Stony Island House

5700 Stony Island Avenue; 77 residents

By Hayley Lamberson

Sorry first-years, but this small, comfortable dorm on 57th Street, right next to the Museum of Science and Industry, is mostly for upperclassmen and transfer students, making it a quieter place to live even by U of C standards. And with its spacious apartments and balconies, it is also one of the comfiest dorms the University offers.

“Stony” is essentially a University-owned apartment complex. Each “dorm room” has a large living room, kitchen, and bathroom. This means that residents mainly keep to themselves, making Stony Island much more relaxed and homey than a dorm filled with small rooms like Burton-Judson or South Campus. But here’s a word of caution: Bedrooms in the B- and C-lettered apartments are small and oddly-shaped, which makes decorating a hassle.

Built in 1988, Stony is one of the University’s newer housing options. Because of this, it boasts some pretty nice amenities, chief among them air conditioning. But where Stony Island really shines is in its balconies. The outstanding view they provide of the grounds of the Museum of Science and Industry and the lake is almost unmatched by any other University building.

However, these picturesque views mean one other thing: Stony is about as far from campus as dorms get—at least a mile. Certainly this can be a downside (walking a mile to school in the snow is never fun, after all), but the location also means it’s one of the closest dorms to the CTA. The Metra, along with the #X28 and #6 buses—all of which go straight downtown—are only steps away, and Promontory Point on the lake is only a bit farther.

Stony Island is perfect for students who want the independence and lifestyle of living off-campus in an apartment, plus the structure and familiarity of dorm life. It isn’t the life of the party, and the walk to school can be grueling, but its balconies, apartment-style rooms, and beautiful location are unsurpassed within the housing system, and are on par even with many of Hyde Park’s nicer apartment buildings.