9. What was the First Class at Barnard like?
The first Barnard class was held in a rented townhouse at 343 Madison Avenue, which is located just a few blocks from Grand Central. There were 14 students at this time in the School of Arts and 6 faculty members. From Barnard’s start in 1889, Barnard took women’s education seriously and challenged its students. Barnard’s goal and mission to educate female leaders in higher education holds true from its foundation.
In 1892, Columbia announced it would be moving to Morningside Heights, on the site of the former Bloomingdale Asylum, a public hospital petitioned for by the doctors at King’s College (formerly Columbia University pre-Revolutionary War). Barnard followed in tandem, building a campus just next door. Several of those original buildings are now on the National Register of Historic Places (though not New York City landmarks).