Pforzheimer House

Flyby Blog and Sharon Kim

As part of our Housing Market series, we'll be posting reviews and rankings for each of Harvard's 12 residential Houses over the next few days. Click here to read more about our project.

“Pfuck my life” is what you might mistakenly think upon discovering a Pfolar bear at your door on Thursday morning. Sure, there are closer places to live than Pfoho, but the rabid enthusiasm of Pfohosers, tutors, and House Masters alike is a testament to the fact that Pfoho is among the better Houses. Pfoho is a tightly-knit, pfamily-style community of pfriendly people who like to hang out and have a good time. Incredible rooming and a social layout make Pfoho an awesome place to meet new people while not getting too n-1 close for comfort. Home, sweet Pfohome.

Dining Hall: Although all HUDS food has that I'm-not-quite-sure-what-this-is-but-it’s-probably-chicken taste, Pfoho boasts some of the (comparatively) most delectable food on campus due to simply having fewer mouths to feed. Pfoho's bright linoleum palace is home to the only two-tiered dining hall on campus. The lower level is more social, and tables are often combined for a large group dining experience, while the quieter upper level is perfect for homework, intimate conversation, and avoiding people—a sometimes impossible task in the community-oriented Pfoho. The hilariously awkward Lover's Balcony protrudes over the rest of the dining hall and provides one of the most romantic yet voyeuristic dining experiences on campus.

Pfoho also has arguably the best brain break in the Quad, and hungry Currierites and CaBOTS can be found scavenging late at night when their own d-halls have proved scarcer. The Pfoho d-hall may lack the portraits-of-old-white-guys charm of some of the River Houses, but there's never that awkward moment when you cannot locate a seat.

Score: -100 for boring linoleum and so-so decor, +75 for being able to find a seat without bribes or death threats, +25 for Adams D-hall swipe access

Common Spaces: Pfoho is home to arguably some of the most utilized common spaces of any House on campus, probably because the old Harvard pretension is sacrificed for practical utility and student needs. The Holmes Junior Common Room is not glamourous, yet its central location, pool and ping pong table, proximity to the Grill, and constantly-tuned-into-football TV make it a sure bet for finding another pfolar bear to chill with any night. The Wolbach JCR is also heavily used—its kitchen and DVD player make it a common study break location and couch potato convention center. The Holmes Living Room, Senior Common Room, and Comstock Living Room are less heavily utilized but have more old-Harvard elitist charm.

Most Pfohosers have a love-hate relationship with the Pflibrary—love in the sense that you can show up in your pajamas, slippers, and Snuggie; hate in that it's a library and who ever looks forward to that? Nonetheless, the House Elves and House Masters Nicholas and Erika Christakis make work more bearable by bringing in occasional treats and baked goods for the late-night long haul.

Score: +15 for the average number of bros watching football at the Holmes JCR TV

Rooms: Un-pfreaking-believable. Almost everyone (except for a small population of unlucky sophomores) is guaranteed a single for all three years. It's possible for sophomores at the bottom of the housing lottery to get something as excessive as a 230 sq. ft. single. Sophomores live in mostly smaller suites of connected (but not walk-through) singles while juniors and seniors can take their pick of a top floor duplex suite in one of the three “bricks” (Holmes, Comstock, or Moors) or a highly prized wood-floored gargantuan suite in Wolbach. Jordan overflow housing—the Quad of the Quad—is actually highly desirable, as accommodations resemble DeWolfe without doubles—complete with cable TV, massive common rooms, and a kitchen. Sociable hallways in most of the House create a better sense of camaraderie with fellow floormates than the sometimes isolating and stair-intensive entryways of other Houses (by the way, we have elevators). Pfoho is also home to the infamous Belltower Suite, which consists of three interconnected quads, making it a 12-person party room complete with a built-in bar and the one of the largest common rooms on campus.

Score: +230 for the size in sq. ft. of this correspondent's sophomore year single

House Spirit: It is impossible to escape Pfoho pride. Brace yourself to have the letters pf attached to everything, an endless source of glee to those who spend 90 percent of their waking hours on Pf-Open—the be all and end all of House open lists that has posts ranging from event advertisements, requests for missing socks, to rabid pflame wars when someone gets “offended."