Low Plaza, formerly known as South Court, is the large open plaza between the Low Library steps and College Walk. The area is the largest privately owned open space in New York, and was dubbed by well-known architect Robert A.M. Stern as Columbia's "urban beach". The plaza is designed to resemble a Greek amphitheater. It plays host to a number of events throughout the year, including open markets in good weather, the annual Concert on the Steps, and of course, demonstrations. The plaza is distinguished by its brick and limestone pattern and fountains.
Prior to the purchase of South Field, Low Plaza served as Columbia's front porch, with visitors arriving on 116th street and stepping up to and across the elevated plaza to arrive at the institution.