Posts Tagged ‘College Place West Broadway’

What remains of downtown’s “College Place”

April 16, 2018

On the side of a red brick walkup on West Broadway and Warren Streets is a gem of an old New York street sign: College Place.

It’s two stories up, visible from the street as well as the elevated train that ran up and down this stretch of West Broadway from 1878 to the 1930s.

What was College Place? This part of Lower Manhattan was the first home of King’s College, chartered in 1754 and renamed Columbia College after the Revolutionary War.

College Place became the name of the southern end of what was then known as Chapel Street in 1830; eventually Chapel Street merged with another road called Laurens Street to become today’s West Broadway in 1896.

Columbia relocated to the eventual site of Rockefeller Plaza in 1857; by the turn of the century, what was now called Columbia University occupied its present-day campus on Broadway in Morningside Heights.

The little street sign hiding in plain sight above a dry cleaners isn’t the only remnant of Columbia’s colonial-era downtown days.

A 1918 subway tile in the nearby Chambers Street Station, hard to see thanks to grime and soot, depicts the school’s first building.

[Third image: 1835 David Burr Map of New York City]

Old signs left behind on defunct city streets

June 24, 2013

If you have no idea where Manhattan’s College Place once was, you’re not alone.

This stretch of modern-day West Broadway between Barclay and Murray Streets was given the name in 1831, a likely nod to Columbia University, which once existed nearby.

Collegeplace

Columbia moved uptown, and eventually the name fell out of use. A remnant of the old moniker is carved into a red-brick building at Warren Street.

75thand9thave

Meet me at the corner of 75th Street and Ninth Avenue? It sounds odd to our ears, but it wasn’t until 1896, when Ninth Avenue was renamed Columbus Avenue.

The tenement building with the address chiseled into it predates the name change.