Pforzheimer, or Pfoho for short, previously called “North House” (we know—who wouldn’t want their house to be named after Kim and Kanye’s daughter?) is one of those houses that can make a freshman’s jaw drop and say the words “it looks like a freaking hotel.” With so many n+1 suites that even sophomores can get in on the single action, Pfoho is one of the "pfreshest" houses of the twelve. The only caveat to that is that it’s stationed in the Quad: an area as terrifying to freshmen as the threat of an impending Ec10 midterm. But coming in at 371 students, it’s filled with enough people to make a strong community and its isolation from the rest of the Harvard Bubble is bound to make making new friends as an easy affair.
1. Number of people: 371.
2. Mascot: Polar Bear. This semester, Pfoho House collectively adopted and named a polar bear cub in the fight for conservation.
3. Colors: Red and black.
4. Offers an Igloo (party room with a karaoke), Art Cave (complete with murals and art supplies), Playroom, Beesway (bee sanctuary).
5. Pfoho Spfa has massage chairs and UV light therapy lamps
6. Quad Grille! For when you tire of the dhall and want mozzarella sticks, curly fries, and milkshakes.
7. Rivalry with Adams House that got so intense in '99 that the House Masters drafted “articles of war” that kicked off a pranking war with Adams. Take a wild guess at who won.
8. Belltower Suite for 12 seniors to live together and host parties in.
9. Famous people who lived there: Former New York Times journalist Jennifer Lee, CBS correspondent Mo A. Rocca, ice hockey player Jillian Dempsey, California Congressman Mark Takano.
10. Yale Silliman College house masters (think: Halloween costume controversy) Erika and Nicholas Christakis served as Pfoho house masters from 2009-2013.
As Houses closer to the river gear up for renovations, Pfoho residents can sit back and bask in the fact that their House already looks like a modern palace and is situated within one of the most beautiful places on campus: the Quad. Who needs swing housing when your dorm and the buildings around it look like an apartment complex plucked right out of a downtown Boston real estate ad?
Sophomores are in for a treat. In a River or a Square House, you might end up in an n-1 suite: think something like Thayer’s first floor suites, with a double and a spacious common room. It sounds good in theory, but as the year goes on and you want privacy, you’ll be wishing that you had been sorted into Pfoho. Rumor has it that even sophomores get in on the single action. And apparently mice and roaches are nowhere to be found.
For freshmen just wandering into Harvard’s super-weird social scene, the Quad—and Pfoho especially—is party central. It’s not unlikely to pass by a conversation in the ‘Berg and hear Freshman conversing about their latest excursion to the Bell Tower, where lit parties are (normally) the status quo. And if the Bell Tower is too crowded with freshmen once you become an upperclassman, the Igloo is another party suite in Pfoho that is just as fun, and hopefully less sweaty.
The bottom line: Pfoho gets pfunky—the good kind! For all of you 90s kid still trying to relive the greatest hits of your childhood, Pfoho throws down with an annual 90s dance, so you’ll have more than enough time to either rock out to Britney Spears or vibe to some classic 90s Hip Hop and R&B.
Not to mention that the community is pretty tight. Imagine your freshman year entryway on steroids: the house hosts Saturday Pfull English Breakfasts, has a set of decked out common rooms, and brings in people from all of the Quad Houses with their Open House events. Plus, it is so easy to commiserate over how far away from Felipe's and Pinocchios you are.
What should freshmen who get Pfoho look forward to?
Ash Asencios \'17: "Everything! I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I personally love the Pfoho JCR and the dhall especially. The JCR has a beautiful TV set, the Quad Grille, pool, and a ping pong table. In the dhall, you can always chill and do work with friends and strike up a conversation with some friends who are walking buy. Our Open Houses are renowned throughout the quad. Not only are they delicious and fairly frequent, I see people from Currier and Cabot come over for them. They are certainly something you always have to arrive early for. Also, Pfoho do these outings every couple of months or so. During J-term, some people in Pfoho got to go dog sledding and this coming spring, there will be an ocean kayaking event. Anne and John really know how to give Pfoho residents the best experiences to have and opportunities to relax."
If you had to change one thing about your house what would it be?
Asencios: "The only thing I would change about my house is improving the brain break selection (but the reason why it runs out so quickly is because everyone likes to chill in the dhall, and most of the halls are connected)."
If you had to liken your house to a fruit, what fruit would it be and why?
Asencios: "Pfoho would be the most succulent cherry. Juicy & full of life."
What Hogwarts house would your house get sorted into?
Asencios: "Pfoho has been and always will be Gryffindor."