By David Ertischek ’01
There are only a handful of Emerson College students who can say they lived in the old Little Building and the newly renovated version.
“It’s really great having the Little Building back in general,” said Jacob Falberg ’20, currently an 11th-floor resident advisor. “When I lived here freshman year it was the cultural hub for all the freshmen. This is where you meet people, and where you learn about Emerson.”
The most noticeable change from the head-to-toe makeover of the Little Building is the new community rooms that filled in empty cavernous spaces on the Tremont Street side of the building. Each floor now has three wide-open community room spaces that are each two levels, with large glass windows taking advantage of natural light. The three community rooms are designated for three things: studying, cooking, and a room to hangout and socialize.
For students, it’s impossible to miss the community rooms, and the students are taking full advantage of them. There are always people hanging out, watching movies, and studying.
“There is a lot of cooking, especially during the weekends,” said Jae Suk Lee of the kitchen community rooms. “International students cook their own food from their home countries. It’s cool to see different foods.”
The old Little Building common rooms were sealed off, and people needed to enter through doors like a dorm room, but because the new ones are two floors of wide-open space with stairways in the middle, it’s more inviting. Now students are more willing to stop and talk, or socialize for a bit when they are passing by the common rooms.
“I like it. The whole vibe changed from the set up and the structure,” said Lee.
Jasmine Williams ’20, an RA on the sixth floor, said it’s rare that you don’t find at least one person in the community spaces.
“It’s also nice because people are really respectful in the spaces,” said Williams, adding that students are being quiet in the designated study rooms. “The [room] for being more active or louder, they’re not being rude about it. They’re watching a movie, and you can’t hear it throughout the building. If someone is having a conversation with their friends and not part of the group they still can do so.”
Falberg said having the LB back online has fostered community and camaraderie amongst first-year students, and not just from folks watching movies, cooking, or studying together. Fraternity and sorority leaders, comedy troupes, and video groups, said there was increased turnout from first-year students at open houses and the student fair.
The belief is the larger numbers were a direct correlation to more first-year students engaging with each other in the LB and talking about what each other were doing, attending, and interested in.
Falberg added that he feels lucky about being able to experience Little Building 1.0 and 2.0, and he appreciates the architecture and views.
“The way they built the common rooms [is] just stunning,” said Falberg, acknowledging that Boylston Street facing rooms provide some of the best views in Boston, with vistas of Boston Common, the State House, and the Public Garden. “I think the freshmen are lucky to have it.”
But do the students miss anything from the old Little Building?
Not much. Maybe having the dining hall and the c-store on-site, said Williams. But she wouldn’t trade the building’s current incarnation for its predecessor.
“It exceeded expectations,” said Williams. “It’s really worth the wait. It’s a good building.”