Getting to know...Baldwin House
Published: Thursday, November 9, 2006
Updated: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 17:05
Year Built: 1908
Location: Lower ElmWandering down Bedford Terrace, just before reaching the Hungry Ghost, you will inevitably run into Baldwin House. Baldwin, the large brick building that was renovated into suite-style living this summer, was built by the college in 1908 specifically for Smith housing. At the time, Smith could house less than half of its students. Baldwin provided a home to 77 of them, complete with a lounge and living room downstairs, and a large front porch.
Baldwin, which boasts a "friendly rivalry" with their close neighbor Albright, cites many advantages to living in the towering, ivy-covered house. The house caters to many different types of Smith students, and select Baldwinites describe themselves as "people who are academically driven, but like to have fun.if we feel that there has been a deficiency in fun-time within a week, we fix that."
Their "fun-time" activities seem to run the gamut from "humiliating [Albright] in a kickball match" to satisfying their obsession with Emilio Estevez. There is also a kind of house mascot in a painting someone found in their attic, which they have nicknamed, "Saggy Boob Lady." They also find pleasure in a lot of semi-normal Smith activities. "We watch a lot of movies and TV together, go to Hampshire Mall and do stuff like roller-skating, and hang out in general within the house." And in proper Smith tradition they add, "We also like talking about sex a lot and flashing each other."
Baldwin's convenient location is also cited as a large advantage of the house. Its close proximity to town makes it extremely easy to attend a concert at the Iron Horse, go out for coffee and of course pick up some freshly baked bread at the Hungry Ghost. Baldwin's all around central location also makes it pretty close to the academic buildings and offers several close dining hall options: Chase-Duckett, Northrop-Gillett and Lamont.
In regards to the new suites, Baldwinites seem to agree, "They're nice hang-out places, but also give some privacy." This probably aids in Baldwin's low-pressure sense of house community. "If you want a lot of friends and to know most of the people in the house, you can. If you'd prefer to be more low-key, you also can.