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Morningside Heights: A History of Its Architecture and Development

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Overview

The announcement during the final years of the nineteenth century that the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Columbia College, St. Luke's Hospital, Teachers College, and Barnard College would construct new complexes on Morningside Heights heralded the transformation of this geographically isolated area into "the Acropolis of New York." Over the next several decades, these institutions, as well as Union Theological Seminary, Jewish Theological Seminary, the Institute of Musical Art/Julliard School of Music, and Riverside Church created a neighborhood of spectacular institutional buildings. In this lavishly illustrated book, Andrew S. Dolkart explores the richly varied architecture and history of these complexes and of the surrounding residential neighborhood and thus reveals a fascinating chapter in the life of New York City.

Winner, Best New Professional/Scholarly Publishing Book in Architecture and Urban Planning, 1998 Association of American Publishers Annual Awards Competition.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
Combines recondite research with bare-knuckle history, interweaving the nuts and bolts of neighborhood-building with a messy human drama of rivalry, greed, marketing, bigotry and idealism.
New York Observer
Thorough analysis of this architecturally rich neighborhood.
New York History
While Dolkart focuses on aesthetics, his analysis of taste and design is informed by a penetrating knowledge of Manhattan´s social history. The resulting book, gracefully written and generously illustrated, will appeal to historians, residents, and anyone whose search for scarce parking on the Heights has taken them past buildings which astonish and delight. . . . Dolkart adeptly explains the social implications behind . . . artistic decisions. . . . the work is a remarkable social portrait.
Robert A. M. Stern
Every town, hamlet, and neighborhood deserves an historical portrait by Andrew Dolkart. His history of Morningside Heights is a magnificent work of scholarship that grows out of a true love of urbanism and a profound respect for the contribution of architects and developers, whether high-minded or not-so, to the vitality of place.
Booknews
Dolkart (architecture, Columbia U.) traces the history of the development of campuses, seminaries, churches and residential neighborhoods of Morningside Heights. Called the "Acropolis of New York" for its location on a high plateau in Manhattan, the area was developed by some of the nation's leading architects. Explores the successes and failures of each building project. Includes 200-plus illustrations and photographs. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
The New York Times

Combines recondite research with bare-knuckle history, interweaving the nuts and bolts of neighborhood-building with a messy human drama of rivalry, greed, marketing, bigotry and idealism.

New York Observer

Thorough analysis of this architecturally rich neighborhood.

Robert A. M. Stern

Every town, hamlet, and neighborhood deserves an historical portrait by Andrew Dolkart. His history of Morningside Heights is a magnificent work of scholarship that grows out of a true love of urbanism and a profound respect for the contribution of architects and developers, whether high-minded or not-so, to the vitality of place.

New York History

While Dolkart focuses on aesthetics, his analysis of taste and design is informed by a penetrating knowledge of Manhattan's social history. The resulting book, gracefully written and generously illustrated, will appeal to historians, residents, and anyone whose search for scarce parking on the Heights has taken them past buildings which astonish and delight.... Dolkart adeptly explains the social implications behind... artistic decisions.... the work is a remarkable social portrait.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231078504
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 9/16/1998
  • Series: Columbia History of Urban Life Series
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.24 (h) x 1.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew S. Dolkart teaches at the Columbia University School of Architecture and has written and lectured extensively about New York's architecture and development. He is the author of the Guide to New York City Landmarks, has curated numerous exhibitions, and is well-known for his walking tours of New York City neighborhoods.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents


Introduction
Chronology
1. At Bloomingdale: The Pre-history of Morningside Heights
2. Building for the Spirit: The Cathedral of St. John the Divine and Riverside Church
3. Building for the Body: St. Luke's Hospital and Other Health-Related Facilities on Morningside Heights
4. Building for the Mind I: Columbia University and the Transformation of Morningside Heights
5. Building for the Mind II: The Growth and Expansion of Columbia
6. Building for the Mind III: Barnard College and Teachers College-Women's Education on Morningside Heights
7. Building for the Mind and Spirit: Theological Seminaries and a Musical Institute on Morningside Heights
8. Building for Profit: The Development of a Residential Community on Morningside Heights
9. Afterword
Appendix
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