The Gentrification of Estabrook

Art credit: Austin Van Shaick

By Jesse Saunders

An excerpt from The Hofstra Issue!

This move in day spelled chaos and despair for local residents moving into the up and coming dorm building, Estabrook Hall. What started out fairly normal, became the worst day possible for many upperclassmen, including super-senior David S. Mack IX, “My family’s been with this university for years, half the buildings are named after me.” Stated Mack, primary-bloodline descendant of the guy half the buildings are named after, “But when I walked in this year, ready to move in, I was informed that the single I’d been in for years was now an artisan coffee shop.”

Mack’s room was not the only causality in the push to prettify the once party filled Estabrook. The building admitted 75 freshmen, who stated they just really liked the character of the building, and continued to correct this reporter whenever she referred to it as a dorm.

“It’s a residence hall, we’re trying to build a community here, and it’s much more than a dorm.” He said while adjusting his obviously fake horn rimmed glasses. Wait people still wear those? Wow.

Along with the 75 freshmen, the building is now home to four artisan coffee shops, 1 vegan cupcake place which is actually not that bad, a personalized day planner store, and either a slam poetry club or just a quad of very angsty roommates. The dorm acts as the centerpiece to President Rabinowitz’s new MasterPlan™.

“I don’t understand why these kids hold onto their dorms, like just graduate and let the residence hall be pretty.” Said President Foreman Rabinowitz as he laid out the plans for a Duane Reade to replace the student lounge.


7th floor Estabrook
Art by Taylor Thurmond


The most tragic story of the day was that of a hard-working family of five living on the seventh floor. The McNotwhite’s have been struggling to keep their single ever since they made the terrible choice to try and live on a college campus instead of in a real town.

“It wasn’t perfect, but it was home. Everyone on the floor ignored each other and that was just fine,” Said Todd McNotwhite, the family’s eldest son. “But now these kids expect us to interact with each other and go to their weird events, no one here wants to attend a Friends trivia night and I’d really like if they stopped asking.” Sounds exactly like something a person who didn’t know the original theme song was by R.E.M would say.  

Beyond the raising price of the dorm itself, the McNotwhite’s have to deal with the loss of the vending machines they once depended on for meals. Replacing the 13th floor vending machines is a cereal bar, which is still a very strange concept, and a “classic country” brunch joint, where everything is served in a mason jar, including the food. The McNotwhite’s tried to adjust to the changes to their home, but don’t see why you would try and put an omelet in a mason jar.

The family has already received several offers on their home, including one from a very persistent messenger bag store. While they don’t want to accept the offer, their choices are limited. With the continuing pressure from both the community and their landlord, the shadowy RSA organization, they’ll be gone before their meal plans run out.

These stories touched the hearts of P-Safe officers across the campus, who have taken it upon themselves to help the residents move out quickly and efficiently. With the help of one of the school’s many fire drills, unwanted students scurried out of Estabrook away from a cloud of unidentifiable dank smoke and into the welcoming hands of P-Safe officers, ready to aid the MasterPlan™ by quickly and quietly moving into a sadder building.

Following the rejuvenation of Vander Poel Hall by honors students less than five years earlier, Estabrook Hall represents a new standard for housing at Hofstra University. Students displaced from Estabrook were originally upset at the change, but they learned to live with it when they realized their new home of C-square, while nowhere near classes, is very close to recreation areas held dear to estabrookians, such as the scenic acid fields.

The day ended with what seemed a great loss for many students at Hofstra, but in the end that cupcake shop is really good, so it’s this reporter’s core belief that we’ll somehow survive.