This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

180sf.  2 people.  2 beds, 2 tables, 1 small closet.  Shared bathroom with 30 others.  Shared coin-operated laundry room.  No kitchen.  Rented 2’tall refrigerators (for beer).  2nd hand store smelly microwave (for popcorn).  1 small window with 2-pipe wall unit for heat and cooling.

My dorm room was spartan, but I loved it.  The high density that comes with such small quarters gave me near live-in closeness with 30 other people on my floor, and most became good friends at a time when I had nobody.  Everyone would prop their door open for constant interaction with neighbors.  The feel of the place was somewhere between a family and a party.

It’s currently illegal to build “apodments” in Seattle less than 120sf.  If I hadn’t wanted a room-mate my dorm would have been 90sf.  And that would have been just fine.  A while back the City Council ran presentations showing what terrible lives people must have to only afford such small units, as if making these units illegal would have magically allowed them to afford some place bigger.  I’m glad that effort has seemed to have gone nowhere. I wish they would remove the 120sf minimum.

Coming up: 180sf A’pod’ments (sorry, paywall – I haven’t read it myself) near Seattle U.  Sounds about right to me.

5 Replies to “A’pod’ments”

  1. As you point out, the thing that really makes dorm living work is the community of folks in the same boat (er, building). That, and that college campuses typically have lots of shared amenities like cafeterias, libraries, and lawns. Hmm, kinda like a city with restaurants, libraries, and parks.

  2. Great article, Frank. I love that they’re going to put “great rooms” in Terrazza. Those are useful for when you invite someone over and your room is only 90sf! Funny how they had to play games with the building code to be able to have small rooms. But whatever works…

    Private bathrooms, shared kitchens, great rooms, roof decks, broadband internet*… that’s high-end living compared to my old dorm room.

    * ok, the guy across the hall was hosting a bulletin board from his computer’s 14.4Kb modem, but he had to pay the phone bill.

  3. Good stuff. Were I single I would love a place like this. Between my little brother, boarding school, college dorms, college apartment, military barracks and then the ‘Cat House’ in Bellevue that my wife and I shared with 7 other people (and two) cats I have spent most of my wife with very little personal space… and loved it.

    I hate HATE this house in the suburbs we currently have all to ourselves (and away from everyone else).

    In fact I just spent a couple hours two nights ago trying to talk my little brother and his gf to move out to Seattle with us. As well as another couple we are friends with out there (one of which lived with us before) b/c I HATE living alone.

    Plus I’m a cheap bastard. :D

  4. [Anc] I know what you mean – I commuted to a suburban house for a few years and hated it. Even in my house in the city it was more fun when we had my sister-in-law’s whole family living with us.

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