Columbia University

Address: 116th Street and Broadway NY, NY, 10027

Phone: (212) 854-1754



The Columbia University Campus

Low Memorial Library
Low Memorial Library

In 1897, the university moved from Forty-ninth Street and Madison Avenue, where it had stood for forty years, to its present location on Morningside Heights at 116th Street and Broadway. Seth Low, the president of the University at the time of the move, sought to create an academic village in a more spacious setting. Charles Follen McKim of the architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White modeled the new campus after the Athenian agora. The Columbia campus comprises the largest single collection of McKim, Mead & White buildings in existence.

The architectural centerpiece of the campus is Low Memorial Library, named in honor of Seth Low's father. Built in the Roman classical style, it appears in the New York City Register of Historic Places. The building today houses the University's central administration offices and the visitors center.

A broad flight of steps descends from Low Library to an expansive plaza, a popular place for students to gather, and from there to College Walk, a promenade that bisects the central campus. Beyond College Walk is the South Campus, where Butler Library, the university's main library, stands. South Campus is also the site of many of Columbia College's facilities, including student residences, Alfred Lerner Hall (the student center), and the College's administrative offices and classroom buildings, along with the Graduate School of Journalism.

To the north of Low Library stands Pupin Hall, which in 1966 was designated a national historic landmark in recognition of the atomic research undertaken there by Columbia's scientists beginning in 1925. To the east is St. Paul's Chapel, which is listed with the New York City Register of Historic Places.

Many newer buildings surround the original campus. Among the most impressive are the Sherman Fairchild Center for the Life Sciences and the Morris A. Schapiro Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research. Two miles to the north of Morningside Heights is the 20-acre campus of the Columbia University Medical Center in Manhattan's Washington Heights, overlooking the Hudson River. Among the most prominent buildings on the site are the 20-story Julius and Armand Hammer Health Sciences Center, the William Black Medical Research Building, and the 17-story tower of the College of Physicians and Surgeons. In 1989, The Presbyterian Hospital opened the Milstein Hospital Building, a 745-bed facility that incorporates the very latest advances in medical technology and patient care.

To the west is the New York State Psychiatric Institute; east of Broadway is the Audubon Biomedical Science and Technology Park, which includes the Mary Woodard Lasker Biomedical Research Building, the Audubon Business Technology Center, Russ Berrie Medical Science Pavilion, and the Irving Cancer Research Center as well as other institutions of cutting-edge scientific and medical research.

In addition to its New York City campuses, Columbia has two facilities outside of Manhattan. Nevis Laboratories, established in 1947, is Columbia's primary center for the study of high-energy experimental particle and nuclear physics. Located in Irvington, New York, Nevis is situated on a 60-acre estate originally owned by the son of Alexander Hamilton.

The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory was established in 1949 in Palisades, New York, and is a leading research institution focusing on global climate change, earthquakes, volcanoes, nonrenewable resources, and environmental hazards. It examines the planet from its core to its atmosphere, across every continent and every ocean.