I did a quick google image search to see what would come up for "living in the barn".  Maybe it's not that surprising, but what I got were images of beautifully remodeled barn houses featured on Apartment Therapy and the like.

"The Barn" is not like those houses.
The origins of The Barn are unclear to me, and probably most of Swarthmore's student body at this point, but my friend may have found out the truth during alumni weekend last month.  Apparently, the lack of housing choices drove a group of SWIL (Swarthmore Warders of Imaginative Literature) to rent out this spacious 3-story, 6-apartment (24 bedroom) barn-like building as an off-campus haven.  Hardly close to the hipster-laden associations that the place is now known for.
How long ago this was, I do not know.  What is clear though, is the state of decay it has fallen into since then.  I am not exaggerating when I say that a lot of people would like this place to be condemned, but I think no one living there has made that move yet because 1. it is the cheapest rent you'll find and 2. there is a certain sense of "roughing it" when living there.  I should also add that because the apartments have always been passed down through Swarthmore students, that there is little intervention from the landlord.  Bad for when you want your ceiling that just fell in fixed, good for when you want to do whatever the hell you want with the space.
So here it is, in all its glory.  I pray that it holds up for at least another year.

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