A love letter to the Harper armchairs

To me, you are perfect

Lumpy. Dingy. Orange. Though their distinct 70s vibe may clash with the dazzling, gothic-arched ceilings, it’s time the Harper armchairs received the love they deserve.

Whether you want to lounge and look up at the stunning architecture or need a place to study just off the Quad, Harper is the perfect place. As midterms approach, every one of these spots is coveted.


People watching is an amusing pastime but in the Harper armchairs, it’s a lifestyle.

Positioned at both ends, they’re great for monitoring all traffic through the reading room. Alternatively, great for being snooped upon – perhaps as the next charming stranger posted about on UChicago Crushes.

Who knew orange brought out your eyes so much?


Between p-sets and Netflix, chances are you didn’t get enough sleep last night. The armchairs have an almost intoxicating nap potential.

There’s something so wrong but so, so right about kicking your feet up on the footstool (which will constantly slide away from you) and nodding off. If you are still awake and snooping, your position provides excellent opportunities to catch your friends curled up in a nap.

Meanwhile, a steady caffeine source is just steps away. When you really have to wake up and study, Harper Cafe has you covered. And wen you return with your coffee in hand, you can marvel over the variety of stains left on the armrests by years and years of scholars and -whoops, now there’s even a mark of your own.


As night falls, you sink into the armchair’s embrace. Imprinted along with every lump and sag upon the cushions are the memories of all the cold, winter nights you spent there finishing your final papers or turning page after page of Marx’s Capital, Volume 1. These recollections ooze out of the seats, half an inspiration for further academic achievements, half a bitter reminder of the Friday and Saturday nights lost to study.

But Harper armchairs, to me you are perfect.

My heart beats when I see you – and not just because of my rapid ascent up the building’s three flights of stairs. An open seat seems like a welcome home. So here’s to many more moments of study and slumber in your company.


University of Chicago