Ankling Through Columbia University

This weekend was hot. Wowser, it was hot! And I decided to do my ankling about as far away from my home as you can get and still be in Manhattan: Columbia University.

I’ve been there a few times before, and every time I go; something drives me away. I don’t know why it happens, but it always does. This time it happened again; it was the heat and humidity that drove me back home. Maybe I only go there at times that something will go on and make me leave early.

But, I didn’t go away too quickly. I wandered over much of the campus, and was (as usual) impressed by it.

When you get off the 1 subway at 116th and get to the top; that’s where Columbia starts. Right across the street.

The entrance is pleasant, but one of the things that I always like is the little walkway right past the gates. It’s nicely tree-lined and very welcoming. The building on the left is, I believe, a theater/arts building while the building on the right is for journalism.

One thing that delights me is a little fake-out that they do. The next picture is of the Low Memorial Library. According to a plaque, it was donated in honor of Abiel Abbot Low and the first major building in this section (Morningside Heights) of Columbia. It was completed in 1897.

The fake-out? Well, it’s not a library. It’s an administrative and “ceremonial” building. The real library is well across the way. I had wondered why I never saw students flowing in and out of it until I discovered their dark little secret. Okay…it ain’t that dark of a secret and I’m sure Columbia has a whole bunch of genuine ones. But it’s the only one I’ve found in my wanderings.

Right in front of the “library” is a rather cool statue. It’s called “Alma Mater”. Very nicely done. I don’t know how old it is or the source of it (lots of their stuff has notations saying something like “donated by the Class of 1930”).

Oh, and Butler Library (the real library)? I mentioned it’s “across the way”. Here’s the view from the top of the Low Library’s steps. You can see “Alma Mater” down the way. The big building in the distance is the Butler Library (or so I’m told).

I wandered through Columbia for over an hour and took oodles of pics. But the day was hot and there were so few people around that nothing really happened. So, all I have to give you is a description and impressions. And I’ll do that over a number of posts; but I have to admit that my impression of Columbia is positive. Architecturally, it’s really nice. Academically, it’s top notch.

Oh, you might have noticed I categorized the place, at least in part, as Harlem. It likes to call itself Morningside Heights, but I view that as realtor-speak.


Explore posts in the same categories: Harlem, Manhattan, Wanderings

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