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COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
MDCCCXCVI



COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

DEDICATION OF
THE NEW SITE

MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS

SATURDAY THE SECOND OF MAY




MDCCCXCVI



PROGRAMME



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mtW DOBS VOBL. UBfc



MORNING EXERCISES



LAYING THE CORNER-STONE

OF THE

PHYSICS BUILDING

at 12 o'clock meridian



The Rev. Marvin R. Vincent, S.T.D.

Officiating Chaplain
Laying the Corner-Stone by Ogden N. Rood, A.M.

Professor of Physics
Address by J. Howard Van Amringe, LL.D.

Dean of the College



LAYING THE CORNER-STONE
OF

schermerhorn hall

at 12:30 o'clock post meridian



The Rev. Morgan Dix, S.T.D., D.C.L.

Officiating Chaplain
Laying the Corner-stone by William C. Schermerhorn, A.M.

Chairman of the Trustees
Address by Henry Fairfield Osborn, Sc.D.

Da Costa Professor of Zoology



AFTERNOON EXERCISES



Music

Prayer by the Rev. Edward B. Coe, D.D.

Address by the President of the University

Presentation of National Colors on behalf of Lafayette Post,
G. A. R., by Richard W. Meade, Rear Admiral, U. S. N.
(Retired), Post-Commander

Music

"The Star-Spangled Banner," by the 71st Regiment Band %

Acceptance of the Colors by the President

Singing of the Dedication Ode

Air, " Integer Vitae "

Address by the Hon. Abram S. Hewitt, LL.D.

Music

Address by Charles W. Eliot, LL.D.

President of Harvard University

Benediction by the Rt. Rev. Henry C. Potter, D.D., LL.D.

Music



CARMEN DEDICATIONIS



CARMEN, O MATER, QVATIENTE MENTEM
CORDE ET IN MAGNO IVVENVM SENVMQVE
GAVDIO, CANTARE TIBI SONORVM
POSCIMVR OMNES.

TE FREQVENS CINGIT IVVENVM CORONA,
OBVIA ET PORTIS HILARIS CATERVA,
HANC IN ^TERNVM DECORAMVS ^DEM
CARMINE NOSTRO.

HIC NOVO LVCEBIS AMORE SEMPER
GLORIAM EXAVGENS STVDIO TVORVM,
HIC VIRVM CLARORVM ANIMO RECORDANS
ALMA VIREBIS.

CRESCAT O SEMPER NOVA CRESCAT .ETAS !
L^TA SIC OMNIS FLVET HORA, MATER,
LiETA lAM NATIS ET IN OMNE TEMPVS
L^TA FVTVRIS.

HARRY THURSTON PECK



TRUSTEES

William C. Schermerhorn, A.M., Chairtnan.

Rev. Morgan Dix, S.T.D., D.C.L.

Stephen P. Nash, LL.D.

Joseph W. Harper, A.M.

Charles A. Silliman, A.M., LL.B.

F. Augustus Schermerhorn, E.M.

Gerard Beekman, A.M., LL.B.

Rt. Rev. Abram N. Littlejohn, D.D., LL.D.

Edward Mitchell, A.M., LL.B.

W. Bayard Cutting, A.M., LL.B.

Seth Low^, LL.D.

George L. Rives, A.M., LL.B.

Lenox Smith, A.M., E.M.

John Crosby Brown, A.M.

Rt. Rev. Henry C. Potter, D.D., LL.D.

William H. Draper, A.M., M.D.

Rev. Marvin R. Vincent, S.T.D.

John B. Pine, A.B., Clerk.

Cornelius Vanderbilt, A.M.

George G. Wheelock, M.D.

Frederic R. Coudert, LL.D.

Hermann H. Cammann,

Wm. G. Lathrop, Jr., A.M., LL.B.

Rev. Edward B. Coe, D.D.

COMMITTEE ON BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS

Seth Low, LL.D., Chairman.
Lenox Smith, George G. Wheelock, M.D.

Cornelius Vanderbilt, John B. Pine, Secretary.



