Posts Tagged ‘NYU University Heights’

Life in a New York University dorm in 1897

January 30, 2014

Today’s NYU students have an array of university housing options available to them. In 1897, dorm options were probably more limited.


This 1897 photo shows the inside of a dorm room at the old University Heights campus in the Bronx, personalized with a horseshoe . . . and boxing gloves? One student is trying to study, the other appears to be playing music . . . college life hasn’t changed.

The caption to the photo, from this fascinating NYU history website, states: “The earliest evidence of university housing is an 1840 list of six students residing in the old University Building on Washington Square.”

NYU had fraternities back then too. Here, some 1890s bros smoke pipes and do bong hits.

A look at New York University’s class of 1932

May 21, 2012

Born around 1910, these seniors were little kids during World War I, teenagers in the booming but dry 1920s, and then had the misfortune to earn their degrees during the worst economic climate in the history of the nation (hmm, sound familiar?).

A look through their yearbook, The Album, reveals that they were mostly from the New York area (NYU was a commuter school back then) and of Jewish, Italian, and Irish backgrounds.

Their commencement address, delivered at the Bronx campus (NYU’s main campus at the time) also strikes a familiar note. School chancellor Ellsworth Brown, cautioned students about “bow[ing] down in the worship of the dollar”:

“Our economic safeguard . . . is to be found in new standards of life, in a regenerated scale of values and in the spiritual aspirations of mankind,” the chancellor told them.

A few could still be alive today. I hope they had good lives.