New housing makes Dunster swing prime real estate for next year.
On Friday, February 14, 2014, Dunster House tore out the hearts of the sophomores that
will be living in their loving Moose community next year.
It is common knowledge that Harvard’s oldest upper-classman house is undergoing
renovations next year — something that many acknowledge is necessary for the rickety old
building that’s insides look more outdated than the Harvard Hall classrooms that still have desks
for those from the 17th century. The prospect of swing housing is incredibly alluring for a
Dunsterite. With a very small amount of great rooms — especially for non-seniors — the
prospects of Hampden, or even Ridgley and Fairfax, is beyond exciting. But when Dunster
announced that we would also have the option of some apartments on Prescott Street, excitement
levels rose. My blocking group is composed of eight people, seven of which lived in Greenough
and one of which “lived” in Pennypacker, so the excitement of returning to Prescott and the
Union area was palpable. But then the tour happened.
The apartment rooms are singles, doubles, or triples, with about four rooms per floor and
five floors in each of the three buildings. And they are nothing short of magnificent.
The single is like a senior single on steroids. There is a private bathroom and a small, but
more than serviceable kitchen, equipped with a refrigerator, a nice sink, and a bar-style counter
top with plenty of room for stools or seats. There is a spacious common room, with windows
looking out into the courtyard, and plenty of room for multiple futons, a table, or anything a
college student may want. And the bedroom is a slightly smaller room, with a large closet and
plenty of living space. Needless to say, these singles will be sought after by the rising seniors.
The double was also a beautiful set up, filled with a slightly larger kitchen and bathroom.
The common room, too, looked bigger, but with the floor plans yet to be released I cannot be
certain. And there are two single bedrooms branching off of the same hallway that brings you to
your common space and kitchen areas.
While the single and double both looked to be highly wanted entities, the triple was the
clincher in terms of prized housing for next year. The kitchen is fully equipped and slightly
larger, with the added bonus of having the counter top looking out over the spacious common
room area. There are two bathrooms tucked away in different corners of the apartment,
guaranteeing an easier shower situation for the three people living here. Each bedroom was
larger than many of the common rooms I have seen in most houses, let alone Dunster.
These options are other-worldly when it comes to collegiate living. While plenty of swing
housing and options like DeWolfe have provided students with incredible living situations, these
Prescott Street apartments seem to be the best possible place to be next year. Surely, most will be
taken by seniors, leaving the rising juniors to pray for a high enough lottery number to snag one
of the remaining few. While it is unlikely that many juniors will be living there, the sheer
increase in number of good spaces to live will make Dunsterites happy for the next year.
Also, upon returning to the home we all know and love, the new and improved Dunster
will promise to be a huge upgrade to the old, yet cherished house. The basement plan shows an
increased workout facility overlooking a larger public space, packed with ping-pong, pool, and
foosball tables for all to enjoy. Elevators will make the house more acceptable, and the promise
of renovated and more beautiful rooms is enough to make anyone excited for the Moose
Mansion on Housing Day.But until that day, swing housing it is. And nothing would be sweeter than the redbrick
apartments beside Greenough. While they may be far from other houses, the walk will surely be
Sean Frazzette ’16 (sfrazzette@college) wants nothing more than a return to Prescott Street for