Claremont Avenue

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Claremont Avenue is a relatively short avenue that begins at 116th Street and runs north until Tiemann Place. The eastern side of Claremont Avenue features the heavily-fortified backside of the Barnard campus. The western side features various professors' apartments (including that of Dean Quigley), as well as the 47 Claremont residence hall. After 120th Street, Riverside Church is on the west and Union Theological Seminary on the east. Beyond this, the street passes Sakura Park, International House, the Manhattan School of Music, and lots of little apartment buildings.

The intersection of 116th and Claremont has been formally declared the windiest in New York City. This is largely because two of the surrounding buildings have curved shapes that funnel the wind. As a result, students living in 47 Claremont and professors in neighboring buildings face a bitterly cold walk to campus on many mornings in the winter months.

Apparently, over a decade ago Claremont developed a notorious smell as Barnard students discarded their used sanitary items out of their windows.

Acquisition of Apartments

Columbia began acquiring apartment buildings on Claremont in 1919. Between December 1919 and April 1920, Columbia purchased Nos. 21, 29, 25, and 39 Claremont Avenue.[1] Apartments in 21, 29, and 35 were briefly offered as student housing, and the buildings were re-christened Tompkins Hall (presumably named for Daniel Tompkins), John Jay Hall, and Gouverneur Morris Hall. Tompkins and Morris were offered to Columbia students, while John Hay was offered to Barnard students. Yes, a building known as John Jay Hall was a residence for Barnard students (briefly.)[2] (John Jay was re-named Charles King Hall around 1925 and the name was used instead for John Jay Hall the dormitory on South Field.) 39 was called DeWitt Clinton Hall and presumably used as faculty/staff housing from the start. At some point Columbia also acquired 15, 25, and 47 Claremont.

Tompkins Hall has apparently housed a parent coop nursery school founded by Columbia professors since the 1930s.[3]


  1. "Charters Acts of the Legislature Official Documents and Records" compiled by John B. Pine (1920) pgs. 114-116
  2. See University Catalogues between 1922-1925 for references to use as student housing