Members: 12 (8 singles, 2 non-singles)
Approx. cost: Single-$510/mo Non-single-$365/mo
Mealplan: Yes, vegetarian and vegan options
Laundry: 1 washer, 1 dryer
Common Areas: Living room, dining room, kitchen, library, porch
Highlights: Bay window, sun deck, garden, dishwasher, garage
Bus Line: Abbot Rd Bus Line
Nearby Locations: Valley Park and Tennis Courts, Crunchy's (bar), Biggby Coffee Shop, Hannah Community Center
Blocks from campus: 2
Raft Hill accommodates 12 members; 6 of the spots are reserved for graduate students. Raft tends to be a quieter, studious house, but evenings in our common spaces consist of house dinners, video games, and Rose-and-Thorn recaps. We grow produce in our summer garden and enjoy our large deck year round. Connecting to our communities is easy since campus is a block away and the east Lansing farmer’s market is in view from our front door. For anyone that needs a refuge in the storm of school, this raft is for you!
This beautiful Tudor Revival home at 420 Evergreen was built in 1916 by Edward H. Ryder, an East Lansing mayor for seven terms, dean at MSU, member of the board of the Peoples Church and vice-president of the bank. In 1956, it was sold to the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity, with the stipulation that it be named the Ryder House in perpetuity. Motts Co-op, established in 1947, bought the house in 1964. George Motts had been an early co-op supporter and long-time faculty advisor to Elsworth House. It folded in 1970 and for two years served as a runaway shelter, called The Raft.
The Green Earth Food Co-op operated out of the house's basement, until it merged with Wolfmoon Food Co-op in 1972. At that time, a group of students from the Brody dormitory at MSU moved in and named it Knight House Co-op and later Narnia, after the Chronicles of Narnia books by C. S. Lewis. In 1974, it was renamed Major Raoul J. Luftberry House after a W.W.II fighter pilot whose picture was found in the attic of one of the co-ops. Luftberry failed in 1980 and SHC reopened the house in 1981 as Raft Hill, in honor of the days as a shelter for runaways. Mrs. Ruth Ryder St. John chastised SHC later for forgetting to keep the name Ryder House.
Raft Hill is currently a graduate student themed house, but undergrads looking for a quieter living space are also encouraged to apply.