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Self-guided Walking Tour



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Walking Tours (pdf)

Walking tour and map
Self-guided Tour
Learning Lions tour
Learning Lions Tour


Visitors can download an audio walking tour of the architecture on Columbia's Morningside Heights campus to their MP3 players. The tour is guided by Andrew Dolkart, a popular New York City architectural historian, a professor of architectural history at Columbia's School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and the author of an award-winning history of Morningside Heights, Morningside Heights: A History of Its Architecture and Development.

Professor Andrew Dolkart
Professor Andrew Dolkart guides the audio walking tour of the Morningside campus.

The tour begins at the Columbia Visitors Center, on the second floor of Low Library, and includes 21 stops at such architectural highlights as St. Paul's Chapel, Low Library and plaza, and the late-nineteenth-century classroom Havemeyer 309, which has been used as a set in a number of feature films. The stops are numbered on a printable map (pdf) and keyed to the track numbers on the audio tour so that visitors can tailor the tour to their own interests.

Podcast Instructions

Click the iTunes button to open iTunes and automatically subscribe to the Architectural Walking Tour podcast. The next time you synchronize your iPod or open iTunes, the podcast will automatically be loaded. Note that when you click on the button a warning may appear saying "An external application must be launched." This is just your browser launching the iTunes application. Choose "launch application" and iTunes will then start running. This will not harm your computer in any way. If you do not have iTunes, you can download it for free.

If you use another application to read RSS feeds and listen to podcasts, such as Google Reader, Bloglines, Juice, or others, click on the RSS button to subscribe to the podcast. If your feed reader is not automatically launched, simply copy the URL and paste in into your feed reader application to subscribe.

Download Individual Files (mp3)

Introduction (1.1 MB) The tour is introduced by Andrew Dolkart, an architectural historian of New York, Columbia professor and author of a book on Morningside Heights.
Low Library - Vestibule The Low Library vestibule is the grand, high-ceilinged space outside the Visitors Center, decorated with a statue of Athena and other traditional symbols of learning.
Low Library - Rotunda Topped by a dome designed to recall the Pantheon in Rome, the Low Library rotunda was originally used as a reading room when the building served as a library.
Plaza in Front of Low Memorial Library (1.8 MB) The plaza affords an excellent view of architect Charles McKim's design for the Columbia campus, as well as Daniel Chester French's statue, Alma Mater.
Lewisohn Hall Walking past Dodge Hall, the former business school, Professor Dolkart points out Lewisohn Hall, designed by architect Arnold Bruner in the style that Charles McKim had established for the campus.
Earl Hall Professor Dolkart describes Earl Hall, one of the most prominent buildings on campus, and also discusses the campus' landscaping.
Mathematics Hall and Havemeyer Hall Dating from the 1890s, Mathematics and Havemeyer halls are two of the earliest buildings on campus.
Havemeyer Hall - Room 309 Room 309, the only intact nineteenth-century lecture hall at Columbia, is frequently used as a set for feature films, including Malcolm X, Kinsey and Spider-Man 2.
Uris Hall Uris Hall, the home of Columbia School of Business, was controversial when built in the early 1960s.
Avery Hall Avery Hall was designed by McKim Mead & White and is home to the world's greatest architecture library.
Courtyard Behind Avery The courtyard links four campus buildings. Campus-level entrances to these and many other Columbia buildings are actually on the third floor since Columbia is built on a platform several stories above street level.
St. Paul's Chapel - Exterior (1.1 MB) St. Paul's Chapel, designed by I. N. Phelps Stokes as a young architect, is a masterpiece of early-twentieth-century American religious architecture.
St. Paul's Chapel - Interior (1.3 MB) The interior of St. Paul's Chapel features furniture carved in Florence and stained glass designed by Maitland Armstrong and John La Farge.
St. Paul's Chapel - Guastavino Tile St. Paul's church uses Guastavino structural vaulting, a patented system of tiles created by Spanish builder Rafael Guastavino, who immigrated to the United States in the late nineteenth century.
Buell Hall Buell Hall is the only building that remains from the nineteenth-century asylum that stood on the site of the Columbia campus.
Kent Hall Kent Hall, originally the home of the law school, contains a library modeled after the library at Trinity College, Cambridge, with a stained-glass image of Justice designed by J&R Lamb Studios.
South Campus The original design of Columbia did not contain South Campus, but in the early part of the twentieth century when the land was acquired, it became the site of the University's sports fields and dormitories.
Hamilton Hall and Journalism Hall The architecture of Hamilton Hall, the center of undergraduate life on campus, echoes that of Journalism Hall, the home of the second-oldest professional school of journalism in the United States.
Butler Library Closing off the south end of the campus, Butler Library was designed in the early 1930s and built so as not to obstruct the view of Low Library.
Alfred Lerner Hall The most recent building on south campus is the student center designed by Bernard Tschumi.
Conclusion Visitors with unanswered questions can return to Low Library Visitors Center.