Student Residence Life: Center Street’s unexpected tranquility offsets hectic college scene

While many students see Geneseo’s Court Street apartment complexes such as Ambassador and the Meadows as either the easy or logical choice for their post-sophomore year living situations, many choose a less obvious, but perhaps more enjoyable, experience on Center, Second, North, Elm, Chestnut and even Oak Streets.

A caveat: I lived on Court Street last semester and even wrote about the experience in The Lamron, but the choice to relocate to Center Street was purely financial. Since then I’ve found Center Street, which is similar in many ways to the other “uptown” streets when it comes to student housing, to be an equally pleasant place to live.

The most important thing to recognize about Center Street and its above-Main partners is that many of the houses aren’t home to college students, but to families and adults who live in Geneseo year-round. Where one might see a Court Street-equivalent at any school that relegates the majority of its off-campus residences to one area, there is no mistaking the small-town quality of Center Street life.

That’s a good thing, though. After a semester experiencing the hustle and bustle of weekends on Court Street, Center is a breath of fresh air. Much of what makes Center and its ilk so great is the tranquil, part-college, part-village atmosphere. The picturesque houses, friendly residents and churches all contribute to the benefits of the streets around Center.

For those who haven’t ventured far beyond campus, Center and the streets that surround it are made up of mostly single-family houses, interspersed with some larger double-family style ones. While the homes occupied by college students are never particularly decorative, those of permanent Geneseo residents are often incredibly beautiful. From their tall, arching porches to their well-kept lawns and yards, just strolling about its sidewalks can be a visual journey in itself.

Center Street has a few other features that make it choice off-campus living. The downhill walk to campus is not to be underestimated, as anyone who has showed up sweaty to class after venturing the near 45-degree grade of Court Street can confirm. The Wadsworth Library on the intersection of Center and Second Streets is a gorgeous building and an ideal place to get work done. Finally, the bell that tolls from the Christ Community Church every hour is a refreshingly simple and reliable reminder of how late you’re up working on huge projects.

As easy as it is to describe why the streets above Main might make for a great off-campus place to live, it’s best to get out here and see how you like it yourself. After having been here for a few months, I have to say that you won’t be disappointed.