Henry Dudley, '6i

J. VisscHER Wheeler, '65

JuLiEN T. Davies, '66

John A. Church, '67

Nicholas Fish, '67

Henry D. Babcock, '68

F. dePeyster Foster, '68

William Allen Smith, '68

John C. F. Randolph, '69

Elwyn Waller, '70

Dr. Francis P. Kinnicutt, '71

Alexander B. Simonds, '73

Robert C. Cornell, '74

Eben E. Olcott, '74

B. Aymar Sands, '74

Dr. B. Bryson Delavan, 'y^

Dr. Edward L. Partridge, '75

Isaac N. Seligman, '76

Francis S. Bangs, '78

Dr. T. Matlack Cheesman,'78

Dr. Frank W. Jackson, '79

S. Victor Constant, '80



GRAND MARSHAL

George G. DeWitt, '67

MARSHALS

Dr. M. Allen Starr, '80
Dr. Reginald H. Sayre, '81
Howard Van Sinderen, '81
William T. Lawson, '82
William Barclay Parsons, '82
Edwin B. Holden, '83
Dr. Walter B. James, '83
George A. Suter, '83
W. Fellowes Morgan, '84
Samuel C. Van Dusen, '84
Grant Squires, '85
Edward P. Casey, '86
Edward DeWitt, '86
Dr. Charles N. Dowd, '86
William Jay Schieffelin, '87
Richard T. Wilson, Jr., '87
Dr. William K. Draper, '88
Edwin Gould, '88
D. LeRoy Dresser, '89
Dr. VanHorne Norrie, '89
Cortlandt Field Bishop, '91
Joseph Larocque, Jr., '92




THE SITE OF KING'S COLLEGE



IN a letter to the Secretary of the Society for the Propagation of
the Gospel in Foreign Parts, written in 1702, during the reign
of Queen Anne, Governor Lewis Morris quaintly and prophetically
observes :

" The Queen has a Farm of about 32 Acres of Land, wch Rents
for ^36 p. Ann : Tho the Church Wardens & Veftry have petitioned
for it & my Ld four months gave ym a promife of it the proceed-
ing has been fo flow that they begin to fear the Success woAt anfwer
the expectation. I believe her Maty, would readily grant it to the
Society for the aflcing. N. York is the Center of Englifh America
& a Proper Place for a Colledge, — & that Farm in a little time will
be of conliderable Value, & it's pity fuch a thing fhould be loft for
want of aflcing, wch at another time wont be fo Easily obtained."

Governor Morris's letter contains the earliest reference to the
" Queen's " or " King's " Farm, as it was generally called, and also
offers the first suggestion of founding a College in the Province of
New York. Some fifty years elapsed before that event occurred. On
October 31, 1754, a Charter was granted to "THE GOVERNORS
OF THE COLLEGE OF THE PROVINCE OF NEW YORK IN
THE CITY OF NEW YORK IN AMERICA." Trinity Church hav-
ing in the interval acquired title to the King's Farm, the Rector
and Church Wardens forthwith delivered to the Governors a lease and
release of that portion of the Farm lying on the West side of Broad-



way, between Barclay and Murray Streets, and extending down to the
Hudson River, described as being "in the skirts of the City." Steps
were at once taken to procure plans for suitable buildings, and to raise
money with which to erect them ; liberal contributions were received,
and on August 23, 1756, the corner-stone of King's College was laid
by Sir Charles Hardy, then Governor of the Province. The stone,
which has fortunately been preserved, bears the following inscription :

"HVJVS COLLEGII, REGALIS DICTI, REGIO DIPLOMATE CONSTITVTI

IN HONOREM DEI O.M. ATQ^ IN ECCLESIj^ REIQ^ PVBLIC^^

EMOLVMENTVM, PRIMVM HVNC LAPIDEM POSVIT VIR PR^CEL

LENTISSIMVS, CAROLVS HARDY, EQVES AVRATVS, HVJVS PROVINCI^

PR^.FECTVS DIGNISSIMVS. AVGTI. DIE 23°, AN. DOM. MDCCLVI."

In 1760 the fact is noted in the records that "The College
buildings were so far completed that the officers and students began
to lodge and mess therein." In honor of George II., and in accord-
ance with the terms of the Charter, the building thus completed was
designated " King's College," and the original crown which sur-
mounted it remains, a witness to its royal foundation. The Rev. Dr.
Burnaby, an English traveller, writes : " The College when finished
will be exceedingly handsome. It is to be built on three sides of a
quadrangle fronting Hudson's or North River, and will be the most
beautifully situated of any College, I believe, in the world " ; and
President Myles Cooper describes the College as it existed in 1773,
as distant about a hundred and fifty yards " from the Hudson River,
which it overlooks, commanding from the eminence on which it
stands a most extensive and beautiful prospect."

In April, 1776, upon the request of the Committee of Safety,
the College was prepared for the reception of troops, the students were
dispersed ; and the library and apparatus were removed to the City
Hall. During the Revolution the buildings were used both by the
American and British troops as barracks and for hospital purposes.



