By 1910, Morningside Heights was “The Acropolis of New York.” But it wasn’t always that way.
Morningside Depths: Lunatics, Orphans, and the 1890s Gentrification of Columbia’s Neighborhood
This walk will look into the early history of the area, framed in terms of three major institutions (and a number of secondary ones) that predate Columbia, St. John the Divine, Barnard, and the rest.
Some things you’ll learn:
- Who was the Brewery Princess of early 1900s New York?
- What was the suicide curve, and did anyone actually kill themselves there?
- If the sun rises in the east, and this neighborhood is in the far west of the city, why isn’t it called “Eveningside Heights”?
- Did a saloon determine Columbia’s choice of mascot?
- What traces remain of the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum?
- What’s an effective way to leave someone a fortune and make them miserable at the same time?
- Where is the oldest extant building in Morningside Heights?
Here’s a hint on that last one: