Did you know that Columbia University was located in Lower Manhattan for more than 100 years?
Soon to celebrate its 250th anniversary, Columbia University was founded in Lower Manhattan in 1754 as King's College, by royal charter of King George II. The university's first classes were held at the schoolhouse of Trinity Church, which still stands on Lower Broadway.
The university soon moved a short distance to Park Place -- a site that at the time looked over the Hudson River. Notable early students included Alexander Hamilton and John Jay; in 1784, the first student at the newly renamed and chartered Columbia College was De Witt Clinton, a future governor.
The school remained downtown, near what is today the intersection of Park Place and West Broadway, until 1857, when it relocated to midtown. (Columbia would not move to its current home of Morningside Heights until 1897.)
The college's main hall, built in 1760, was demolished shortly after the move. A commemorative plaque near 53 Park Place marks the spot.