This might be hard to believe, but there was a time when people thought that superhero movies were just a passing faze. Shocking, but true. While Bryan Singer’s 2000 film X-Men is credited with rebooting the genre, it was Sam Raimi’s 2002 Spider-Man that assured moviegoers (and more importantly movie studios) that superhero movies were going to become a really big deal.
The first of the three Sam Raimi directed Spider-Man movies was the first to gross over $100 million dollars on its opening weekend. The film also help launch the careers of Tobey Maguire, Kristen Dunst and James Franco. In celebration of the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, we look back at the NYC locations featured in the first film.
Our story begins with a nerdy kid named Peter Parker, who gets picked on by everyone except for the girl-next-door Mary Jane Watson and his super rich friend Harry Osborn. Peter’s high school class is on a field trip to visit a genetics laboratory, where his life will change forever. The genetics lab itself was shot in Los Angeles, but the exterior was shot on the steps of Columbia University‘s Low Memorial Library.
Named after University’s former president Seth Low’s father Abiel Abbot Low, it was the first building to be built when Columbia moved from Park Place to Morningside Heights. Originally the university’s library, Low now serves as administrative offices. It was also featured in the classic NYC film Ghostbusters, which was the focus on a previous Film Locations post.