Behind its double doors lies Eliot House, coming in at number two on Flyby's Housing rankings this year! Founded as one of the seven original Houses in 1931, the House had a reputation as the 'Prep' House, home to Harvard's elite and wealthy, before housing became randomized. It is named after Charles William Eliot, President of the University from 1869-1909, and is known for its prominence on the water, both in IM crew and in river accessibility. Never falling below fifth in any category in the poll, Eliot is truly a House to be proud of this Housing Day.
House Spirit: Ranking at second place in House spirit, Eliot is beaten only by Dunster in its self-love. The House motto, worn proudly on tees and sweatshirts galore, is "Domus,"—the name of upper class housing in ancient Rome—and quite fitting for what used to be home of the elites. "The best thing about Eliot is the friendliness and love of the staff, tutors, and house masters that is simply contagious," said one resident, or, as another put it, "DOMUS!"
Housing Quality: Room quality is Eliot's weakest feature, coming in at fifth on the poll, which still puts it ahead of seven other Houses. N-housing for sophomores is counterbalanced with "excellent junior and senior housing with a (relatively) transparent housing lottery," making the remaining part of Eliotite's Harvard experiences quite comfortable. "The rooming arrangements are so flexible because of the architecture and the fire doors" says one commenter, presumably an optimist, who turns the sometimes troublesome fire doors into a positive as-one-door-closes-another-door-opens type thing. Also, one commenter had this to say: "Those quadlings talk about square footage—talk through your crises and joys with those extra 5 sq inches."
Dining Hall: High ceilinged, well-lit, and spacious, Eliot d-hall is one of the House's crown jewels, landing fourth in the poll. "The dining hall is the bomb diggity," said one commenter, which explains why "the d-hall is a really social place where you get to make friends with other Eliotites." Come here for brain break and you'll find "loads of people" hanging out and studying. Sometimes this appeal of the d-hall can be hard on residents as well—"we are too perfect" complained one responder. Regardless, the food is above average, according to residents and outsiders alike. Also, Sunday Brunch, delicious at all Houses, features a piano in this stately d-hall.
Facilities: Ultimately, what sets Eliot apart from the other Houses are its facilities and location. Already on prime riverfront property, Eliot residents get the added bonus of having swipe access to Eliot gate. Athletes enjoy an easier route to the athletic complex year round, and other students enjoy the gate for various reasons as well, including drunkenly on Harvard-Yale game day. Although a House gym and library aren't unique to Eliot, the House also boasts a theater (the Golden Arm), a courtyard and patio, dance studio, darkroom, erg room, bell tower, a newly renovated and little-known grille and common room, and even a woodshop. To sum up: "Exceptional variety of facilities in a beautifully-designed and well-maintained house. This House has flash AND substance."
Rating: Eliot is an all-around strong House, with good rooming, a beautiful dining hall, and a close-knit community. For these reasons, it ranked second out of 12. Best of luck to freshmen out there, and just remember: this year, if there's an elephant in the room, it's a good thing.
Our rankings so far: