Maclean Hall

5445 South Ingleside Avenue; 98 residents

By Rose Schapiro

First, let’s dispense with those rumors you’ve heard: Maclean wasn’t once an insane asylum—just a retirement home. Its residents are no more bizarre than anyone else. In fact, Maclean is inhabited by about 100 charming students, almost all of whom get comfortably sized single rooms. Many enjoy using the ample common area to stage poker tournaments or build art projects. The huge communal kitchen is a major advantage of living here, but watch out for your food getting snatched from the gigantic refrigerators. (They have enough room to easily store a chopped-up body.) Thanks to the culinary amenities, study breaks at Maclean are almost always worth attending. Plus, Maclean has great movie nights almost every week (and a room with a projector that you can reserve, just in case you feel like watching Firefly, super big).

Maclean’s location just north of 55th Street is a short walk from Ratner, and you can still make your 9 a.m. class if you oversleep. But in the winter, even those two blocks to campus are trying, and the cold forces close quarters. Then, consider the fact that Maclean is one of the largest stand-alone houses in the system, and you’ll realize why its rate of “dormcest” is exceedingly high. So get to know your housemates: You’ll likely be seeing a lot of them.