Note on King’s College Building & Campus

                         Note on King’s College Building & First Columbia College Campus

Temporary site, 1754-1760
English Charity Schoolhouse, adjacent to Trinity Church, Rector Street – destroyed during British occupation of NYC, September, 1776

Campus – Six acres deeded in 1752 by Trinity Church (then 6 blocks to the south on west side of Broadway encompassing land South of Murray, West of Church and north of Barclay, and west to the Hudson –  then 150 yards away.  Campus bisected in 1820s by east-west Park Place. Columbia property between Park Place and Barclay  into rental properties Land extended west of  Chapel (now College Place) by land –fill project, which produced more rental property for warehouses and docks and Hoboken ferry.  (“The Lower Estate”).

Land the northern edge of the 32 acres deeded to Trinity Church by Queen Anne in 1707 (“Queen’s Farm”). Trinity Church 10 blocks to the south. Campus at the time of the building’s opening just north of the moving line of settlement of lower Manhattan (20 blocks from Battery)

Cornerstone laid August 1756; costs of  £ 7000 largely covered by fundraising in England and in NYC, plus lottery monies from NY provincial government.
Opened 1760
Along the south side of [50?] Murray Street, between Church to the east and (now) West Broadway to the west
Sited to be the northern wing of a three-building quadrangle open to the west for unobstructed view of Hudson River; other two buildings never built
original building 140’ long; built of brick and stucco

Originally had space for student residences, but by 1800  all space taken up by residences for president and faculty.
3 stories; facing south; 4 entrances; 4 peaks; coupola; 4th floor added in 1790s
West and east wings (50’ x 50’)subsequently added *1817-20) to main building (total of 50,000 square feet floor space)


1760-1775 – King’s College Governors, faculty and students
4/1776- 9/1776 – Revolutionary army – staff building and hospital
9/1776 – 11/1783 – British army – used as hospital
3/1784 – 1857 – Columbia College trustees
Post 1857 – Building razed; replaced by federal offices à IRS regional headquarters into 1980s
Currently – 60 Murray Street – 390-unit rental apartment building

Sold by trustees in 1857 for $596,350 to the federal government, enabling move to Madison Avenue (49th-50th Sts.) campus uptown

Last updated: February 5, 2014


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