14. Bronx Community College

Bronx Community College is the former University Heights campus of New York University. In the 1890s, NYU purchased the Mali Estate, a 40-acre site in the Bronx on a bluff overlooking the Harlem River, in order to create a sprawling college campus with monumental buildings, open lawns, fresh air and river views, features that just weren’t possible at its crowded Greenwich Village campus. All of the campus’ Beaux-Arts buildings were designed by Standford White.

Stanford White‘s master plan for the University Heights campus included several buildings arranged around a quadrangle. Designed in a Beaux-Arts style described as “American Renaissance,” they were completed between 1894 and 1912. The centerpiece of the plan was Gould Memorial Library built in 1897, which features a dome that has become an iconic symbol of the campus. Inspiration for the domed structure came from the Roman Pantheon. Inside, the library is decorated with wood, bronze, marble, stone and Tiffany glass. The landmark commission notes that “the importance of this notable building lies in its achievement of great Classical dignity and monumental grandeur.” The library is surrounded by The Hall of Fame, a semicircular open air colonnade, also designed by White, that features the busts of famous American men and women.

The campus, with thirty-four buildings spread over forty-five acres, is the only community college in the United States, and only college in New York State, to be declared a National Historic Landmark.