The Lost World of CCNY: Architectural Gems of Our Past
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Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart. In 1847, the same year that the Free Academy was founded, the Female Academy of the Sacred Heart began construction of its main building on its newly acquired property in Hamilton Heights. This institution, later known as the Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart came to this area far from the growing city for fresh air and quiet.
Other institutions moved to the Hamilton Heights area to also enjoy the fresh air: the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in 1883, the Orphan’s Home and Asylum of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1905, and, of course, the College of the City of New York in 1907. Almost half a century later, the Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart decided to relocate to Westchester, providing an opportunity for the City College to acquire the grounds and buildings of the Manhattanville College. The Board of Higher Education passed a resolution urging New York City Mayor William O’Dwyer and the Board of Estimate to purchase the property of the Manhattanville College as an addition to the College in 1949. Alumni Association President Jacob Shapiro (Class of 1911) mounted a campaign to garner public support.
On June 29, 1950, the campaign reached its goal and the Board of Estimate voted for acquisition. After renovation, this part of the campus with facilities for Liberal Arts education opened in fall 1955. It was known as the Manhattanville campus, but more generally as “South Campus” as it was south of the original campus. “South Campus” extends from 135th to 130th Streets. With the purchase of this land new buildings were constructed, such as the “Y” building and Aaron Davis Hall, which were built in 1957 and 1979, and the Goldman Sports Center which opened in 1993.
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