The College exercises, suspended during the pendency of hostil-
ities, were resumed in 1784. On May i, 1784, an Act was passed
by the Legislature of the State of New York, entitled "AN ACT
FOR GRANTING CERTAIN PRIVILEGS TO THE COLLEGE HERE-
TOFORE CALLED KING'S COLLEGE, FOR ALTERING THE NAME
AND CHARTER THEREOF, AND ERECTING AN UNIVERSITY
WITHIN THE STATE." Under this Act the College received the
name "COLUMBIA" — "a word and name then for the first time
recognized anywhere in law and history " ; and the administration
of the College passed to the Regents of the University.

Three years later the management of the College was trans-
ferred to " The Trustees of Columbia College in the City of New
York," as the corporation has ever since been known. On the occa-
sion of the first Commencement of the College under its new name,
held April 10, 1787, the Legislature, upon the motion of Alexander
Hamilton, adjourned in order that its members might attend, and in
1789 the Commencement was honored by the presence of President
Washington and all the principal officers of the Government of the
United States. After the Revolution an effort was made to restore
the buildings to a condition suitable for educational purposes ; but the
result was not fully accomplished until 1820, when two wings were
added, greatly increasing the capacity and convenience of the build-
tngs. A chapel and library were also built, and in 1829 a building
for a Grammar School was erected adjacent to the College. Presi-
dent Moore, in his memorial address, presents a pleasing picture of
" the stately sycamores on the Green, the old buildings, the great
staircase, the Chapel, with its strange hanging gallery." And Mr.
Jay, in his Centennial address, tells us that these venerable trees had
an historic interest, from the fact, which as a boy he heard from the
lips of Judge Benson, that they were carried to the Green and planted
by the Judge himself, and by Chief Justice Jay, Chancellor Living-
ston, and Recorder Harrison.




m



A member of the Class of '39 gives the following description of
the College as it appeared in his day, when it " occupied a plot of
ground bounded by Church Street, Murray Street and College Place.
The building was of brick, covered w^ith stucco, painted light brown,
with trimmings of free stone. The front was to the south. At the
east and west ends, respectively, were two houses occupied by mem-
bers of the faculty, which projected considerably beyond the middle
buildings ; all were three stories high, and there was an old-fashioned
belfry in the middle ; it was a picturesque old structure, unmistakably
academic. In front was a Green of considerable size, bordered by
large sycamores. The place had an air of conventional quiet and
seclusion, and was delightful in Summer when the shadows of the
broad leaves rested on the light brown walls and the flagstones of the
walk. The middle of the edifice was devoted to the Chapel and
Library. The latter occupied the second floor, and on the floor below
were the lecture rooms. The location was about the center of the
fashionable part of the city."

For many years the College Green preserved its verdure and
tranquillity in the midst of encroaching commerce, but by degrees it
was intersected with streets. " Chapel Street " and " College Place "
for a time marked the site, but even these have now disappeared. In
1854 the Trustees determined upon removal, but the exercises were
continued until May 7, 1857, when the last service was held in the
old Chapel, the ancient corner-stone was disinterred from its long
resting place to be borne to its new home, and the halls which had
echoed to the march of history were abandoned forever.



THE PRESENT SITE



'T^HE Botanical Garden, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, Forty-
-■- ninth and Fiftieth Streets, was selected as the site to which the
College should be removed from Murray Street, and Mr. Upjohn was
employed to prepare a design for the new buildings. The execution
of this project, however, was found to be impracticable, for the time
being, on account of the expense involved; and in November, 1856,
the Trustees purchased of the Institution for the Instruction of the
Deaf and Dumb twenty lots situated on Madison Avenue, between
Forty-ninth and Fiftieth Streets. The purchase was made upon
favorable terms, and the action of the Trustees was influenced largely
by the fact that the buildings of the Institution were available for the
immediate use of the College, with but slight alterations. The open-
ing services were held in the Chapel of the " New College," as it
was called. May 12, 1857. The buildings consisted of a large edifice
of brick and brown stucco, standing on the high ground near Fiftieth
Street, with adjacent buildings at either end, one of which served as a
Chapel, and the other as a residence for professors. President King
and his family at first occupied rooms in the main building, which
also furnished a number of class and lecture rooms. The principal
architectural feature of the central building was a lofty portico ; and
the group of buildings, shaded by a row of fine old trees on a beauti-
ful lawn sloping southward, presented a pleasing and dignified appear-
ance. " The present location of the College " is described in the



Evening Post of May 1 1, 1857, as "a delightful one, and undesirable
only on account of the distance up town. . . . The site is on a
commanding eminence, affording an extensive and pleasant view."

