Liberal Arts and Farts and Crafts
Gasp! Shock! Quelle horreur! Did you know that Columbia University students–those fine, Ivy League men and women who only occasionally offer to have sex for money on Sugar Daddy websites in order to pay their tuition–are stealing directly from their institution? It’s true! Every week, thousands of dollars goes missing from the coffers at Columbia, and the financial sinkhole’s location has finally been tracked to the dining hall, where students are stealing Nutella at a cost of $5,000 a week.
Then again, that’s small potatoes compared to those kids at Oberlin who are dressing as Klan members and defacing property with racial slurs, because what?
In a stunt worthy of James Franco, Columbia professor Emlyn Hughes bared all for a strange performance art piece during a Frontiers Quantum Mechanics class on Monday, New York Daily News reports. The lecture opened with Professor Hughes “stripping down to his underwear as images of 9/11 and the Holocaust showed on a screen behind him.”
And it just gets better from there…
Goodbye to Some of That
Columbia Journalism School Dean Nicholas Lemann announced he is leaving his post via email this morning. Deanships come in five year increments. Mr. Lemann is stepping down after his second term. He will return to Columbia after taking a sabbatical, during which he plans to work on an a book (he hasn’t decided on the topic) and contribute to The New Yorker, where he is a staff writer. In a phone conversation with the Observer between meetings this afternoon, Mr. Lemann said he’s looking forward to the time off.
“I entered the workforce three days after graduating from college and I’ve been working ever since,” he said.
For Frank Lloyd Wright acolytes, appreciating the architect’s masterpieces has long involved pilgrimages to far-flung locations. There’s always the Guggenheim, of course, but more importantly, there’s Falling Water, the Robie House, Taliesin and Taliesin West. Until recently, even looking at the architect’s papers involved a journey to the latter two locations, in Spring Green, Wis., and Scottsdale, Ariz.
But now Wright’s papers, which have been stored at the two Taliesins since his death in 1959, are moving to New York, in what The New York Times terms an unusual joint partnership between Columbia University’s Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library and the Museum of Modern Art.
We’ve already declared it the craziest building in Harlem, so how exciting to come into a whole cache of renderings of the new Diller Scofidio + Renfor tower for the Columbia University Medical Center. They particularly reveal the unusual “Study Cascade” that is the core of the building’s design.
This gives a whole new meaning to “in the heights.”
Columbia University Medical Center has just announced that Diller Scofidio + Renfro will be designing a new 14-story medical building on Haven Avenue between 171st and 172nd streets that will be home to high-tech class facilities for all four CUMC colleges as well as the biomedical program within Columbia University’s college of art and science.
The university tapped DS+R, along with Gensler, to create a new landmark for the medical center, one that will be visible from both the George Washington Bridge and Riverside Park.
ILL-ADVISED EVENT PLANNING
Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs is holding their “First-Ever” (!) salon, entitled “Inequality: The 1% vs. The 99%.” It is an opportunity for “networking and discussion” in a “casual setting.” Like a room with a punch bowl? Try a West Village bar with pricey cocktails!
Yesterday we reported that Columbia University has won LEED ND Platinum for its Manhattanville campus, in recognition for the sustainability goals the school has set out for its new 17-acre campus off 125th Street. A big part of that is the fancy green buildings the school will be building on the site, the first of which is the Jerome L. Greene Science Center (dubbed the Mind-Brain Institute) designed by Pritzker Prize winner and Times HQ architect Renzo Piano, who also helped created the LEED-certified master plan. The project is slowly taking shape in Harlem, but Columbia provided us with this cool video that shows the building coming together in all of one minute, 17 seconds.
With the exception of a deadly construction accident in March, things have been fairly quiet on the western front of Harlem. Starting nearly a decade ago, Manhattanville became one of the most hotly contested corners of the city, as Columbia University first worked to have the neighborhood rezoned for a new 17-acre campus, approved in 2007, followed by the state leading an eminent domain case on the school’s behalf to repossess the land of two local business owners, which culminated in 2010. (Since then, the city’s focus has shifted south, to another university-led redevelopment.)
All the while, Columbia has gone about the work of creating the most environmentally progressive neighborhood in the entire five boroughs, all from whole cloth.
Last week, the U.S. Green Building Council awarded Columbia’s new campus with LEED ND Platinum, the highest rating in the council’s new-ish neighborhood development program. It is only the fifth project in the state to earn such recognition, and the first to achieve LEED ND Platinum. The designation means that the project has embraced the goals of accessibility, density, design and environmental efficiency, creating a model for future development.
“We like to think of it as a three-legged stool: environment, economy, equity,” Jason Hercules, director of the LEED ND program, told The Observer. “Manhattanville excelled in all three.”
Blame it on the builders.
Breeze International, the firm demolishing a Manhattanville building for Columbia that collapsed yesterday and claimed one life, just released a statement addressing the cause of the accident. The firm’s investigation found that an unusual construction configuration appears to be the reason the building was destabilized and collapsed.
Because the structural beam the demo crew severed was not properly connected to the rest of the structure, when it was cut, everything else came down around it. Breeze points to a lack of construction drawings from when the building was built between eight and 10 decades ago as to why the unusual connection was not initially recognized.