Columbia has resided along the borders of Harlem since the time it was built.Indeed Columbia has always existed as an island onto itself.Up until the late 80’s,there was a clear line across 110 st that separated it from The Upper West Side,in the south and at 125st in the north. There was a 3rd line east of Amsterdam Ave.Students were urged not to venture beyond these borders,risking being savaged by the local natives.
During the 90’s this wall to the south began to fade due to the gentrification of the upper part of the Upper West Side and Columbia began to build and expand into the neighborhood.Amongst other things they needed a school for the children of their teachers.Instead of investing money into the local public school on 109st,they decided to build their own separate school around the corner.
Now Columbia wants to be part of Harlem.Well isn’t that nice.I am reminded of the time when Columbia wanted to build a gym back in the 60’s.They thought that placing it in Morningside Park would be a grand idea,since the natives were not putting it to good use.
“Columbia University Confirms No Eminent Domain Will be Sought to Relocate Residents Living in Manhattanville Apartments” Well isn’t that mighty neighborly of them.They will however use their mighty power to try to seize commercial property owned by Nick Sprayregen, owner of Tuckitaway storage.I am glad to report that Nick intends to take that one all the way to the supreme court,a costly and probably futile attempt but none the less a noble one that will point the finger of shame once again in the direction of Columbia.
Ten years ago Columbia could have bought any property in Harlem they wanted.Just down the hill to the east of Amsterdam Ave there were empty blocks of space waiting to be developed that could have been bought for a song but Columbia did not want to speculate.There they were, looking down from their ivory towers across Morningside Park,10 minutes walk from their offices but they never went to check it out.I guess they were too afraid of the savage natives.They were so close that even if they had bothered to open the windows they could have heard all the construction going on down the hill.
There is a propaganda Columbia flyer in circulation, called “Building Tomorrow’s West Harlem Together” so evidently shame is not part of the Columbia lexicon.More than that, I expect this venerable school expects everyone to forget the past 100 years of neglect and separation from it’s neighbors in Harlem
Protecting the Environment:On this shiny colorful cardboard flyer there is a picture of a park with happy families and students lying on the grass and playing,and under the caption the words:
1/”During the proposed revitalization of the old Manhattanville manufacturing area,Columbia will clean up the waste left by past decades of industrial and automotive uses.”Is that in spite of your reputation? What did you expect to do?Just lay sod down over the industrial waste?
2/”During construction Columbia will adhere to the highest environmental standards for building,air emission,and energy.” That’s a pretty broad statement.Whose standards are we talking about?Harlem?As we full steam ahead towards an ecological shipwreck only one condo that has gone up in the past 10 years has solar panels on the roof,and if was not for Con Ed I would have them too.Never mind by the end of summer they will be installed I have been promised.
3/”Columbia will place support services like heating, cooling, truck delivery and parking in a large underground basement to ensure that streets and sidewalks are pedestrian- friendly and environmentally appealing”.
Did anyone expect Columbia to put heating and cooling units on the sidewalk?Why would Columbia build car parks when the subway is right there?If you want to protect the environment,how do cars get to be in this picture?Aren’t cars the biggest producers of greenhouse gas.This is supposed to be a school.What kind of uneducated moron wrote this?