Uris Hall

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1980s facade of Uris Hall

Uris Hall houses Columbia Business School, as well as the Uris Deli and a loud library, the Business and Economics Library

There are also top secret meeting rooms there, but they're secret, so I can't write about them here. Perhaps the kind of places where one might find Bain Lehman, the bastard love-child of Merrill Stanley and JPSachs.


Uris Hall was built on the foundation for the never-completed University Hall. Its design, by the firm Moore & Hutchins, was intended to continue (or at least reflect) the campus north-south axis of monumental stone-faced buildings; its strong vertical element attempted to echo the columns of Butler and Low Libraries. Despite this, the building was considered so ugly that architecture students picketed its dedication in 1961, holding signs reading "No More Mudds". Despite an attempted to rein in its ugliness with a 1984 addition, it remains among the ugliest campus buildings to this day.

The space between Uris and Low Library is the Frank Whittemore Abrams Court, in honor of the former chairman of the Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey (and honorary degree recipient (L.L.D.) in 1955), as part of larger gift from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.[1] The Court featured a pair of fountains that shot jets of water 8 feet into the air.[2] They are long gone.

In 1978, the building was occupied by protesters demanding divestment from apartheid South Africa.

In an attempt to give its students their own exclusive space, the Business School set about in recent years to deter undergraduates from using the building, revoking the ability to use Dining Dollars at the deli, removing Flex capacity from the copiers, and placing the building's computers on a separate network.

Not content with these moves, the Business School has announced its intention to move to a new facility within the planned Manhattanville campus. It is unclear what will occupy Uris following the school's relocation. Demolition and replacement may be one option that would satisfy the building's architectural detractors, though it is more likely the building will be employed for some expedient use, such as academic office space. The somewhat scattered and occasionally itinerant Economics Department is a natural choice to occupy at least part of the space. Yet even this move is not so simple, as there have been rumors that the engineering school wants to claim the first 4 floors for classroom space. Undoubtedly, other departments will try to claim space as well, and a great many bureaucratic battles will be fought to determine who gets Uris.


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