Welcome to the Great Estate

From+left%3A+Sara+DeRosa+%E2%80%9916%2C+Matt+Dole+%E2%80%9915%2C+Mark+Lewis+%E2%80%9916%2C+Katie+Abrams+%E2%80%9916+and+Helen+Colliton+%E2%80%9916++live+and+stay+happy+together+through+a+careful+combination+of+sass%2C+cat+and+MarioKart.%0A%0APhoto+by+Misha+Gelnarova.

From left: Sara DeRosa ’16, Matt Dole ’15, Mark Lewis ’16, Katie Abrams ’16 and Helen Colliton ’16 live and stay happy together through a careful combination of sass, cat and MarioKart. Photo by Misha Gelnarova.

Steve Yang, Features Editor

yangstev17@grinnell.edu

According to its current residents, 1126 Broad Street is slowly sinking, the floors are slanted, the attitude is sassy and the people are snooty. But it’s not called “The Estate” for nothing: Sara DeRosa, Mark Lewis, Katie Abrams, Helen Colliton, all ’16, and Matt Dole ’15, have carved out a lush space in this not-so-fancy-looking home for fancy people. Accompanied by a historic beer cap table, a foot-loving cat named Murphy and plenty of Ultimate Frisbee stopovers, The Estate provides all the comfort and coziness of home only a short distance from both town and college.

From left: Sara DeRosa ’16, Matt Dole ’15, Mark Lewis ’16, Katie Abrams ’16 and Helen Colliton ’16 live and stay happy together through a careful combination of sass, cat and MarioKart. Photo by Misha Gelnarova.
From left: Sara DeRosa ’16, Matt Dole ’15, Mark Lewis ’16, Katie Abrams ’16 and Helen Colliton ’16 live and stay happy together through a careful combination of sass, cat and MarioKart.
Photo by Misha Gelnarova.

The residents of the house have lived together for nearly their entire time at Grinnell, so they felt comfortable with each other right away and didn’t feel the need to stray towards campus for companionship.

“We’re pretty self-contained as a house,” DeRosa said. “We’ll have people over and go out on weekends, but we spend a lot of time in the house.”

Having lived together for so long, however, means that they’ve had to come up with ways to let off steam and make decisions together without resentment or frustration.

“There’s a high sass content to our house,” Dole said. “It’s generally in a loving way though: we let off steam by being sassy.”

“I’m actually surprised at how well we’ve gotten along,” Colliton agreed with a laugh, “and when someone says something, they might not always mean it.”

When friends do stop by, it’s usually for Frisbee team events, which involves a lot of planning and organization on the part of Frisbee co-captains Lewis and Abrams. The Estate also served as central grounds for 10/10 last fall, hosting both Frisbee alums and generous amounts of beer. However, anything and everything that comes and goes through the house must abide by the house motto: “No Shame, No Babies.”

“It’s simple: don’t have shame, and no babies, at least for the present moment,” Dole said.

Abrams mentioned that The Estate has been an ideal place to just relax and celebrate tradition, from bread-baking on Saturdays to playing Mario Kart (on Gamecube controllers, specifically) and cooking and/or eating bacon in excessive quantities.

“Matt bakes the bread. We like to eat the bread on Saturdays,” Abrams said.

“It’s really fun to be in your own house and eat fresh bread,” Colliton added.

There’s also the beer cap table in the center of the living room, a Frisbee tradition that has been passed around between houses and serves as both decoration and conversation starter. Nonetheless, tradition and relaxation have occasionally been interrupted by the odd bat and creaky noises from the attic, which provided a small scare and great stories for the future.

“Matt got the bat out with a Tupperware bowl while we watched,” DeRosa said.

“It’s just a creaky house,” Colliton added. “There are all these scary noises.”

Strange noises and animals aside, The Estate has simply served as a shelter from the hectic lifestyle of campus and the stresses of the school year. Best of all, it’s a place for the quintet to call their own, with a copious amount of personal space provided.

“We place a high value on a place that we call our own,” Dole said.

“Campus can be kind of a stressful place, so it’s nice to leave that and come to a place that’s completely different,” Abrams said. “No pants, no problem.”