Lowell House

Lowell House Flyby Image
Keren E. Rohe

With a belltower that casts shadows across its romantic, ivy-covered courtyards each morning and afternoon, Lowell House is known first and foremost for its beauty. This River House may not have a view of the Charles, but its residents don’t seem to be too upset. One commenter discussed loving Lowell because of "the people, the dining hall, the house masters...everything!"

House Spirit: House community is a point of pride for Lowellites. One resident wrote, "I think the community is the strongest of all the houses." Masters’ teas were consistently cited as one of the best parts about the house—a tradition that has gone a long way towards fostering Lowell camaraderie. However, Lowellites distinguish between community and House spirit, the latter of which the House seems to be sorely lacking. A disgruntled commenter complained, "As freshmen on housing day there were barely any Lowell people at all." Consequently, Lowell came in ninth for house spirit.

Housing Quality: Lowell is simultaneously praised for its convenient location and berated for its lackluster housing options. Sophomore suites are notoriously tiny, and although the options do get better later on, the insect infestation, stench of sewage and leaky roof tend can make rooms unappealing. One resident tried to be optimistic about the house’s cockroach infestation, writing that the critters appear "only at the beginning of the year, though—then they’re gone." Nice try, but Lowell definitely has room for improvement when it comes to housing. This year, it ranked tenth out of 12 for housing quality.

Dining Hall: The eatery is consistently listed as residents’ favorite part about Lowell. Yellow walls and graceful chandeliers give this dining hall a cheery, classic atmosphere. While Houses such as Quincy and Adams are routinely criticized for being too crowded during peak meal hours, Lowell’s dining hall seems to escape the rush. One resident also noted that "the tutors are all interested in you and will sit and have a meal with random people," something that goes a long way towards fostering Lowell's sense of community. However, despite its aesthetic value, Lowell’s dining hall has been cited as having sub-par food and a "terrible brain break." Lowell came in ninth for dining halls.

Facilities: One resident put Lowell's primary appeal well: "Location, Location, Location." Lowell sits conveniently between the Yard and the River Houses, which makes it easy to both roll out of bed for class in the morning and meet with classmates for late night psetting. From a stunning (though sometimes aggravatingly loud) belltower, to a climbing wall, to its very own squash courts, Lowell offers a host of unique amenities. However, Lowell’s centrality also means that it is surrounded by final clubs—one resident said that the worst part about Lowell is "its proximity to the Fly and the Owl." Another commenter complained about "the animals that sometimes live in the courtyard."

Rating: Lowell’s community, central location, and incomparable beauty put it decisively in the upper half of houses in this year’s ranking. However, lack of spirit and cramped housing kept this otherwise enviable house from making its way to the very top. Overall, Lowell ranked fifth out of 12 in the House rankings.

Our rankings so far:

5. Lowell

6. Pforzheimer

7. Leverett

8. Currier

9. Mather

10. Winthrop

11. Cabot

12. Dunster