Home At Bennington
Housing is personal at Bennington—students live not in dorms but in houses of generally 30–45 people each, with architectural styles ranging from modern design to clapboard houses reflecting 1930s New England. Bennington student houses consistently top the rankings in Princeton Review’s “Dorms Like Palaces” list.
Each house offers kitchens and comfy common areas (most with fireplaces), where students relax, study, and hold weekly Coffee Hours to discuss campus and house issues together as well as overall community matters. All houses are coeducational. There are coed bathrooms for every four to five rooms, all with showers, and many with bathtubs. Depending on where you live, you might find yourself enjoying a patio or porch overlooking great views of the mountains, a piano, or a second living room.
Home in a Minute
House tours by House Chairs will bring you home in a minute.
House communities are made up of continuing students, transfer students, and first-year students. Some of the current students will have lived in your house for many terms, while others will be new to the house. Through your housemates, you’ll discover new inspiring ideas and influences and express your personality and passions.
These are the newest houses on campus, built in 2001. They are Merck, Paris-Borden, and Perkins. Each Woo House has three floors with elevators, laundry facilities, living rooms with a fireplace, and kitchens with dishwashers. The walls are soundproof and the rooms get great sunlight and offer sunset views from the balconies. These award-winning houses have been featured in Architectural Record magazine.
Also known as the 70s Houses or Milk Crate Houses, the Barnes Houses boast some of the biggest rooms on campus. Included in all Barnes Houses are a kitchen with a dishwasher, a laundry room, and a regularly used living room. Houses in this building collective include Fels, Noyes, and Sawtell.
Part of the original campus, these houses include Bingham, Booth, Canfield, Dewey, Franklin, Kilpatrick, Leigh, McCullough, Stokes, Swan, Welling, and Woolley. The Colonial Houses have hardwood floors, fireplaces in living rooms, and kitchens; some feature porch swings or courtyards, others open to Commons Lawn, and others include pianos. There are four floor plans providing a variety of room types and layouts.
A cottage located on campus but separated from the main part of campus, Shingle houses six seniors every year who are selected on a lottery basis. It is the house nearest to VAPA and CAPA and once housed alumnus Alan Arkin ‘56, among other Bennington luminaries.
An off-campus co-op in North Bennington, Welling is about a 20 minute walk to Commons. The Townhouse is home to 14 people who share house responsibilities. With the exception of room charges, the Townhouse is financially independent from the College- residents manage a shared house budget for food and other house supplies over the course of the year. The house has laundry facilities with spacious rooms and organic food.
The residents of Longmeadow are dedicated to living in an intentional community on campus. This house gives upperclass students the opportunity to form and shape their own community standards and to design the type of community in which they would like to live. Students apply to living in the house each year and are accepted based on space availability.
Coming Together at home
At Bennington something is happening all the time. Whether it’s work or play, it can seem as if, as one student put it everything is deserving of attention. Houses retain strong communities with the leadership of House Chairs and in the forum of Coffee Hour. It is there that you will find a way to catch up on what is happening in the house and throughout the community.
House Chairs are undergraduate students who serve as community leaders and mentors to house residents. There are two House Chairs in each house. They are knowledgeable about resources available on campus, serve as a liaison between campus services and your house, and run Coffee Hour, the weekly house meeting.
Each house meets every Sunday night for Coffee Hour, a Bennington tradition. Run by House Chairs, Coffee Hour is a time for house communities to gather in their living rooms for academic and administrative updates about the College, to announce upcoming events, to discuss house issues, and to connect before a busy week. Whether there’s a problem with noise or cleaning the kitchen, a discussion about campus issues, or a house dinner to coordinate, Coffee Hour is where it will be addressed. Residents sign up in pairs to cater each week’s meeting for their house, and good Coffee Hour food is a communal bragging right.
Coffee Hour gives everyone a chance to enjoy each other's company in the common room. You may find yourself eating a variety of tasty snacks, participating in a themed Coffee Hour, or concluding the meeting with an activity. House residents have been known to try to outdo each other in presentation and originality.