Whether you are an incoming freshman, a current student, or an alum, you will definitely either be able to relate to this ranking of dorms, or benefit from it! Everyone is obviously entitled to their own opinions, but hopefully this ranking of dorms article can help provide information to those who need it in regards to CWRU dorms and residence halls. So keep reading for the ultimate ranking of Case Western Reserve University Dorms, and see if you agree or not!
The Freshman Dorms
I’m going to start out by putting the freshmen dorms into three groups by location: group I is the farthest away from Leutner (and everyone else for that matter) group II is the closest to Wade Commons, and group III is the closest to Leutner.
When choosing your freshman dorm, I would primarily focus on the differences across these groups. For example, the dorms within group I, II, and III are all pretty similar in terms of floor plans and accommodations.
Group I (Taft, Taplin and Smith House)
These are the most recently renovated dorms. These dorms are hall style, meaning that once you leave your room, you are stepping right into the main hall on your floor. If you think that you are the type of person who will spend a lot of time on the first floor common room and/or in the kitchen cooking, I would recommend one of the dorms from group I. The kitchens have a good amount of counter space and the common rooms are very spacious–definitely more of an open floor plan compared to the other two groups. There are kitchenettes on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors and should alternate by male/female gender. There is also a piano on the first floor.
Group II (Tyler, Norton, Raymond, and Sherman House)
Group II is the closest to Wade Commons and are hall style, similar to group I. You can pretty much see everything that goes on in the common rooms of these dorms (if they have blinds, I have never seen them being used). These dorms have kitchens on the first floor. There are kitchenettes on subsequent floors.
Note: Norton and Raymond have a piano on the first floor.
Group III (Pierce, Storrs, Hitchcock, and Cutler House)
The dorms in group III are the most different from the other two because they are quad style and can also be co-ed. This just means that when you step out of your room, you will step into a small hallway that is shared between you and your quad mates, giving you a bit more privacy as you go to and from the bathroom. A quad-style floor will have two sides that are separated by a small lounge or study area. Each side has two quads containing 9-10 people that are separated by a shared bathroom. Floors can be either co-ed or by single male/female gender.
Note: Each of these dorms has a piano and a kitchen on the first floor, and microwaves on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors.
Also Note: All of these dorms have some sort of table game in the common room (some may even have two), a bike room, a flat screen tv, a laundry room, vending machines, and a first floor bathroom. Mail boxes are located on the first floors.
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Ranking of Freshman Dorms
It’s hard to do a ranking for these dorms because it really does come down to personal preference and what type of floor plan you want. Quad style may give you more privacy, but if you tend to have a shy personality, it may prevent you from getting to know other people on your floor (but you might become really close with your quad). I lived in Storrs my freshmen year and I liked the fact that it was very close to Leutner, but Tyler, Norton, Raymond, and Sherman are close as well. Since Taft, Taplin, and Smith are farther away from the rest of the dorms, it really seemed like they had their own community.
Once you become a sophomore, dorms change to suite style, meaning that you and your suite mates will share your own bathroom and kitchenette/kitchen and depending on where you live, a common room. Rooms within suites can be mixtures of doubles and singles, or just singles, and this also depends on where you live. They can be co-ed.
(North Residential Village)
Clarke Tower is an eleven-story building and is primarily for sophomores, although some freshmen may be placed in Clarke Tower if the freshmen dorms run out of space. The first floor has similar accommodations as the freshmen dorms, but the laundry room and the kitchen are located in the basement. The suites in Clarke have five rooms: three are doubles and the other two are singles. Each suite will have its own bathroom and kitchenette, but the whole floor will share a common room. If you live in Clarke and the majority of your classes are on Mather Quad, your daily commute will be a lot shorter. However, it’s definitely isolated from the rest of the sophomore dorms, which are located on South Side.
South Residential Village (closer to Murray Hill Road and the Quad)
Top of the Hill: Kusch, Glaser, and Michelson House
Once it becomes time for the housing lottery for your sophomore year, you may hear a lot of people talking (and not so secretly praying) to get a good lottery number to avoid living on the top of the hill. And the “elephant stairs”. What are the “Elephant Stairs,” you ask? They basically allow students to travel between the dorms that are located on the top of the hill on Carlton Road with those that are located on the bottom of the hill on Murray Hill Road. I’ve only walked up these stairs twice my freshmen year and with all the walking that we have to do on campus, I didn’t really feel like having to use them to travel to and from my dorm to get to class for sophomore year. Anyway.
Top of the hill does have its plus sides. For example, there are tennis courts, Carlton Commons and the Rough Rider Room (located in Carlton Commons).
The dorms on the top of the hill have six floors and have study rooms/lounges, music practice rooms, full kitchens, and bike storage in the basement. The dorms have six-person suites and each suite has its own common room and bathroom. All of the rooms are singles, which is nice, but they are tiny.
