Lothrop Hall: It’s not so bad

By Elias Economou / Columnist

When you inform another Pitt student that your humble abode is actually a Lothrop Hall suite, their resulting look of pity and secondhand embarassment comes tellingly fast. 

Lothrop has its pros and cons, but contrary to popular belief, it ranks among the better Pitt dorms. Often, students consider Lothrop to be boring, isolated and a last choice for on-campus housing. At face value, some would consider this view to be accurate. After all, Lothrop is not apartment- or suite-style, it’s older than other campus housing such as Bouquet Gardens. Sadly, it is also located on a hill. Yet if students looked past these superficial matters and considered life in Lothrop holistically, they’d realize the many positives that come with residing there. Here, I hope to break the stigma that often comes with living in Lothrop.

Now, it would be a sin for me to describe Lothrop Hall the way Pitt does on the Housing Services website, but it is not nearly as terrible as the campus stereotype makes it out to be. 

Housing services describes the residence hall as a “unique residence facility in the heart of the University of Pittsburgh’s renowned Medical Center … there is a lounge on every floor as well as a fitness center, laundry room, student mail center and email kiosks in the lobby.” 

There is nothing unique about the residence hall. I guess you could say it is situated next to the hospitals, but the entrance to the building is halfway up the hill, so residents rarely pass them. The building itself was built in 1953 and is nothing but an average hall. The tiling is old, but Facilities Management keeps the carpeting clean on the weekdays. There is only one laundry room for the building and residents rarely use the email kiosks.

Each room is carpeted and tiled below the sink area. Each room sports a weirdly designed closet that is deeper than it is wide. Many rooms come with sink, which is. handy because you can avoid taking your toothbrush and toothpaste into the floor bathroom twice a day. You also don’t have to worry about whether or not the sink is clean. Each room also comes with the standard wooden bed, desk, dresser and desk chair. Each room has three windows, one of which opens halfway. For students who live on campus, this does not sound like anything different from any other building on Pitt’s campus.

But this is a shallow view. Lothrop is only a few blocks away from everything on campus. My longest walk is to Bellefield Hall, about eight minutes, for a geology lecture. It’s not far from the Peterson Events Center, you’re right off of Fifth avenue, a street with many restaurants and stores on it. 

Perhaps the best aspect of living in Lothrop is having your own room. Singles are great because they offer a place for students to study and complete their work or hang out with their door open. This is far more important for a student’s success than how new the building is. You can get to sleep whenever you’d like, not having to worry about loud roommates or conflicting time schedules.

So, I advise every Pitt student to look at Lothrop Hall as it deserves to be seen — in a positive light. 

Hopefully, Pitt students will remember the positives of Lothrop Hall when considering housing options. It may not be a new apartment complex, but I’d always take my University single over some of South Oakland’s crumbling options.

Elias primarily writes about campus issues and economics for The Pitt News. 

Write to Elias at [email protected].