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.
Pforzheimer House is in the Quad, but if you can get over its location, it really is one of the best Houses on campus. With its engaged House Masters, strong House life, and spacious rooms, if you get into Pfoho (and have a good pair of walking shoes), you're set up for a great three years.
Dining Hall: Pfoho has a unique two-story dining hall; downstairs there are larger tables and upstairs there are smaller, more intimate ones. There's even a love seat, which protrudes awkwardly above the dining hall and is often left unoccupied. Recently, Pfoho dining hall was decorated by YouTube sensation Vi Hart and you'll often find quirky decorations, which help make the modern, drab dining hall a little more exciting. If there's any objection to Pfoho dining hall, it's that it is too empty—there's little guarantee that your friends in the House will decide to eat in the Quad on any given day. In fact, every member of Pfoho is allowed to eat in Adams, which may account for the emptiness of Pfoho's own dining hall.
Facilities: Pfoho has its own grille, which you'll find in the Holmes Junior Common Room. The room has a huge television set, a ping-pong table, and a pool table. The one downside to many of Pfoho’s common spaces, particularly the library, is that they lack old-Harvard style charm. The Hastings Room, Senior Common Room, and Comstock Living Room try to make up the deficit in historical cachet, but you won't find many Pfoho residents using them.
Rooms: The rooms in Pfoho can be pretty pfucking clutch. While Pfoho cannot guarantee a single for everyone, like some of its Quad brethren, it comes pretty close. Sophomores, of course, get the worst rooms in the House, but even those rooms will not be walk-through doubles like those that can likely be found in your friend's River House suite. In Pfoho you have a range of buildings to pick from; you can live in Holmes, Comstock, Wolbach, Moors, or Jordan—the Quad's version of DeWolfe. Pfoho's biggest party suite is the Belltower, which holds 12 people.
House spirit: When your House Master shows up to class dressed as a polar bear (Pfoho's mascot), you know you're living in a House that overflows with spirit. Pfopen is known for its sometimes-heated exchanges and is one of the more active House lists on campus. The House also holds some of the more popular dining hall dances, including the '90s dance and Make It Rain.
Location: Far—what else is there to say? It's in the Quad. It can be annoying. Your friends won't want to visit you, but you'll get used to it. You'll learn the shuttle schedule, plan your walks back to the Quad with friends, and survive. Days that the shuttle doesn't run—including University holidays—and days when you just want to get home and the shuttle is filled with excited party-goers can become a bit annoying. Some of your favorite moments, however, may occur on the "party shuttle," and you may even make friends riding the shuttle one drab morning.
Quirks: Pfoho holds the Pforum where guest speakers are invited to speak about various topics and delicious food is served on a monthly basis. Even more quirky, though, is the newly-constructed Happy Room where Pfoho residents can relax on beach chairs and pretend for a moment that they're basking in the sun.
Rating: Pforzheimer is the best House in the Quad. It's got lots of House spirit, great suites, and abundance of wonderful common spaces. For this reason, Pforzheimer House has been rated fifth out of 12.
Our rankings so far: