2. Columbia University’s Whispering Bench

This stone bench at Columbia University, located just next to Low Library across from St. Paul’s Chapel (another Guastavino creation), was donated from the class of 1886 on its 25th reunion. As Untapped Cities editor Samantha Sokol describes, “It’s amazing when you’re sitting in it, the acoustics are totally different. It sounds like you’re in a tunnel, or your ears are clogged. My friend and I had a quiet conversation on opposite sides of the bench. Once I stood up, I couldn’t hear a thing she was saying.”

The text carved into the bench reads, “TO FELLOWSHIP AND LOVE OF ALMA MATER. Class of 1886 Arts, Mines, Political Science; 25th Anniversary.”