By Michelle C. Lara
Adams House radiates both class and convenience, from its walls covered with real gold to its muraled underground tunnel system. The lucky group of freshmen sorted into Adams will receive a cigar and a rose upon joining this storied group of tea-drinkers. Adams House and its community are worth (literal) gold, and they’re willing to bet their cigars on it!
As Adams House Committee co-chair Victoria “Tori” S. Tong ’20 puts it, “It’s a good-lookin’ house!” Adams currently houses around 450 residents in Randolph Hall, Westmorly Court, Russell Hall, Claverly Hall, and Apthorp House, with the latter housing the beloved faculty deans, Judy S. Palfrey ’67 and John “Sean” G. Palfrey ’67.
To the starry-eyed first-years who have heard different rumors about the renovations for next year: No need to fear! The housing situation literally couldn’t be better. Most sophomores are normally placed into Claverly Hall, a stout building on the corner of Linden and Bow street. As this will be renovated first, however, sophomores are being moved into either Fairfax Hall above Gnomon Copy, Hampden Hall above the Harvard Bookstore, or into the Inn that currently houses Lowell residents.
Sophomores are likely to receive n+1 housing, some of which come with kitchens in case you get tired of the gorgeous dining hall. As if this weren’t enough, the swing housing is still close enough to Adams to leave for that 8:00 p.m. meeting at 7:55. Most juniors and seniors live in Randolph Hall, Westmorly Court, or Russell Hall. With quality singles and common rooms so spacious that HoCo co-chair Caroline S. Kristof ’20 has an organ in hers, Adams is nothing short of comfortable. Comfort doesn’t come at the cost of elegance, though — one look around Adams and it’s no wonder that the house once served as a luxurious housing alternative for wealthy Harvard men in the late 19th century.
If you’re looking for some fresh air, head to a hammock on the green and luscious Randolph courtyard; if you’re searching for some inspiration, step into the underground tunnels decorated by Harvard students who enjoy quoting Robert Frost, Class of 1899, writing zany bucket lists, or painting murals. Whether you’re warming up with friends near the fireplace in FDR’s suite or printing something with the 3D printer in the art space, there’s something for everyone in Adams.
What do the Adams resident dean, social chair, security guard, and everyday Adams residents have in common? They all stopped by to say hello during our interview with the HoCo chairs! “Interrupted” isn’t the right way describe it; they all greeted us with an warm and welcoming enthusiasm that would make anyone feel at home.
The classic Adams event is its weekly stein called Carpe Noctem. People gather together every Thursday night in the stylish lower common room for food, music, and a good time. As Tong puts it, “There isn’t a single person in Adams who doesn't know what [Carpe] is.” With themes like “Pong Carpe,” where residents (and better-skilled deans) sign up for a good old-fashioned game of beer pong and "Chocoholica”, during which people eat everything and anything encrusted with chocolate, Carpe helps establish a great sense of community among Adams residents.
The House is dressed with plenty of other traditions as well, including Drag Night, Fireside Chats, and shows in the Pool Theatre. They recently held one formal in the courtyard with lanterns and a homemade dance floor constructed by the students themselves, and another formal in their elegant library (obviously the Harvard grind never stops). Since plenty of students from other houses stop by Adams to meet at a convenient location, the house is always bustling with people and serves as a reliable hub for busy upperclassmen.
With so many common rooms sprinkled throughout the house and luscious spaces for performing, psetting, or partying, the community is wholesome and welcoming of everyone. Don’t let its elegant style and fruit-infused water intimidate you — there’s definitely a home to be found here.
If you’re still not convinced, we caught up with the HoCo chairs to get a very serious inside scoop on Adams.
What dessert or candy would Adams be?
CK: Something boujee but fruity and nice — like chocolate covered strawberries. Does that count?
What Harry Potter house would Adams house be sorted into?
VT: I’m tempted to say Gryffindor because of the red and gold, but imagine a combination of Gryffindor — great and courageous with a really strong community — and the lovely kindness of Hufflepuff.
Read our overviews of the other Houses here.