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.
- All the Columbia filming from both movies are essentially centered around the Low Library in the center of the main campus. (text written by Chris Buchner)
- Columbia allowed filming on their campus under the explicit agreement that the university not be identified by name in the first movie. (text written by Chris Buchner)
- Columbia doesn't have a Weaver Hall or a Paranormal Studies laboratory. However, the office scenes were shot inside the school; an arrangement made in anticipation of rain delays to make use of expensive film crews. (text written by Chris Buchner)
- In reality, Weaver Hall is actually Havemeyer Hall, a classroom building primarily dedicated to science and math. Columbia's Psychology department is actually located in Schermerhorn Hall.
- The building in the background on the right in the Ghostbusters title shot, Ferris Booth Hall, was demolished in 1996 to create the much larger Alfred Lerner Hall, the current student center.
- The spot on the wall where Peter was sitting in the first movie is now partially fenced off.
- In the second movie, Dana found Egon working at The Institute for Advanced Theoretical Research where he was conducting experiments with human emotions. The Institute was actually located at Avery Hall on the Columbia University campus. Avery Hall houses Columbia's School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Founded in 1881, Masters degrees are offered in architecture, advanced architectural design, urban design, urban planning, historic preservation and real estate development. The building also houses Avery Library, considered to be the country's premier architectural library. (text written by Chris Buchner)
- In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Avery Hall now has a wheelchair access ramp. (text written by Chris Buchner)
- Columbia University has a connection to the lion in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer logo. Howard Dietz, the man who designed the MGM logo when Metro Pictures and the companies owned by Samuel Goldwyn and Louis B. Mayer merged in 1924, took some personal license and used a lion in tribute to Columbia University. That was his alma mater, and the athletic teams there are named the Lions - and the school's fight song is "Roar, Lion, Roar." (source)
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