Don’t Judge a House by it’s Exterior: Main Street Edition

Brooke Hurley (

Between Reimert Hall, BPS, BWC, and the many Victorian homes that line Main Street in Collegeville, Ursinus’ campus is surrounded by beautiful architecture that has stood for decades. From the outside, visitors, locals and students alike recognize the design and detail of these intricate homes. From the large porches to the decor around the trim of the homes to the unique aspects of every room, including large banisters with intricate handrails, trim surrounding nearly every door and unique floor plans, these are features we do not see often in homes today. These homes have housed many important men and women in Ursinus’ history. Ursinus began buying the homes from founders and prominent figures of the colleges as early as 1890.

Although the homes appear to be well-kept by campus housing, there are many issues that arise for residents time and time again. From the outdated appliances in the kitchens and bathrooms, to the dated flooring, the homes could use a refresh. The drab colors and lack of emphasis on the interior design brings down the home-y feeling. Adding new and fresh pieces into the homes would accentuate the Victorian aesthetic these homes and buildings have to offer from the inside out.

Granted, a different set of students are moved in and out of these homes each year, many of the homes are permitted to register events, and the fact that they are lived in by college kids might suggest reasons why they aren’t given these kinds of updates – along with the extensive time and cost it would take to make these renovations. 

However, simple additions and renovations such as adding updated appliances, fresh laminate countertops, cleanly tiled showers, even waterproof hardwood floors throughout the homes, would make a huge difference.

Moving away from home and family and into buildings with unfamiliar faces while adjusting to college courses is already a significant adjustment for many students. Adding a sense of comfort and warmth to the homes will not only attract more students to these residence halls, but ideally give them a better sense of home away from home on campus.