Subsequently, the Trustees purchased the lots comprising the re-
mainder of the block, including a factory, which was afterwards used
for the School of Mines. The buildings continued to be occupied
with but little change until i860, when the President's House was
erected. In 1876 the West wing was removed. In 1877—78 the
present North wing of the School of Mines Building was erected ;
and in 1881—82 the Library and Law School and Hamilton Hall
were built. The original building was torn down in 1892; and in
1897 the University will be removed to its new and far more spa-
cious site on Morningside Heights.




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MAP OF MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS



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THE NEW SITE



^ I ^HE history of the new site dates from 1701, when Jacob deKey
-■- purchased his farm from the City ; but it was not until Sep-
tember 16, 1776, that the event occurred which renders it memora-
ble, and which can best be described in the words of an eye-witness :
" On Monday morning, about ten o' Clock, a party of the Enemy
conlifting of Highlanders, HefTians, the Light Infantry, Grenadiers,
and Englifli Troops, (Number uncertain), attack'd our advanc'd Party,
commanded by Coll. Knowlton at Martje Davits Fly. They were
oppofed with fpirit, and foon made to retreat to a clear Field, fouth-
wefl of that about two hundred paces, where they lodged themfelves
behind a Fence covered with Bufhes our People attack'd them in Turn,
and caufed them to retreat a fecond Time, leaving five dead on the Spot,
we purfued them to a Buckwheat Field on the Top of a high Hill,
diftance about four hundred paces, where they received a confiderable
Reinforcement, with feveral Field Pieces, and there made a Stand
a very brifk Action enfued at this Place, which continued about Two
Hours our People at length worfted them a third Time, caufed them
to fall back into an Orchard, from thence acrofs a Hollow, and up
another Hill not far diftant from their own Lines

So wrote General Clinton to the New York Convention describ-
ing the Battle of Harlem, which had been fought two days previously,
on September 16, 1776. He presents a vivid picture, and we need
but follow his description, beginning at " Martje Davits Fly," the



meadow lying in the valley between One Hundred and Twenty-
fifth and One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Streets, near Amsterdam
Avenue, across the level ground to the foot of the northerly slope
of Morningside Park, and up the hillside to the " Buckwheat
Field on the Top of a high Hill," and we find ourselves upon
the field where the battle was fought : the field where Columbia is
to stand. What was once the buckwheat field, made memorable by
the first battle in which the American troops faced the British and
routed them, has become the new site of Columbia ; and, where
Colonel Knowlton fell the walls of the University are now rising.

The College which the traveller of a hundred years ago described
as the most beautifully situated in the world once more looks forth
upon the waters of the Hudson, but from a higher vantage ground
and with the broader vision of the University. To the natural beauty
of the situation, which fits it so pre-eminently to be the home of
learning, is added the element of historic interest, associating the
University of to-day still more inseparably with the College of the
Revolution.



THE NEW BUILDINGS



'TT^HE land upon which the buildings are to be erected comprises a
-*- little more than seventeen acres. It is divided naturally into
two levels. The southerly level, or plateau, which is one hundred
and fifty feet above high water and includes about ten acres, is the
higher, and varies in elevation from five to ten feet above the sur-
rounding streets. The buildings in process of erection are being con-
structed chiefly upon the higher plateau, thus preserving a fine grove
of oaks and chestnuts that adorns the northern portion of the grounds,
and leaving space for future development. The buildings are arranged
in a series of quadrangles, but with spacious openings on the streets
and avenues. The Library, already partially built, is to form the cen-
tre of the group, and its proportions and design will render it one of
the most commanding features of Morningside Heights. The main
approach to the grounds is from One Hundred and Sixteenth Street,
by a broad flight of steps and a court 375 feet in width by 200 feet
in depth. Another flight of steps will lead to the portico of the
Library.

Purely classic in style, the Library resembles in form a Greek
cross, and will be surmounted by a dome. The width of the build-
ing will be 192 feet, and the height of the dome 135 feet. It will
be constructed of Indiana limestone on a basement of Milford granite.
The main floor will be devoted to administration and to several read-
ing rooms. The general reading room will occupy the centre of the




PLAN OF THE NEW BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS



building under the dome, and will be nearly square in form, 80
feet in width, with a seating capacity for two hundred and twenty-
five readers. The Avery Architectural Library, the Law Library, and
other collections will be placed in the wings. The estimated capa-
city of the building is more than one million volumes. The Building
is a memorial of Abiel Abbot Low, and is given by his son, Seth
Low, the President of the University.

To the East and West of the Library are to be the Chapel and
the Assembly Hall, the latter being intended as a place of meeting
for student organizations, such as the Literary and Debating Societies
and the Glee Club, and for public lectures ; and generally to serve as
a centre for the social life of the students. Opposite each of these
buildings will be an entrance from the adjoining avenue.

