Renamed buildings and facilities

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Renamed Buildings and Facilities are common on Columbia's campuses. The changing of building names is often (though not always) tied to the receipt of a sizable donation. Typically the building that is renamed has been built by the University and named in honor of some figure, rather than built by a named donor.

Morningside Heights Campus

  • Dodge Hall - Known originally as the "Business School" building, it was built with funds donated by utilities magnate Emerson McMillan. McMillan declined to be recognized in the buildings name, thus the academic theatre housed in the building bore his name instead. The trustees voted to name the building after serial donor and fellow trustee Marcellus Hartley Dodge at his passing.
  • Wallach Hall - Built by the trustees to form a matching pair with Hartley Hall, which had been donated by Marcellus Hartley Dodge, it was originally named Livingston Hall, after Kings College alumnus and American revolutionary Robert Livingston. It was renamed in honor of serial donor Ira Wallach, who paid for its renovation in the 1970s.
  • Mathematics Hall - Originally the Engineering Building, it was renamed following the relocation of the Engineering School to Mudd Hall.
  • Lewisohn Hall - Curiously, Lewisohn Hall, originally call the School of Mines Building, was in fact donated by Lewisohn himself. It didn't bear his name until its original tenant departed for Mudd Hall.
  • Butler Library - Donated by Edward Harkness, Butler Library was known as "South Hall" until President Nicholas Murray Butler, at which point the trustees (all of whom had been appointed during his tenure) returned the favor and named the building after him.
  • Pulitzer Hall - Originally known as "Journalism Hall", it has housed the School of Journalism since its construction. However the University avoided branding the place with the name of the infamous yellow journalist for over a century, until an alumnus noticed that Pulitzer's donation was conditioned on the building bearing his name.
  • Wien Hall - Built in conjunction with John Jay Hall as a high rise residential tower, Wien Hall too originally bore the name of 18th century Columbians. "Johnson Hall", as it was originally known, was named after father and son Samuel and William Samuel Johnson, the first and fourth presidents of Kings/Columbia College. Johnson Hall was renamed after Lawrence Wien in the 1980s after the real estate magnate engaged in a string of generous donations, including a brand new football stadium.
  • East Campus High Rise - The high rise portion of East Campus actually a name. Hudson hall, for Percy Hudson, who in the 1970s made the single largest private donation to the University at the time to complete the Fairchild Biological Lab.
  • Miller Theatre - Miller theatre was originally named McMillan Theatre, after Emerson McMillan, who had donated what is now known as Dodge Hall, but declined to have the building named after him. Maybe he should've taken up the offer, because when the Miller Foundation paid for gut renovations of the by-then dilapidated McMillan Theatre in the 1980s, the Theatre's name was changed to honor the new donor. Poor McMillan is only recognized today in a plaque in the lobby of Miller Theatre bearing testimony to the original dedication of the location.

Baker Athletics Complex

  • Robertson Field at Satow Stadium - The baseball field at Baker Athletic Complex had once been named after baseball team coach Andy Coakley. Until Hal Robertson donated money towards renovation of the field, which then bore his name. Until Phil Satow donated money towards further renovation of the stadium, which then came to bear the new dual name.
  • Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium - For nearly half a century Columbia played football in a classic U-shaped wooden stadium, known simply as the Columbia Football Stadium. In the 1980s, Lawrence Wien paid for the construction of a brand modern concrete stadium. The facility was then known as "Lawrence Wien Stadium at Baker Field." George Baker, of course, had purchased the land for Columbia athletics in the 1920s. When Robert Kraft donated $5 million to Columbia athletics, the football field was named in his honor. So now it's Kraft Field at Wien Stadium. As a knock on effect, Baker Field is now Baker Athletic Complex. At least things worked out better for him than Emerson McMillan.

Candidates for Renaming

In the spirit of maximizing revenue opportunities, based on the criteria indicated above, as well as other factors, here's a list of buildings potentially available for renaming:

  • Broadway Residence Hall
  • Northwest Corner Building
  • Columbia Soccer Stadium
  • Columbia Field Hockey Venue
  • Columbia Softball Complex
  • University Gym
  • John Jay Hall
  • Carman Hall
  • Pupin Hall
  • Kent Hall
  • Butler Library
  • East Campus
  • International Affairs Building
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