Chapin occupies what has been called the geographic center of the campus. This central location makes Chapin only a short walk from most academic buildings and a neighbor to the Campus Center.
Chapin overlooks the gardens of the Lyman Plant House, the playing fields and Paradise Pond, hence the house motto, “Living on the Edge of Paradise.” Chapin lawn is the site of frisbee and other activities or a place to throw down a blanket and enjoy the sun or cool off in the shade. Residents often sit and chat on the huge porch overlooking Chapin lawn.
Chapin’s staircase may have served as the inspiration for the staircase of Scarlett O’Hara’s "Tara" plantation in the controversial novel Gone With the Wind, since the book’s author, Margaret Mitchell, once lived at Chapin.