Furnald Hall

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Built 1913
Renovated 1996
Population 235
University Residence Halls
548 West 113th Street600 West 113th StreetBroadwayCarmanEast Campus47 ClaremontFurnaldHarmonyHartleyHoganJohn JayMcBainRiverRugglesSchapiroWallachWattWienWoodbridge

Furnald is a popular, but controversial, residence hall.

For a long time, only seniors were able to get rooms in Furnald in the Room Selection process. It was very popular, not least because it had its own bar in the basement, which reached legendary status.

Today, after being completely renovated, Furnald is a first year and sophomore residence hall. Therefore, first years who aren't housed in Carman, John Jay or the Living Learning Center, still get to live in the quad and are protected to some extent from juniors and seniors. The remaining space is open to rising sophomores in General Selection. Typically, only sophomores with lottery numbers between 1 and 500 (about 100 or so lucky souls) are able to get rooms in Furnald.



Furnald Hall was funded by a bequest from Francis Furnald in memory of his son, Royal Blackler Furnald (CC 1901). Francis Furnald's will specified that the money would go to Columbia only upon the death of his wife, Mrs Sarah E. Furnald, since she was intended to live on the interest from the money. Mrs Furnald was nowhere close to dying of old age at the time or so people guessed. Columbia's Trustees wanted the money so they offered Mrs Furnald lifetime annuities equal to the amount of return the investment would receive at market rate in return for the lump sum. Mrs Furnald accepted, Columbia received the money, and paid Mrs Furnald until her death in 1920. Furnald Hall was designed by McKim, Mead, and White, and opened in 1913.

During World War I, Furnald was a residence for female graduate students. During World War II, it housed "ninety-day wonder" commissioned naval officers, who were sent off to war after only three months of officer training. It then became a law school dormitory, before once again becoming an undergraduate residence hall in 1960.

In 1995, Furnald was falling apart. Hartley and Wallach Halls had benefited from major renovation and reconstruction in the 1960s and 1970s due to the generosity of Ira D. Wallach and Jerome L. Greene, but Furnald did not. President George Rupp ordered a $12m complete gutting and rebuilding.


  • All rooms have carpets, air conditioning.
  • Each floor has a spacious lounge and a fully-equipped kitchen.
  • Each floor has 2 large bathrooms (1 male, 1 female).


  • For first years, X singles and X doubles.
  • For sophomores, 109 singles and 7 doubles.
  • Floors 1, 2 and 10 have especially large rooms.
  • 1002 is an architecturally interesting room.

Advantages and disadvantages


  • Convenient location near Lerner, and, well, everything. Perhaps the best location on campus.
  • Great campus and Broadway views.
  • Nice bathrooms. Especially the handicapped shower stalls with removable shower heads.
  • Air conditioning.
  • Lots of closet space.
  • The only place where you can get a single as a sophomore.
  • Ideal choice for independently-minded first years who want lots of privacy. (See below for why Furnald is a bad choice for most first years.)


  • Furnald is a relatively quiet and antisocial residence hall. There are only 25 people on each floor, of whom about 12 are first years, compared to 40+ first years on the average John Jay or Carman floor. Furthermore, the sophomores in Furnald already have their own social networks and tend not to socialize with the first years. So the building doesn't have JJ or Carman's social atmosphere, where hundreds of eager beaver first years all want to get to know each other. This is a big deal because most of your initial friends and social network will be built up from your floormates. Thus, Furnald is a poor choice for most first years.
  • First years are required to have a meal plan so kitchens are no use.


Floor plans


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