Hartley Hall

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Built 1904
Population 230
University Residence Halls
548 West 113th Street600 West 113th StreetBroadwayCarlton ArmsCarmanEast Campus47 ClaremontFurnaldHarmonyHartleyHoganJohn JayMcBainRiverRugglesSchapiroWallachWattWienWoodbridge

Hartley Hall is one of the two residence halls that make up the Living Learning Center. It was built in 1904 and is the oldest residence hall on campus. It is noted for having the narrowest double on campus, 2C5, where a tall man (or woman) can touch two walls at any point in the room.

Poet Langston Hughes and Beat Generation authors Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac all lived here, though Kerouac greatly preferred neighboring Wallach.


Hartley Hall is Columbia's first and oldest dormitory. Opening in 1905, the building was donated by senior Marcellus Hartley Dodge (and his aunt, Helen Hartley Jenkins) on the event of his gradaution. Dodge thereby condemned all future Senior Fund collection drives to exercises in futility. Spurred by the gift, the University coughed up an equal amount of money from it's own funds to construct a twin dormitory, Livingston Hall (now known as Wallach Hall).

It should also be noted that Hartley, and its twin, Wallach, were dedicated exclusively to undergraduate housing, a rather odd move in the days when Columbia was still considering shutting down the College outright (SEAS, or rather the School of Mines, was still a graduate-and-professional faculty, and a fairly profitable one at that, and thus was spared the budgeter's wrath).

Until 1970, the building housed a lounge for students in the now-banished ROTC program. It was taken over in that year by black student activists and renamed the Malcolm X Lounge.

Hartley was completely renovated following a $2 million gift from alumnus Jerome L. Greene. A concurrent gift of equal size by Ira D. Wallach supported the simultaneous renovation of Hartley Hall. While the University had offered to rename both buildings after the respective donors, Greene ultimately requested the the name of Hartley Hall remain the same after other alumni voiced displeasure over the name change. Wallach, however, was not moved, and so Livingston Hall now bears his name instead.[1][2][3]

In 2000, the Living and Learning Center program began at Hartley and Wallach Halls in what supporters enthusiastically called a genuine attempt to build community and foster student body cohesion, and what detractors cynically label a failed attempt to imitate Yale's residential college model.

Notable residents


Floor plans

Tunnel connections

John Jay Hall and Hamilton Hall

Go down to the basement by using the stairs or the elevator. Walk south to get under Wallach Hall, then use the elevator or the stairs. Continue on to get into John Jay Hall which is also legal. However, the door north to Hamilton Hall is triple padlocked & welded atomic blast door. You aren't getting around this one anytime soon. These routes are legit, but they're dirty and stink.


<googlemap lat="40.806466" lon="-73.961785" type="map" zoom="16" width="500" height="300" controls="small"> 40.806466, -73.961785, Hartley residence hall </googlemap>

Building address

1124 Amsterdam Ave.
New York, NY 10027

External links


  1. "Alumni named in $4M dorm gift", Columbia Daily Spectator, Volume CIV, 17 September 1979
  2. "Livingston will be renamed for alum", Columbia Daily Spectator, Volume CIV, 15 November 1979
  3. "S. Campus rehab costs rise by $1.5 million", Columbia Daily Spectator, Volume CIV, 22 January 1980