/Neighborhood

Sixth Stop: International House and Sakura Park

Moving on from the academic institutions in the neighborhood, head up to Riverside Drive along West 122nd to view International House and take in the greenery of Sakura Park. International House Situated at 500 Riverside Drive, north on Riverside Drive, International House is the first building to the north of the church adjacent to Sakura Park. International House or I-House is a private, non-profit residence and program center for graduate students, scholars engaging in research, trainees and interns. International House's 700 resident members live in a diverse residential community that promotes mutual respect, friendship, and leadership skills across cultures and fields of study. Among I-House's alumni have been some outstanding and accomplished figures of global renown that reflect the House’s diverse community, including Nobel prize winners and heads of state as well as award-winning authors, singers and actors. Once you're at International House, simply walk a little farther north to Sakura Park for a [...]

Sixth Stop: International House and Sakura Park2018-04-25T11:41:38-04:00

Academic Acropolis

Morningside Heights has been nicknamed the Academic Acropolis, for the vast amount of academic institutions in the area. Many of the academia in the area is founded on religious bases, especially the two giant institutions of religious leadership, the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and the Union Theological Seminary (UTS). The two institutions are prominently located on your walk by continuing northeast on Broadway to West 122nd. There you will reach one of the most exciting corners of multi-disciplinary academic collaboration. West 122nd is also known as Seminary Row, and is home to eleven of the academic institutions in the neighborhood. On the western side of Broadway is Union Theological Seminary, the current stop of your tour. Jewish Theological Seminary On the western side lays the Jewish Theological Seminary, at 3080 Broadway, which houses more than 425,000 volumes, making it the largest and most extensive collection of Hebraic and Judaic material in the Western Hemisphere. The Seminary [...]

Academic Acropolis2018-04-24T09:53:21-04:00

Fifth Stop: Union Theological Seminary

By walking to the intersection of 120th to 122nd Streets between Claremont Avenue and Broadway, you will find yourself in front of your fifth stop: the Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. Be sure to explore the other institutions in the area, as per our blog post, as Union Theological Seminary and the other higher institutions of learning in the area have come to be famously known as the Academic Acropolis. In the 20th century, Union was world-renowned as a center of liberal Christianity and neo-orthodoxy, in addition to being the birthplace of the Black Liberation Theology, Womanist Theology and Mujerista Theology movements. Union houses the largest theological library in the Western Hemisphere. The brick and limestone English Gothic architecture, by Francis R. Allen (1844–1931) and Collins, completed in 1910, includes the tower, which adapts features of the crossing tower of Durham Cathedral. The Seminary is also adjacent to Teachers College, [...]

Fifth Stop: Union Theological Seminary2018-04-25T11:44:32-04:00

What’s Next?

Now that you've finished visiting the distinguished Columbia University, head to Broadway. There you'll find examples of New York's infamous food truck scene - an excellent dining option for the walking tourist! Grab a cup of coffee and a snack and then plot your next stop on the tour. You can either continue your Morningside tour north along Broadway or north along Claremont Avenue. For your FIRST OPTION, our recommended route, you'll leave Columbia from the exit by Earl Hall and cross the street to stop by the beautiful gates of Barnard College. Barnard College Barnard College is one of the nation's most prestigious women's colleges and a member of the Seven Sisters. Barnard College today is known for its alumni and their leadership in arts and politics. Notable alumnae include: Joan Rivers, Cynthia Nixon, and Martha Stewart. From Barnard, you'll find another prestigious academic institution in the neighborhood by walking north along Amsterdam Ave to [...]

What’s Next?2018-04-24T09:53:02-04:00

Maison Francaise at Columbia University

Founded in 1913, the Maison Française of Columbia University is the oldest French cultural center established on an American university campus. It is a meeting place for students, scholars, business leaders, policy-makers and all persons seeking a better understanding of the French-speaking world. The Columbia Maison Française fosters intellectual and cultural exchange between the United States and France, Europe, and the French-speaking world. Its rich program of events stimulates debate, spotlights innovative scholarship, promotes dialogue across disciplines, and contributes to international and cross-cultural understanding. Jean-Paul Sartre, Edith Piaf, playwright Eugene Ionesco, French mime Marcel Marceau, Marshal Joseph Joffree (a French general during World War I), and others performed and spoken at the Maison Française in the past. Maison Française at Columbia University Buell Hall, 2nd floor 515 West 116th Street, MC 4990 New York, NY 10027 212-854-4482 http://maisonfrancaise.org/centennial/columbia-maison-francaise

