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 the series.
At the center of attention on Mt. Auburn Street, Lowell House boasts two courtyards and a historical bell tower with an attitude. Easily accessible from all the River Houses and the hustle and bustle of Harvard Square, Lowell is a convenient home base where everything is just a few steps away.
Dining Hall: Who doesn't love a yellow-papered dining hall to brighten up their day? The social atmosphere of the dining area is hard to beat, but the practicality of the servery could use some work. During Sunday Brunch, the kitchen grill moves out of the servery and turns into an omelet table spread right in the dining hall—the extra personal attention is definitely a real treat. But watch out when the Lowell House Opera moves in during the Spring. The dining room space gets cut in half, and restrictions are more strictly enforced.
Facilities: The Lowell Grille under O entryway may not be an actual grille, but it's a nice hangout nonetheless. Cozy couches, foosball, and pool tables complete the common space perfect for parties or large meetings. Elsewhere in the Lowell basement, you can find two classrooms and a mediocre dance studio transformed from a squash court. The Junior Common Room across from the dining hall is warmly decorated and plenty spacious. The Tower Room under the Lowell Bells houses a historic collection of the Russian Bells photos.
Rooms: There's a very good chance that you'll be put into one of Lowell's walkthrough doubles as a sophomore. The rooms are small, and the stairs steep, and it doesn't get much better as a junior. But with such proximity to everything else at Harvard, why would you complain much about your small, dank room anyway? Lowell's party suite is the Lowell Labyrinth, the nine-room senior suite located above the library.
House Spirit: House spirit has definitely improved recently, but with many of the residents, the energy's a hit or a miss. The House list, for instance, isn't exactly the place for lively discussion. It's probably the lack of an actual mascot or the fact that everything has basically been accounted for, but Lowellians don't need House spirit to compensate for much.
Location: It may not be overlooking the Charles, but it's definitely the center of attention. Just a few blocks away in every direction from any prominent part of campus, Lowell certainly has the location perks down pat. It even sits adjacent to the Community Garden.
Quirks: If you love tradition or don't mind a little extra noise, the Lowell Bells will ring every Sunday at 1 p.m. The weekly Masters' Teas with House Masters Diana Eck and Dorothy Austin are a must. There's a bouldering wall that sets up challenging routes every semester. Lowell Bacchanalia is one of two most popular spring formals. Hear student speeches in the dining hall at 7:20 p.m. each weekday.
Rating: Due to its prime location, beautiful facilities, and many quirks, Lowell House is ranked second out of 12.
Our rankings so far: