She said she and her roommates have already made plans to cook a nice dinner for friends visiting from out of town next weekend.
“It will also be nice to have milk and cereal in the kitchen for a quick breakfast when I’m running late in the morning,” she said.
However, Kulik said the apartment is not without flaws. She said that the closets have no doors and the common room is hexagonal, which makes it difficult to arrange furniture.
“But it definitely adds character to the space,” she said.
Though the majority of students living in swing spaces are sophomores, there are some upperclassmen—32 juniors and 15 seniors—who opted to live in these apartment-style buildings, according to Harvard College Facebook.
Kevin O. Orfield ’13 said he decided to live in Hampden Hall, located next to the Grolier Poetry Shop at 8 Plympton St., after learning the rooms would have kitchens.
“It would be convenient to be able to make something when I am hungry at night and the dining hall is closed,” he said.
Though Orfield said sharing a bedroom is not ideal, he still prefers to have his own kitchen and live in a prime location.
But Kaishuo Chen ’14 was placed in swing space during the lottery last spring because all of the rooms in New Quincy had been claimed by the time he chose.
Quincy Swing HousingEverywhere you look around Harvard, signs of construction greet you. It's time to say "out with the old, and in with the new," as Quincy House renovates Old Quincy and moves some of its students to Dewolfe and apartment buildings. FM decided to check out swing housing in Hampden Hall and see how the apartments compare to normal dorms.