The Student Newspaper of The Loomis Chaffee School

The Loomis Chaffee Log

The Student Newspaper of The Loomis Chaffee School

The Loomis Chaffee Log

The Student Newspaper of The Loomis Chaffee School

The Loomis Chaffee Log

What we’re thankful for
What we’re thankful for
February 11, 2024
Prepare for cold
Prepare for cold
February 11, 2024
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Taylor Hall: Exploring Loomis’ Oldest Dorm

Lucia Zhang ’25
A snapshot of Taylor dorm.

When asked about Taylor Hall, its dormhead, Ned Heckman, lovingly refers to the historic building as “not a lot of people’s first choice” in a dorm and to its residents as the “underrated dogs” on campus. However, he, his Residential Assistants (RAs), and Taylor residents called to “stop the Taylor hate” on campus, all the while non-residents gave a slightly harsher opinion of the dorm.

So why is Taylor such a controversial dorm on campus? To understand all this, one must first look at the history of Taylor as a dormitory.

Taylor was built in 1914 by Nathaniel Horton Batchelder, Loomis Chaffee’s first headmaster, in collaboration with the board of trustees. It forms part of the original quadrangle of buildings on campus, together with the Founders Hall, Howe Hall, formerly known as Mason Hall, and the William H. Loomis Dining Hall.

Named after John Metcalf Taylor, chair of the Board of Trustees from 1904 to 1918, Taylor dates back to Loomis’ younger days when it was an administrative building.

“Some of the rooms were classrooms and the original Health Center used to be [in Taylor] as well,” Mr. Heckman said.“My apartment is actually where the old Health Center used to be.”

In relation to the more-than-centennial building’s renovation history, Mr. Heckman was able to give no reply, which likely means that the last touch-up on the dorm was not done in recent memory.

This fact, coupled with the typical boys-dorm lack of AC, made up the bulk of the complaints residents and non-residents have about Taylor.

“During the first days of school especially, it was so hot in Taylor it was hard to deal with,” Mark Advena ’24 said. “In the winter, it might get too cold for comfort in [Taylor] as well”.

It is also perhaps worth noting Taylor’s, comparatively to other dormitories, rather unconventional laundry room situation.
According to Taylor RA Will Pashby 24’, the laundry room in Taylor is not actually in Taylor; rather, residents have to go to an outside entrance, and down into a basement that houses the laundry machines.

“[The basement is] pretty creepy… there’s a doll head in there, and the entrance to the Loomis tunnels” Pashby said.
“I think the doll was most likely a leftover Halloween decoration from a few years ago. I guess they just left it in the basement,” Pashby said. “It’s pretty dark in the basement. [The doll] got me the first time I went in there.”

Despite these shortcomings, Mr. Heckman and the RAs at Taylor firmly believe that the community that can be found in Taylor amply makes up for these superficial flaws.

“Taylor isn’t as ‘flashy’ as other upperclassman boys dorms, I feel that we have to try harder to bond as a resident group to have fun,” Mr. Heckman said.

Each resident interviewed mentioned “the guys” as one of their favorite parts about the dorm.

“One of Taylor’s greatest strengths as a dorm is the diversity that we have this year, I feel like there’s a lot of different people in here, and we coexist pretty well, so I think that makes us stronger,” RA Ryan Che 24’ said.

“There’s not a ‘Taylor guy’ stereotype, you know? Everyone knows who lives in Warham, but Taylor’s less like that, everyone’s different, so there’s more room for meeting different people,” Noah Nye Wenner ’25 said.

Lastly, in a unanimous decision, “the guys'” absolute favorite thing about Taylor, they chose the common room.

“It’s the best upperclassman boys common room,” Pashby said.

“It’s got the biggest kitchen, and it’s a fun spot to hang out,” Che said.

Taylor boasts a Mr. Heckman-procured Pac-Man machine, as well as a Wii, several other game consoles, on which the faculty play FIFA against residents, and a multitude of card and board games to choose from.

These things, while definitely not part of N.H. Batchelder’s original vision for the dorm, give Taylor its charm and residents plentiful entertainment to do on those sweltering autumn days.

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