Maison Francaise at Columbia University2018-04-25T11:44:40-04:00

Fourth Stop: Columbia University

After taking in the magnificence of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and the buildings in the neighborhood, your next stop involves more artistic and creative appreciation. Continue north on Amsterdam Avenue until West 116th Street, and enter the Columbia University campus to turn your attention to the splendor and academia that permeates the air in Columbia University. Columbia University was founded in 1754 as King's College by royal charter of King George II of England. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States. Today, Columbia University is an international center of scholarship, with a pioneering undergraduate curriculum and renowned graduate and professional programs. Among the earliest students and trustees of King's College were John Jay, the first chief justice of the United States; Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of the treasury; Governor Morris, the author of the final [...]

Fourth Stop: Columbia University2018-04-25T11:44:25-04:00

Second Stop: Gargoyles and Lobbies

After starting off at a prominent building at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, you may want to take a detour to appreciate the architecture of the residence buildings in the neighborhood. If you're pressed for time, you can skip on to the third stop, by simply walking north to West 116th from the Cathedral to Columbia University. We recommend this stop if you'd love to view the neo-Renaissance apartment buildings Morningside Heights is home to. The buildings feature marble lobbies, town houses with stained-glass windows and elegant accouterments that were built to set the style for the homes of the rich that were built later along Park and Fifth Avenues. The apartment buildings in the area feature beautiful marble lobbies that are extravagant and luxurious. The Hamilton's entrance at West 114th Street, at 420 Riverside Drive, features a huge elegant marble lobby with beautiful stained glass windows recently recreated by one of the building’s [...]

Second Stop: Gargoyles and Lobbies2018-04-24T09:48:55-04:00

At the Cathedral of St. John the Divine: The Ithiel Town Building

On your visit to the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, be sure to check out the oldest building in Morningside Heights: Ithiel Town Building. Named for its designer, Ithiel Town, the Town Building is the oldest existing structure in the neighborhood of Morningside Heights. Town was the architect of Federal Hall and St. Marks Church in-the-Bowery, both still standing in southern Manhattan. The Town Building predates the Cathedral—it began as the Leake & Watts Orphanage, which opened in 1847, when the area was largely rural and agricultural, separated from the urban crush. The Orphanage moved to Yonkers when the Cathedral purchased the land in 1887. The Town Building is a monumental Greek Revival temple, with two wings flanking its neoclassical facade of Ionic columns and triangular pediment over a raised portico. The columns are molded stucco over brick, with carved wooden capitals. The building’s east wing was removed in 1950 to create more [...]

At the Cathedral of St. John the Divine: The Ithiel Town Building2018-04-25T11:35:49-04:00

At Cathedral of St. John the Divine: The Peace Fountain

Located next to the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, the Peace Fountain was built in 1985 by Greg Wyatt to depict the struggle of good and evil, shown by the archangel Michael vanquishing Satan. The Peace Fountain was sculpted by Cathedral Artist-in-Residence Greg Wyatt to mark the 200th anniversary of the Diocese of New York in 1985. The 40 foot-high bronze sculpture weaves together several representations of the conflict between good and evil. Above, the Archangel Michael embraces one of nine giraffes (said to be the most peaceful of creatures) after his defeat of Satan. Below, the lion lies down with the lamb. The fountain’s spiraling base takes inspiration from the double-helix of DNA. On either side of the fountain, moon- and sun-like faces direct their gazes toward and away from Amsterdam Avenue. Around the fountain’s basin are a series of small bronze animal sculptures created by K-12 students from New York City [...]

At Cathedral of St. John the Divine: The Peace Fountain2018-04-25T11:35:34-04:00

Third Stop: The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine

Starting at the 110th Street subway stop, you can begin your tour by walking east along 110th Street to Amsterdam Ave and going north to West 111th Street. You'll hit the Peace Fountain at St. John the Divine first, and by walking further east you will find yourself in front of the Cathedral itself. The cathedral, designed in 1888 and begun in 1892, has undergone radical stylistic changes and the interruption of the two World Wars. Originally designed in the Byzantine Revival-Romanesque Revival styles, the plan was changed after 1909 to a Gothic Revival design. After a large fire on December 18, 2001, it was closed for repairs and reopened in November 2008. It remains unfinished, with construction and restoration a continuing process. Among the largest churches in the world, the Gothic and Romanesque-style architecture also features an immense Guastavino tile dome. The Cathedral is home to the American Poets Corner, an altarpiece by [...]

