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Columbia University

2960 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

* Google Maps aerial view

History - written by Chris Buchner (used with permission)
Founded in 1754 as King's College by the royal charter of King George II of England, Columbia is the fifth oldest school in the nation. Originally, the school was located across from Trinity Church on Lower Broadway. The goal was to enhance the mental capacity of those who attended and increase their station in the role of life. In 1767, the school approached these goals by establishing the first American medical school that granted a medical degree.

The college was closed in 1776 during the years of the American Revolution, but was reopened in 1784 as Columbia in response to the strong feelings of patriotism at the time. The change in America was also evident with the growing diversity of atendees at the school. In 1849, the college moved from Park Place to 49th Street and began to change the shape of the modern university with the introduction of the Law School in 1858 and the first mining school in 1864.

When Seth Low became president of the school in 1890, he pushed to make the school even bigger and better, establishing many new departments geared towards different fields. His greatest accomplishment is heralded as the moving of the campus to its current location in Morningside Heights. The renowned firm of McKim, Mead & White designed the campus as an urban academic village with buildings pattered after the Italian Rennaisance.

The school continued to grow over most of the 20th Century, adding new buildings and new programs. Great minds in history both taught and learned there, and Columbia steadily became the place for a world-class education. It's currently at the forefront of medical technology and research, and is prepared to keep its elevated position throughout the new millennium.


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