Wheelock property

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The Wheelock property was an 8 acre piece of property in Washington Heights west of Broadway between 159th and 163rd streets acquired by Columbia in 1872 as a potential site to move from the Midtown campus.[1][2][3] In 1878 the trustees resolved against moving Columbia to the property.[4]

In 1890, University President Seth Low announced at an alumni dinner honoring his installation as president that the property would be set aside for athletic use, if alumni would raise sufficient funds to develop the property, and $20,000 were pledged that day. However, the site was ultimately deemed unsuitable for athletic purposes, and alumni turned their sights to property in the Bronx that would become the Columbia Oval.[5][6][7]

The Wheelock property was sold in 1899 for $320,000.[8]

Coincidentally, the Columbia University Medical Center campus is located just north of the Wheelock property site.


  1. A History of Columbia University 1754-1904, Pg. 160.
  2. Brief of Defendant-Respondent Trustees of Columbia College at 51, Phoenix v. Columbia College
  3. Resolutions of the Trustees 1868-1874; Committee on the Site, pgs. 59-61
  4. Resolutions of the Trustees 1874-1879; Committee on Site and Removal, pgs. 20-21
  5. Columbia University Quarterly, Vol. 7, pgs. 293-294, June 1905
  6. Columbia College Notes, Harvard Crimson, 27 March 1890
  7. School of Mines Quarterly, Vol. XI, pgs. 185-188, January 1890 (Yes, the issue is dated January while containing letters dated February.)
  8. Extract of Minutes of Trustees Meeting of March 6, 1899
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