Why do so many students want to live in the campus’ oldest building?
Centuries later, students still love to live in the historic building, because it is in the middle of everything. Seeing the Old Well out the window every day also can’t be beat.
Many students will never even see the inside of the building that holds so much mystery and fascination. Luckily, I have a friend, Ryann, who is fortunate enough to live there, and she gave me the inside scoop one day.
The inside was different than I expected. I thought there would be grand staircases and windows in the halls where you could see the Well. There were a ton of stairwells, however none of them were grand, and in a way reminded me of a maze.
Unfortunately, there were no windows to the Well, although there was a nice view from the second floor bathroom. The doors to the rooms are wooden, as are the floors in the halls. Most of the doors to rooms were closed, but I just enjoyed walking around the historic building. Since it is home to only about 150 students, I never thought I would have the chance to see it.
When Old East was first built, it had only two stories and 16 rooms that each held four students. In 1824, a third floor was added and Old West was also built. In 1848, both buildings were extended North to include libraries that have since become favorite spots for late-night studying. Today, each floor has three bathrooms, and a kitchen and a lounge on the first floor.
In another renovation in 2009, an elevator and central AC were added. Students can now open their windows on nice spring days and hear the noises of the busy campus.
Today, about half of the rooms are triples. My friend, Ryann, was hesitant about a triple at first, but it has been her favorite living experience. To her, the situation is more like friends hanging out, and if one of them is busy, the other two can still hang out.
“I love being so close to everything,” said Ryann. “There’s also just something special about living in the oldest building. It’s been a Tar Heel tradition since the beginning.”
Why would you like to live in Old East?