From tracing the legacy of our Founding Fathers to uncovering the secrets of Grant’s Tomb, visitors joining our tour, “Walk the Columbia’s From Morningside Heights to Manhattanville” have every era of US history ahead of them as they pound the pavement. This Insiders special tour will cover the two Columbia University campuses in Upper Manhattan, beginning in Morningside Heights and ending in the new Manhattanville campus, while uncovering some of the secret histories enmeshed within the university’s legacy. This is a tour we were commissioned to give as part of Columbia University GSAPP’s alumni weekend for the last several years, and we are excited to now offer it to our Untapped New York Insiders.

Untapped New York Insiders are invited to join Untapped New York’s Chief Experience Officer Justin Rivers as he takes history buffs and neophytes alike along the far western edge of these historic neighborhoods. Participants will walk in the footsteps of Revolutionary War soldiers along a forgotten battlefield and encounter the Baylander, a Vietnam War-era aircraft carrier along the Hudson River. Join us on this exclusive tour, taking place on July 2nd and August 13th, which is free for Untapped New York Insiders. New Insiders can sign up and get their first month for free with the code JOINUS.

Participants along the tour will learn about the rich and varied history of Columbia University, its pivotal role in the founding of the United States and navigate not one, but two of the university’s campuses. While on the Morningside Heights campus, learn about its hidden history connected to the atomic bomb. A scenic walk upward with views across the Hudson River greet tour attendees. The epic history of Revolutionary America come to life along a since-forgotten battlefield that hugs the Hudson River. Visitors will even glimpse the new so-called “steel beach” along this Upper Manhattan waterfront, created from a Vietnam War-era aircraft carrier that has made its home along the city’s Harlem shoreline of the Hudson River.

Butler Library Columbia University extrerior view

Tour the Secrets of Upper Manhattan and Columbia’s Campuses

American architectural history is a pivotal part of the tour as well. Learn about some of the dazzling structures you encounter along this tour from campus to campus. Traversing north from Morningside Heights, gain new insights into the realities facing American revolutionary war heroes navigating Upper Manhattan’s terrain. Enter the stunning Neoclassical structure of Grant’s Tomb and discover the histories hidden within its colossal columns.

Grant's Tomb

Wander north along the Hudson to the shining new campus in Manhattanville, spanning from Broadway to 12th Avenue and northward from 125th Street to 134th Street. Discover buildings like the Lenfest Center, the Forum and the Jerome L. Green Science Center, designed by world-renown, Pritzker prize winning architect Renzo Piano, as well as the new Henry R. Kravis Hall and David Geffen Hall by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with FXCollaborative, which were finally unveiled to the world in January 2022. Participants will encounter the historic Prentis Hall, the long-forgotten site of a nuclear testing lab.

The Forum at 125th and Broadway on Columbia’s Manhattanville campus.
Prentis Hall nuclear facility, encountered starting from Morningside Heights to Manhattanville.
Prentis Hall
Jerome L. Greene Science Center at Columbia University’s Renzo Piano-designed Manhattanville campus.

Layer upon layer of American history are peeled back as participants traverse Broadway and Riverside Drive, as stunning views await along the Hudson River. Join our Untapped New York Insiders in order to experience this insightful guided tour on July 2nd from 2-3:30 PM from Morningside Heights to Manhattanville. If you’re not a member yet, join now to get your first month free with the code JOINUS.

Columbia University's Low Library

Tour the Secrets of Upper Manhattan and Columbia’s Campuses