Bancroft Hall

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Bancroft Hall is a Teachers College-owned residential building at 509 West 121st Street that serves housing for students with families.


Bancroft Hall, designed by Emery Roth, was constructed by a private developer in 1910 who hoped to market the apartments to professors and wealthy students. The developer originally named the building "Sethlow", in honor of former University President and ex-Mayor of New York City Seth Low, whose decision to move Columbia University to Morningside Heights was instrumental in the neighborhood's development. Low was less than pleased by the unauthorized appropriation of his name, and threatened to get an injunction against the developer unless he changed the name. The developer aquiesced and renamed the building "Bancroft."[1]

Teachers College acquired the building during the 1919-1920 fiscal year along with Janus Court, an apartment building on Morningside Drive. Ironically, given Bancroft Hall's naming history, TC renamed Janus Court "Seth Low Hall."[2][3]