Forbidden Tunnels Guard Columbia University’s History

This Wikipedia article is about the tunnel system under the grounds of Columbia University which I visited more than once (without permission) when I was a child. My alma matter now charges students more than one quarter of a million dollars ($320, 000 to be exact) to get a bachelor’s degree.

Columbia University Tunnels – Wikipedia

Columbia_University_Tunnels “Columbia University has an extensive tunnel system connecting most buildings on campus and acting as conduits for steamelectricitytelecommunications, and other infrastructure. The oldest tunnels are from the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum, the mental asylum that existed before the Morningside Campus was built.] These tunnels are small and extremely hot, and they connect to Buell Hall/La Maison Française, the one building remaining from the asylum. The steam tunnel system between Hamilton Hall, Kent Hall, Philosophy Hall, and Fayerweather Hall connects to these old tunnels… [The] tunnel system…used to connect to the first floor of Pupin Hall…[which] was virtually untouched from last days of the Manhattan Project. Notes and daily logs scattered dusty tables. Half-completed experiments sat in stasis, only visible to the few explorers who got in. Since 2003, the first floor has been cleaned out, and is now mostly empty…” Read more of this article:

Also of Interest

Stand, Columbia! Alma Mater

Through the storms of Time abide

Stand, Columbia! Alma Mater

Through the storms of Time abide.

“Stand, Columbia!” by Gilbert Oakley Ward, Columbia College 1902 (1904)

Marking the 250th anniversary of one of America’s oldest and most formidable educational institutions, this comprehensive history of Columbia University extends from the earliest discussions in 1704 about New York City being “a fit Place for a colledge” to the recent inauguration of president Lee Bollinger, the nineteenth, on Morningside Heights. One of the original “Colonial Nine” schools, Columbia’s distinctive history has been intertwined with the history of New York City. Located first in lower Manhattan, then in midtown, and now in Morningside Heights, Columbia’s national and international stature have been inextricably identified with its urban setting. Columbia was the first of America’s “multiversities,” moving beyond its original character as a college dedicated to undergraduate instruction to offer a comprehensive program in professional and graduate studies. Medicine, law, architecture, and journalism have all looked to the graduates and faculty of Columbia’s schools to provide for their ongoing leadership and vitality. In 2003, a sampling of Columbia alumni include one member of the United States Supreme Court, three United States senators, three congressmen, three governors (New York, New Jersey, and California), a chief justice of the New York Court of Appeals, and a president of the New York City Board of Education. But it is perhaps as a contributor of ideas and voices to the broad discourse of American intellectual life that Columbia has most distinguished itself. From The Federalist Papers, written by Columbians John Jay and Alexander Hamilton, to Charles Beard’s An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road to Edward Said’s Orientalism, Columbia and its graduates have greatly influenced American intellectual and public life. Stand, Columbia also examines the experiences of immigrants, women, Jews, African Americans, and other groups as it takes critical measure of the University’s efforts to become more inclusive and more reflective of the diverse city that it calls home.

The Secret Manhattan Project Tunnels

at Columbia

“This was largely a secret until that damned book [Once a Spy] was published.”—Columbia official.

The eighteen-year-old who would become known in Columbia lore as Poughkeepsie Pete enrolled at the university’s School of Engineering in 1990. From his first day on campus, wherever he went, he marveled at the possibility that the hallowed Manhattan Project tunnels might be beneath his feet. Little was known about the complex beyond its role in the Allied victory. Nothing about the offices and laboratories had been declassified. Entry was forbidden. The facility became Poughkeepsie Pete’s Holy Grail.

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