Butler 209

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Unveiling of the "imperialist" stained glass window featuring Peter Stuyvesant in 1954

Butler 209, or 209 for short, is one of the largest reading rooms in Butler Library. It is located on the entry-level floor of the building, adjacent to (but inaccessible from) 114th Street. Officially part of the undergraduate Milstein Library and therefore open 24 hours, it has also been known as the College Study. Lots of Greek affiliated students and athletes study/ogle one another here.

On the wall at the western end of the room is a large (12'x7') stained-glass window featuring a peg-legged Nieuw-Nederland governor Pieter Stuyvesant standing astride the Netherlands' 17th century North American dominions, which has led to the room being described as "the most imperialist" on campus. The description of the piece notes that it was "given by the people of the Netherlands and Antilles to New York on the 300th Anniversary of New Amsterdam." It was presented to the university by the Netherlands Antilles Legislative Council and unveiled on December 30, 1954.[1] This was actually the 329th anniversary of the founding of New Amsterdam, at least according to the New York City seal, which places the date at 1625, or the 301st, if you're going by when New Amsterdam received municipal rights, but who's keeping track (except us)?

The room is also the site of each semester's Orgo Night.

References

  1. https://exhibitions.cul.columbia.edu/exhibits/show/butler75/art---architecture/item/613
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