Bottom of the Hill (South Side): Howe, Tippit, Alumni, and Staley House
The dorms on the bottom of the hill are closer to Fribley Commons, the dining hall, and are closer to the Quad. Staley and Howe House have nine floors, while Tippit and Alumni House have four floors. The suites in Staley and Tippit are the only ones that have their own full kitchens. The suites on the bottom of the hill have six rooms and are singles. Similar to the top of the hill, the singles are pretty small. All of the suites, like the ones on the top of the hill, have their own common rooms and bathrooms. Tippit and Alumni House have bigger/nicer first floor common rooms, but unlike the rest of the dorms, they don’t have basements.
Note: All of the dorms on South Side have bike storage, mail on the first floor, laundry rooms, and should have a piano.
Also Note: Singles are more expensive than doubles.
Ranking of Sophomore Dorms
#1 Tippit House
Nice first floor common room, located on the bottom of the hill, and the suites have full kitchens and single rooms. If you’re lucky enough to get a good lottery number (the lower the better), I would choose Tippit House.
#2 Staley House
Same as Tippit, less the nice first floor common room.
#3 Alumni House
Same as Tippit, less the suites with their own full kitchens.
Since I’m not an upper-classman I don’t have a lot of experience with these housing options—I’ve only been inside of the Village, the 1680 Building, and the New Res Hall–but I’ll try my best! Here’s a good resource for last year’s housing costs as well, if you’re interested!
The Village at 115 (“The Village”)
The Village, located on North Side, is separated into seven different “houses”. The accommodations in each apartment vary. The occupancy can range from one to nine people. There are also some two-level, town house options with balconies. All apartments give students their own room and each apartment has its own full kitchen, dining room, and bathroom. Unlike the majority of on-campus housing options for undergraduates, the village has both heating and air-conditioning. The first floor common rooms are very spacious and have fireplaces. Full kitchens, laundry rooms, and mail boxes are on the first floor. The Wyant Athletic and Wellness Center is located in the Village as well as Starbucks. The Village surrounds DiSanto Field, and you may hear some residents complaining about how loud it gets during football games or when the marching band practices early in the morning. It’s really nice, but of course, it comes at a price.
Note: Has indoor bike storage.
Property Management Apartments (Twin Gables, 1719 Building, the Noble Building, 1727 Building, and the 1680 Building)
The Property Management Apartments are located on North Side. Apartments range from one bedroom (single occupancy), one bathroom apartments to three bedroom (triple occupancy), one bathroom apartments. All of the apartments have washers and dryers; none of them have air conditioning. From what I can tell, it seems like these are definitely more of the “no frills” apartments and I have heard that they tend to be one of the less expensive housing options.
The Triangle Apartments
The Triangle Apartments are located at the corner of Mayfield Road and Euclid Avenue, not too far from Mitchell’s Ice Cream. Residents have access to a fitness center, a parking garage, a laundry room, and a first floor lounge. Options include one to two bedroom apartments as well as studio apartments. Residents have access to the university’s cable and wireless internet. There is heating and air conditioning.
I’m not sure about the pricing for these apartments, but based on the amenities, I would imagine that they are more expensive than those under Property Management. Although the Triangle Apartments are described as “on-campus” housing, they are definitely more isolated from the rest of the on-campus housing options on North Side (they are on the other side of Euclid for goodness sake).
The Apartments at 1576 (“The New Res Hall”)
The newest residence building on campus (hence the name), is located past Clarke Tower and across the street from Nobby’s Ballpark (behind Wyant). Apartments range from one to four bedroom apartments. There are also some two-level, townhouse options. The first floor is really open and bright and contains a pretty nice multi-purpose room and lounge. The Res Hall looks really nice, but it did come with its problems once it was completed. Specifically, the overly sensitive fire alarms (it seemed like one went off almost every night during the first two months or so), but I think the problem has been fixed. But I would check just to make sure.
Note: Has indoor bike storage.
Note: All upper-classman housing options come with some basic amenities like beds, desks, a coffee table, a couch, etc. Some, like dishwashers and garbage disposal, vary depending on where you live.
Ranking of Upper-Classman Dorms
#1- Property Management or the New Res Hall
If you’re like me, I would probably try to stick to one of the less expensive on-campus housing options for my junior/senior year. So this would mean choosing a place that doesn’t have a ton of amenities, since those tend to be more expensive; I would go for Property Management or the New Res Hall.
Well those were my (hopefully helpful) descriptions and suggestions about the various on-campus housing options at Case Western Reserve University. As you can see, there are a lot of them! Whether you are an incoming freshman, a rising senior, or whatever lies in between, I’m sure that you will find something that suits your needs. If not, there’s always off-campus, right?
Tip: I obtained a lot of this information through the university’s housing website. If you would like to check out some of the housing options on your own, you can click on this link!
Thanks for reading. Until next time!
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Featured image source: case.edu, hercampus.com
Amanda Smith is a student at Case Western Reserve University and will be a sophomore in fall 2016. She is majoring in Political Science and minoring in Public Policy and Japanese. She enjoys watching movies, dancing, going to the gym, reading, writing and theater arts.