Schermerhorn Hall, the northeasterly building on the plan, is the
gift of Mr. William C. Schermerhorn, the Chairman of the Trustees,
and will be devoted to the Natural Sciences. It will contain the
museums, laboratories, lecture rooms and seminars of the deplj-tments
of Botany, Geology, Mineralogy, and the DaCosta Department of
Zoology. The adjoining building, designated as the " Physics Build-
ing " only until the name of a donor may be substituted, will contain
in the first instance the departments of Physics, Mechanics, Astron-
omy, and Mathematics, or, perhaps. Modern Languages. Ultimately
it is expected that the entire building will be used by the Department
of Physics. These buildings are also under construction. They are
to be built of the over-burned brick of a dull-red color, generally
known as Harvard brick, and of Indiana limestone. In style they
are in keeping with the Library, and represent to some extent a re-
version to the best construction of the Colonial period. Schermer-
horn Hall offers a pleasing reminder of old King's College. Their
simple and dignified lines and generous windows fitly express the pur-
pose for which they are to be used, and the intention of the design
to subserve the needs of modern scientific education.



Havemeyer Hall, which is to occupy the northwesterly angle of
the upper plateau, will be erected as a memorial of Frederick C.
Havemeyer, by his sons, Henry O., Frederick C, Theodore A., and
Thomas J. Havemeyer ; his daughters Kate B. Belloni and S. Louisa
Jackson, and his nephew Charles H. Senif. It has been especially
planned for the study of Chemistry, and eventually will be devoted
exclusively to that department, but temporarily the upper floor will
be used by the students in Architecture.

Plans have also been prepared for the adjoining Engineering
Building, as well as for the University Building, and these also will soon
be in course of construction. The University Building will be situ-
ated immediately to the north of the Library, about 200 feet distant,
and, next to the Library, will be the most important and conspicuous
building on the grounds. The southerly portion of the building
facing the Library quadrangle is designed as a Memorial Hall, which
it is hoped may be the gift of the Alumni, to serve both as a monu-
ment of distinguished graduates and as a dining-hall for the officers,
students, and alumni of the university. Connecting with the Hall
and on the same level is the University Theatre, having a seating ca-
pacity of 2,500. Under the Theatre is the Gymnasium, and under
Memorial Hall the engine room and power plant. The building
has a frontage of 180 feet, and a depth of 240 feet. It is situated on
the dividing line between the upper and lower levels, and the differ-
ence in grade renders it possible to adapt the building to its various
uses most advantageously. It will be rendered easily accessible by a
carriage road intersecting the grounds at One Hundred and Nineteenth
Street, and passing through the building. For Commencements and
other public occasions, the theatre, the dining hall, and other com-
municating rooms of the southerly portion of the building, may be
used together, and will provide spacious and beautiful accommoda-
tions.

Of the other buildings indicated on the plan, the particular use



remains to be determined by the rapidly increasing needs of the Uni-
versity. That they will be provided when required there can be little
doubt.

The buildings now upon the grounds are West Hall, on the
Boulevard near One Hundred and Eighteenth Street, which will be
used as a dormitory for instructors and university students until the
land which it occupies is required for a lecture hall ; and South Hall,
at the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and One Hundred and Sixteenth
Street, which will serve temporarily for the College. It is hoped that
this may soon give place to a more spacious and suitable building in
which the College shall find a permanent home.

To realize to the full the great opportunities aiforded by its envi-
ronment is the duty that now confronts the University. The loftier
elevation and greater extent of its new site should find expression in
the higher ideals and broader scholarship of the University, in an influ-
ence for good more far-reaching and potent. That these results will
follow is best assured by the progress that the University has made
during the past few years under conditions far less favorable. To the
advancement of the highest, and broadest, and soundest learning the
University stands pledged, irrevocably ; while upon the material side
the best professional talent, after the most careful study, has projected
the lines of future development. The generosity of Columbia's gradu-
ates, officers and friends has already afforded conspicuous evidence both
of their confidence in the work that the University is doing and of their
belief in the complete success of her present enterprise. And we may
look forward with confidence to the complete realization of the ideal
presented by George William Curtis when the purchase of the site
was in contemplation :

" This is the moment to secure this crowning opportunity for
the old college to become the magnificent and adequate representa-
tive of the just aspirations of the city for an institution which is
symbolical of the higher interests of every great and prosperous com-




s



munity. For the abounding wealth that every year accumulates here,
what finer disposition could there be than generous gifts for Columbia ?
Athens has no loftier names of places than the Garden, the Porch,


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Online LibraryColumbia UniversityDedication of the new site → online text (page 1 of 2)