Described as one of the great urban spaces in America, Low Plaza was built to resemble a Greek amphitheater. Fittingly, it’s ideal for outdoor concerts, fairs, and staged performances like the King’s Crown Shakespeare Troupe’s annual productions.
The mission of the Earl Hall Center is to foster learning through spiritual, ethical, religious and cultural exchange, and to promote service to the University and its surrounding New York City communities. The Earl Hall Center includes the Office of the University Chaplain, Community Impact and United Campus Ministries.
Columbia Campus Aerial
Columbia’s neighborhood is Morningside Heights, which stretches from 106th to 125th Streets and is bordered by Central Park, Morningside Park, and Riverside Park.
Located north and west of Central Park on Manhattan’s Upper West Side is Columbia’s majestic, park-like urban village. Within this academic acropolis, students have a home base on which to live, study and play.
The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science occupies a cluster of buildings on the north end of campus. The cluster includes the Schapiro Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research (shared with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), the Seeley Wintersmith Mudd building, the Computer Science building, and the Engineering Terrace.
One of Rodin’s bronze castings of “The Thinker” appropriately stands before the entrance of Philosophy Hall. The building houses several departments, including Philosophy, English and Comparative Literature, and French and Romance Philology.
Alfred Lerner Hall is Columbia’s student center. Lerner is home to the Berick Center for Student Advising and the Office of Multicultural Affairs, as well as student group advising and the Office of Financial Aid. It also includes student lounges, two dining venues, a black box theater, pool and game room, 7,000 undergraduate mailboxes, two computer rooms, offices for student organizations, and numerous event spaces, including a 1,100-seat auditorium and a 400-seat cinema.
Farmer's Market on Broadway
Open year-round on Thursdays and Sundays, this market located just in front of the Columbia University gates on Broadway at 115thSt., serves a diverse population including university students, faculty and staff, as well as Upper West Side residents.
Van Am Quad
Van Am Quad is named after John Howard Van Amringe, the popular first Dean of Columbia College. The Rotunda in the middle is ringed with the dedication “Honored and Beloved by Generations of Columbia Students, His Life and Influence Will Be Example and Inspiration to Those Who Come After.”
A few of the authors, ideas, and texts that will become part of what you know through the Core. From Machiavelli to Rousseau from Smith to Hume; from W. E. B. Du Bois to Virginia Woolf; from Homer to Toni Morrison; the books in the Core remain on Columbian’s bookshelves for a lifetime.
St. Paul's Chapel
Built in 1904 and designated a New York City landmark in 1966, St. Paul’s Chapel is nondenominational and provides a beautiful space for hundreds of events each year.
Butler Library is the centerpiece of the Columbia University Libraries, one of the ten largest academic library systems in the nation. Housing close to one-third of the Libraries’ on-site collections, Butler Library includes more than 600,000 rare books and 28 million manuscripts, and the world-famous Oral History Research Office and collection. Several books and screenplays have been written here, including Nobel Prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk’s The Black Book and alumnus Dan Futterman’s Oscar-nominated script for the film Capote.
Low Library by night
Inside Low Library is the famed Rotunda, often used for events including the World Leaders Forum. Established in 2003 by Lee C. Bollinger, the World Leaders Forum is a year-round event series aimed to advance lively, uninhibited dialogue on the large economic, political, and social questions of our time. The Forum’s roster of past participants features many of heads of state, in addition to other global thought leaders from a broad spectrum of fields and all regions of the world. A few of the many remarkable past participants are Presidents Bill Clinton, Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Vladimir Putin of Russia, Michelle Bachelet of Chile, Václav Klaus of the Czech Republic, and the Dalai Lama.
Watching over Low Plaza is Alma Mater, a bronze sculpture by Daniel Chester French, famous for his statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Alma Mater is also the subject of many Columbia legends, including that the first student in every new class to find the hidden owl on the statue will be the class valedictorian.
Columbia guarantees housing for all four years and 95% of our students live on campus. Columbia is its own village within Manhattan. More than a place to live, Columbia is a vibrant residential community.
Campus by night
Where else but in a city that never sleeps will you find not only 24-hour libraries for night owls but also a 24-hour improv show each spring by the campus troupe Fruit Paunch?
Northwest Corner Building
Among the state-of-the-art facilities for engineers and scientists is also the new Northwest Corner Building — an interdisciplinary science and engineering teaching and laboratory complex that includes one of the world’s largest science library collections.
South Field did in fact boast a “Field” for a number of years. The current lawns once formed a contiguous strip of grass upon which football matches and other sporting events were held. A football field was set up in the fall, and Lou Gehrig played baseball here in the spring.
Named after former Columbia President Seth Low and patterned loosely on the Classical Pantheon, Low Library has the largest all-granite dome in the United States. No longer a library, Low houses the Visitors Center and the Office of the President, and is used for campus events.