Hamilton Court was Columbia's first proposed dormitory for the Morningside Heights campus. President Seth Low was against establishing a residential college, and dragged his feet when trustees and alumni raised the question of building a dormitory. In 1896, Low supported a resolution allowing the University to collect funds for the purchase of land and erection of a building. As that was happening, plans were underway to erect a private dormitory on the east side of Amsterdam Avenue between 121st and 122nd streets that would be 10 stories high and house 920 students. The plans for the building, to be named after Alexander Hamilton and funded by a corporation of stockholders who supported the College, were drawn up by the firm of Heins & LaFarge, architect of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. However, despite an enthusiastic endorsement from the New York papers, the funds were never raised, and Hamilton Court was never built.
Following the failure of the private project, the trustees pushed Low into commissioning the Grove Dormitories, but they would also go unbuilt. It wouldn't be until Marcellus Hartley Dodge donated Hartley Hall in 1903 that a dormitory would finally get built.
Dolkart, Andrew. Morningside Heights (1998)