A College Experience
Since the only place to stay in Oberlin is the Oberlin Inn, the majority of the reunion folks are put up in dorms when school is not in session. (That's why the reunions are at graduation instead of some less traveled part of the year.) These accommodations are very inexpensive ($58 for two).
When I was a student, the men's dorms were around this pictured quadrangle on the north campus although some of the men lived in private homes. Women were housed on the south and east and all the dining halls were on the first floors of the women's dorms.
The first men's dorm was Noah Hall which was constructed in the Georgian style of architecture. The Men's Campus project, as approved by the Faculty and the Board of Trustees in 1928 and 1929, set aside for the purpose somewhat more than one-half of the block bounded by Professor, Lorain, Woodland, and Union Streets. The plans called for the erection of eleven houses of residence of various sizes, accommodating approximately five hundred men. The aim of the Men's Campus plan, as adopted, is formulated as follows: "That Oberlin shall have a Men's Campus on which the men will live together in buildings owned and operated by the College, a campus on which the life of men can be organized and developed in such a way as to stimulate scholarly ambition and to create an active masculine social atmosphere."
Now, the College's residential hall system offers 11 traditional dormitories and nine program houses. The halls are grouped into five communities, each with faculty and staff associates, who take meals with students and plan community-based activities. First-year students can choose to live in first-year-only housing, where resident academic advisors focus specifically on the needs of entering students. There are no fraternities or sororities at Oberlin. Noah Hall was named in honor of Mr. Andrew H. Noah of Akron, Ohio. For seven years he was a member of the Board of Trustees, who contributed $100,000 towards its construction. Mr. C.W. Frank of Akron was the architect. The building was erected by Crowell and Little of Cleveland. Ground was broken for its construction February 16, 1932, and the hall was first used in the fall of 1932. The total cost, including furnishings and equipment, was $166,000.
The building is 172 feet long by 42 feet wide, three stories in height, with a basement of 10 ½ feet and a finished attic. It faces toward the east, opening on to a stone terrace. Noah Hall is divided vertically into three sections, each section with separate entrance and individual lounge. Two of the sections accommodate thirty men each, and the third one, twenty-five. Today, Noah houses ninety-seven upper class, co-ed students.
Most these dorms are three stories. They have heating during the winter but the furnaces are turned off in the spring so bring an extra blanket. There is no A/C so it is recommended that you bring a fan. Each room has a LAN connection to the college network and a phone, a single bed, a desk and chair and a window. There are built in wardrobes and dressers. Our room had only one mirror. There are no elevators.
Each section has a lounge and there are three bathrooms on each floor and a TV lounge in each dorm.