Through a decree by issued by King George I, King?s College was established in Manhattan in 1754. Thirty years later when the dust settled after the American Revolution, this Anglican institution was renamed to Columbia University, the iconic university that we know today. It is the most antiquated university in New York City and the fifth oldest in the entire United States.
The first campus of Columbia University was located in Park Place then transferred to Madison Avenue in 1857. In 1896, when it was officially renamed Columbia University, then university president Seth Low decided to move the campus again to its current location in Morningside Heights. The university now occupies the former site of the Bloomingdale Lunatic Asylum. This main campus occupies 13 hectares or six city blocks designed in Beaux-Arts architecture. This is following Seth Low?s vision of teaching multiple disciplines in a single location. The much regarded architectural firm McKim, Mead and White designed the Morningside campus and today, Columbia University is the biggest conglomeration of the firm?s works.
Columbia University plays hosts to several attractions within its campus, the most notable of which is the Low Memorial Library built as a tribute to Seth Low and is an officially-recognized National Historic Landmark. The steps leading to the library famously known as ?The Steps? is a favorite hangout place among students. It is also called the ?Urban Beach? as students gather here during warm days to sunbathe.
Another notable structure within Columbia University?s walls is St. Pauls Chapel which was built in 1904. It was the first building in the campus that was not the product of McKim, Mead and White. Nonetheless, the building?s Northern Italian Renaissance inspiration evident in its brick, marble and limestone claddings earned it the right to be designated as one of New York City?s landmark.
Aside from Low Memorial Library and St. Paul Chapel, other famous buildings in the campus include the Philosophy Hall which is officially recognized as the place where the FM radio was invented and the Pupin Hall where the first successful fission of the uranium atom was conducted.
Columbia University is one of the eight schools comprising the elite Ivy League and consistently ranks as one of the best universities in the world. Equally positive as its reputation is the stature it holds as one of New York City?s most admired landmarks.