Columbia University Historical Justice Initiative

A self-guided, interactive walking tour of CU's Morningside campus

Our Project

The CU Historical Justice Initiative draws much of its historical information from the CU & Slavery Project. The Initiative offers a self-guided, interactive walking tour of CU's Morningside campus through an iOS app and eventually an Android one as well. Centering around the buildings of the lower half of the Morningside campus—owing to accessibility—the CU Historical Justice Initiative aims to present narratives of slavery, oppression, and violence, while preserving stories of resistance, perseverance, and social progress on-campus.

How It Works


Download our app for free from the App Store or Google Play store (coming soon).


The app will guide you along the tour route. Simply follow the directions to and from each site.


Read about the many histories Columbia has and the events that have shaped it.

Get It Now

Tap one of the buttons below to download the Columbia University History Tour app to your device. The iOS version is available now and an Android version is coming soon.

Tour Stops

Lenape Plaque

Memorial Site

The Lenape Plaque is the only memorial on-campus that recognizes and honors the Lenape people, or Lenni-Lenape: the original Manhattanites.

Hartley Hall

Undergraduate Dorm

In 1905, Hartley Hall, one of the first undergraduate residences, opened along with Livingston Hall, now known as Wallach Hall. Named after Marcellus Hartley Dodge, a well-known philanthropist, Hartley Hall was constructed “in the interest of true democracy.”

Wallach Hall

Undergraduate Dorm

Constructed in tandem with Hartley, Livingston Hall, later renovated and renamed after Ira D. Wallach, was designed to fulfill President Butler’s vision of bridging the gap between rich and poor students.

John Jay Hall

Undergraduate Dorm

Opened in 1929, John Jay Hall served to fulfill President Butler’s vision of expanding and enhancing University life, particularly that of the College, but differed from his vision for Hartley and Livingston.

Butler Library


Opened as South Hall in 1934, Butler Library celebrates the legacy of Nicholas Murray Butler, 12th and longest-reigning president of the University. Just as the Library is central to Columbia, Butler, too, was central to the University and its growth during his presidency.

Lerner Hall

Student Center

Opened in 1999, Alfred Lerner Hall is Columbia’s newest student center. With a 1,500-seat Roone Arledge Auditorium, a smaller black box theater, and offices for 90 student clubs, the building is home to—and carries on the legacy of—long-standing student organizations and traditions, particularly in the arts.

Furnald Hall

Undergraduate Dorm

Built in 1913, Furnald Hall celebrates the life of Royal B. Furnald, CC class of 1901, who died during his spring semester of sophomore year. By the will of Francis Furnald, Royal’s father, Columbia College received $300,000 to erect a dormitory in the student’s name.

Low Plaza & Library

Administrative Building

Completed in 1897, Low Library remained the main library of Columbia until 1934 when South Hall, then name of Butler Library, was constructed. Named after Abiel Abbot Low, father of the 11th President of Columbia Seth Low, the Library and its Plaza witnessed various major developments of Columbia.

Hamilton Hall

Academic Building

Opened in 1907, Hamilton Hall is the hub of Columbia College. With a statue of Alexander Hamilton situated in front of the building, Hamilton Hall celebrates the legacy of another Founding Father.

Additional Locations (Coming Soon!)