Third Stop: The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine2018-04-25T11:37:42-04:00

One: 110th Street Subway Stop

The gateway to Morningside Heights by public transportation is the Red line, Number 1 subway stop of 110th Street.  Upon arrival, you will find a treasured 24-hour grocery store, Westside Market, and a bustling intersection of residential, school, and retail activities. Here is where you begin your tour and your exploration of Morningside Heights. First stop: the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.

One: 110th Street Subway Stop2018-04-25T11:38:08-04:00

West Harlem Community Benefits Agreement

On May 18, 2009, Columbia University President Lee Bollinger and the President of the West Harlem Local Development Corporation (WHLDC) signed the West Harlem Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) marking a unique partnership between the University and the residents in Manhattan’s Community District 9. The agreement, along with commitments made to the City and the State over the course of the formal approval processes for the Manhattanville expansion project, encompasses not only a financial commitment on the part of the University, but also a commitment of both “in-kind” resources and advice and guidance on a range of issues and programs. While much of the CBA relates to financial or physical resources, the University responded to community desire to not simply focus on cash benefits, but to develop a more substantial relationship between the community and the academic resources of the University, especially with Columbia University's Office of Government and Community Affairs.  GCA, working with Office of the [...]

West Harlem Community Benefits Agreement2014-04-29T18:39:30-04:00

Church of Notre Dame History, Art, and Architecture

The Church of Notre Dame began in 1910 - not first as a church, but as a chapel; not first as a parish, but as a mission. It is hard to realize, looking at the busy, cosmopolitan area of Morningside Heights today, that not so many years ago, even within the memories of some still living, this area was undeveloped with open land and a sparse population. That, however, was the case as Notre Dame began life as a mission of the Church of St. Vincent de Paul (on West 24th Street). A French community of priests, the Fathers of Mercy, was entrusted with the care of this mission in the early years of this century as there were many French immigrants in this community. In time the French community was integrated with other ethnic groups that found Notre Dame to be their home: Irish, German, Italian, African-American, Hispanic and Filipino. Notre Dame today [...]

Church of Notre Dame History, Art, and Architecture2014-05-16T18:09:06-04:00

Church of Notre Dame French Mass

In October 2012 Timothy Cardinal Dolan announced the closing of the French National Church, St. Vincent de Paul, on January 6th 2013, after the celebration of the last Mass on the Feast of the Epiphany. It was celebrated to an overflowing crowd by Msgr. John Paddack, appointed transitional Pastor of St. Vincent de Paul. The Francophone community has been invited to open a new chapter in their 170 year history of religious tolerance and social justice by making their new home at the Church of Notre Dame. Notre Dame is an integral part of that long history of St. Vincent de Paul. In 1910, it was built as a Mission Church of St. Vincent de Paul and was staffed by the same French Fathers of Mercy. The present diverse congregation of Notre Dame and Columbia University Catholic Campus Ministry is proud to welcome their brothers and sisters in faith and history to Morningside Heights. [...]

Church of Notre Dame French Mass2014-05-16T18:32:35-04:00

Maison Francaise at Columbia University

The Maison Française was established by Columbia president Nicholas Murray Butler in 1913 as a “center for the study of French civilization and French literature” — the first French cultural institute on an American campus. That inaugural year, Butler, a man of grand gesture and grander influence, brought the French philosopher Henri Bergson to Morningside Heights as a visiting professor. More recently, the Maison has hosted Shoah filmmaker Claude Lanzmann, writer and professor emerita Maryse Condé, economist Thomas Piketty, and philosopher Jacques Rancière. Now, in 2013, the Maison Française is toasting its centenary with events throughout the year, starting with an exhibit in Buell Hall, on view through October 30. Curated by Maison Française director Shanny Peer, and jointly organized by the Maison Française and the Rare Book and Manuscript Division of Columbia Libraries, the exhibit includes documents, program materials, audio recordings, and photographs of distinguished thinkers, artists, and vedettes de cinéma. Buell Hall, [...]

Maison Francaise at Columbia University2014-05-16T18:16:14-04:00
Load More Posts