The campuses of Columbia, Barnard, and Union Theological Seminary can feel like surprisingly pastoral islands of academia on the grid of Manhattan.
North of Cathedral Parkway (110th Street) and south of 125th Street, Morningside Heights is dominated by several of the city’s institutions of higher education: Columbia University, its sister Barnard College, Union Theological Seminary, and a few smaller schools. It is also home to the enormous Cathedral of St. John the Divine — the Episcopal church is the city’s largest. Morningside Heights’ development began in earnest following the completion of Morningside Park (in 1888) and Riverside Drive (1892); Columbia University moved to the neighborhood in 1896. The campuses of Columbia, Barnard, and Union Theological Seminary can feel like surprisingly pastoral islands of academia on the grid of Manhattan. On the surrounding blocks, rowhouses and apartment buildings appeal to those who appreciate the college-town feel, the neighborhood’s two parks, and the lively commercial strip, along Broadway, catering to students, professors, and other residents.