The O’Connell House
(O'Connell House, via Ross Tetzloff)
“The most interesting place to spend time as a freshman was the O’Connell House, which could serve as a great filming location for a horror movie,” sophomore UGBC senator John Daniell said. Located in the middle of Upper Campus, the O’Connell house is a vaguely decrepit mansion repurposed as a rec center with a dance studio, a Ping-Pong table, board games, two TV rooms and Upper Campus’ only public printer. It gets its spooky aura from long-dry, chipped marble fountains, faded stained glass and heavy French doors that appear to slam on their own. “If someone brought a guest to BC for the weekend, I would often lead them there on a ‘Haunted Ghost Tour’ of BC on a Saturday night,” Daniell said. Details on the tour’s content are unavailable to the public: “You have to take the tour to find out.”
The Stokes Amphitheater
(Stokes Amphitheater, via bc.edu)
Although cold Boston winters keep the amphitheater empty for months at a time, it buzzes with activity anytime the sun shines. Located right beside Mac and Stokes Hall, it’s a great spot for cookouts or live music. Large stone steps rise among grassy ridges where students lounge with reading or just hang out between classes. Even if you don’t have time to join in, the important College Road path above the steps provides a great eagle-eye view of the action.
Off Campus Hotspots
(Faneuil Hall, via wikimedia.org)
“Faneuil Hall blends historic Boston with modern elements the best,” Leconte said. Its outdoor cobblestone plaza buzzes with street performers. Inside, a wide variety of delicious food stands line the halls. Faneuil Hall also contains an upper level of balcony seating under a huge ornate dome. If you’re lucky, you might even run into Keytar Bear.
(Boston Common Frog Pond, via Ross Tetzloff)
The 50-acre Boston Common is the oldest park in the country, and its open layout makes it feel even bigger. In addition to cool structures like the Parkman Bandstand and the Brewer Fountain, Boston Common contains a popular frog pond that functions as a wading pool in summer and an ice rink in winter. Fagut recommends visiting on a Sunday, when people gather to hear performances. “It’s so joyous,” she said. “When everyone’s sitting outside, it’s just true Boston.”
(Gargan Hall in Bapst Library, via johnjburnslibrary.wordpress.com)
Bapst Library wins students’ all-nighter loyalties with its serenely beautiful Gargan Hall. With a sky-high ceiling and huge stained-glass windows, Gargan Hall feels more like a cathedral than a study space. For those annoyed by the eight-per-table, everyone-sees-everything seating arrangement, the secluded lower floor offers cubicles. Don’t believe the strange myth that Bapst has no printer. The printing station merely hides in a low-traffic lower-floor alcove.
(O'Neill Library Middle Campus entrance, via Ross Tetzloff)
O’Neill Library is named after Tip O’Neill, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and one of BC’s most famous alums. Because of O’Neill’s convenient location, huge book collection and popular printer station, it’s the most frequented library on campus. The entry-level third floor houses a relaxed, chatty atmosphere with four-person tables and comfy armchairs, while the fourth floor contains cubicles and many stacks. For students who hate distractions, the fifth floor offers seclusion, stark silence and a great view of Lower Campus.
School of Theology and Ministry Library
(Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, via bc.edu)
Searching for a haven during finals madness? As an alternative to aggressively staking out Stokes classrooms the minute they open, Babar suggested Brighton Campus’ School of Theology and Ministry Library. “Not many people know that it exists, especially undergrads,” Babar said. “There’s actually a good number of places to sit. It’s a very nice, empty, quiet library.” The library’s unique book collection comes in handy for students taking BC’s theology and foreign-language cores.