Lander was attractive since it was close to the UW academic computer center: only a couple short blocks to a 24-hour self-service card reader and chain printer (with no Internet and no modems that was very helpful). In 1979 Lander got upgrades: touchtone phones and sprinklers. Such luxury! But the view on the south side of the building was AMAZING.
The food was pretty bad, although they tried to innovate (three words: "French fried cauliflower"). Our floor was co-ed which was rare and exotic to a shy freshman from Tacoma in 1978. There were a variety of people, often trying to figure out who they really were. Christian engineer, a slowly coming out gay guy, the-guy-with-the-huge-Speakerlab-corner-horn speakers in his tiny tiny concrete room, the stoners, the slackers, the unbelievably driven, the jazz musicians, the classical musicians, the Republican operative (quietly holding it together when John Anderson was chosen over George Poppy Bush at the caucus) and a couple math majors (perhaps the oddest of all). Learning to live together was an important part of our education. Our poor RA had to deal with the randomly assigned people sharing small sparse rooms but we rearranged ourselves in those cases where roommates really couldn't stand each other.
In recent years I found myself working in a nearby building and people here often eat in the remodeled and much improved cafeteria. It feels odd to walk by that big hole.