1955—The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts project begins with Lincoln Square (so named in May 1906) designated for “urban renewal.” Some of the tenement locations (upper right) in Lincoln Square (which is on the West Side) are used in the 1961 film West Side Story (upper left) and are later razed as part of the Lincoln Center project. (Some playground scenes are filmed on 110th St. on the East Side.) Groundbreaking on May 14, 1959 (right). 1962—Avery Fisher Hall (left, top right image) (formerly Philharmonic Hall) in Lincoln Center opens, followed by the David H. Koch Theater (formerly the New York State Theater) in 1964, and the Metropolitan Opera House (left in lower left) in 1966.
The Oct. 10, 1955 Spectator reports on plans for a new Engineering Center at Amsterdam Ave. and 120th St. Currently, many School activities are in the Mines (far left) and Engineering (center and right) Buildings. Photos from the 1957 (left, center) and 1959 (right) Columbia Engineer yearbooks.
Students working in the laboratory. Photos from the 1953 (upper far left), 1956 (lower left), 1957 (upper near left), and 1959 (right) Columbia Engineer yearbooks.
The Class of 1957 presents to the chemical engineering faculty a wooden screw signed by all members of the class.
September 24, 1957—The Brooklyn Dodgers play their last game in Ebbets Field (shown in 1913), as they prepare to leave town, to the dismay of their many fans. It had been the home of the Dodgers since 1913, and was demolished on February 23, 1960.
As reported in the Dec. 4, 1958 Spectator, Engineering will directly admit freshmen, starting with the incoming class in Fall 1959. Since 1924 “pre-engineering” undergraduates have needed to transfer as juniors from the College to the Engineering School. Since 1951, upperclassmen also entered the School from other colleges through the Combined Plan.
Slide rules in action in the days before calculators. Slide rules operated on the principle that multiplication and division involve the addition and subtraction of logarithms (base 10). Photo from the 1959 Columbia Engineer yearbook.
The Columbia University Engineering Newsletter team is shown with a mimeograph machine, photo from the 1959 Columbia Engineer yearbook. Mimeograph machines were low-cost printing presses that worked by forcing ink through a stencil onto paper, and were first patented by Edison and in common use before xeroxing.
March, 1959—Announcement of several momentous SEAS events in a single issue of Columbia Engineering Alumni Times: Upcoming groundbreaking of the Mudd Building; Alumnus Robert Carleton C.E. ’04 named the Egleston Medalist; Carleton Lab to open in the planned Engineering Terrace Building; Dean John R. Dunning awarded the Pupin Medal. In the 1930s he developed stronger neutron sources using cyclotrons, in 1939 he was on the first team to achieve nuclear fission in the United States, and during WWII he made important advances in gaseous diffusion to separate uranium isotopes for the Manhattan Project. Henry Krumb bequest.
Construction on the Seeley Wintersmith Mudd Building, the first unit of Columbia's Engineering Center, is imminent, as reported on March 31, 1959 in The Spectator. “Three large gifts in recent months have permitted expansion of plans for the center and an immediate start of construction.” The start of construction was made possible by a gift from the Seeley Wintersmith Mudd Foundation (as well as by the one from the Krumb Foundation). The bequest from the late Henry Krumb E.M. ‘98, will be divided between the Engineering Center and The School of Mines. The gift from the Ambrose Monell Foundation of New York will be used to provide a library and student center in the new building, named for Ambrose Monell, who graduated from Engineering in 1896.
April 4, 1959—Program of the groundbreaking for the Mudd Building.
April 4, 1959—Groundbreaking for the Mudd Building, (below) with the same silver spade used to begin work in 1895 on the first Morningside campus building.
1959—After Krumb’s bequest the School of Mines/Department of Mining, Metallurgy, and Mineral Engineering was renamed the Henry Krumb School of Mines. As of 1962, Henry Krumb and his wife Lavon Duddleson Krumb had left nearly $16,000,000 to Columbia.
September, 1959—The Engineering School admits and registers freshmen directly from high school for the first time since 1912-1913. (See The Spectator Oct. 28, 1959 headline, above, and March 10, 1960 editorial remarks, below.) Freshmen and sophomores still take primarily liberal arts and fundamental science courses, while the last two years stress engineering work.There is concern that the proposed increase in direct admissions, from 150 to 400 per year, will require extra resources, but such an increase does not occur.
This first class directly admitted to SEAS of ninety-two freshmen includes four “coeds.” The March 10, 1960 Spectator editorial remarks “The presence of girls in the engineering program” reflects “haphazard planning” and “the admission of girls into the program implies a covert, if unplanned, introduction of coeducation into Columbia College.” 1970—SEAS women are now living in Carman (Sept. 29, 1970 Spectator photo); several had lived in Johnson Hall, limiting studying with classmates. The first woman in the College is the Engineering undergrad Anna Kornbrot, a 4-1 student who first got her BS in SEAS in 1974, and then her BA from the College in 1975; shown, headline from the Sept. 9, 1974 Spectator. The first women are directly admitted to the College in 1983.
Direct admissions and the construction of a new Engineering Center, including the Mudd Building (shown, sketch from The Nov. 25, 1959 Spectator), are hallmark events in SEAS history. The February 13, 1959 Spectator notes “In spite of cramped facilities, Columbia's School of Engineering has been ranked seventh in the nation, by a recent Chicago Tribune poll. But its potentialities are unlimited.”
The April 20, 1960 Spectator reports that undergraduate students in the School of Engineering's direct admissions program will be allowed next year to take their English A and Humanities Al courses with Columbia College students. Professor of English Charles W. Everett explained that the plan to have the new undergraduate engineers attend classes separate from the regular college students last September was prompted by "the fear that engineering students have only utilitarian objectives which would make them bad liberal arts students." But this fear has not materialized, he said. "If the quality of the undergraduate engineers continues to be as high as it has been this year," he stated, "there will be little difference between them and the regular College students.” Engineering Dean John Dunning stated that "we have been in favor of integrated classes all along. It is most unwise to segregate engineers and liberal arts students.”
The Mudd Building under construction; photos used from the 1969 Columbia Engineer yearbook.
1961—The new Seeley W. Mudd Building opens, as shown in the early 1960s. With this move the School name changed from School of Engineering to School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) to reflect new activities in the school.
1961—New York City is a major center in the new age of folk music. Bob Dylan’s career takes off, nurtured by this environment.
–Nineteen years old, he arrives on Jan. 24, 1961. His first major gig in New York City is on April 11, 1961, opening for iconic blues artist John Lee Hooker in Greenwich Village. Shown in Columbia Studio A, Sept. 29, 1961: (l-r) Bruce Langhorne, Carolyn Hester, Bob Dylan, Bill Lee (below), and recording first album (middle of left column), and at the Bitter End in 1961 (lowest row on left). On the evening of Nov. 4, 1961, nine days after signing with Columbia Records, he performed 22 songs at Carnegie Chapter Hall in New York City, an auxiliary practice room to the “Carnegie Hall” prestigious main hall.
1961—The Plasma Physics Laboratory is established by several faculty, including Profs. Robert Gross and C.K. (John) Chu. This begins a long tradition at the forefront of high-temperature and fusion plasmas and prominence in applied physics, including a major expansion of the fusion effort in 1975.
1962—The New York Metropolitans (Mets) are established, bringing National League baseball back to the city. Shea Stadium (left) opens in 1964, and is the home of the Mets until Citi Field opens in 2009.
Summer in the City, Washington Square in 1962.
Ferdinand Freudenstein, a Columbia ME professor from 1954-2006 is known as the "Father of Modern Kinematics”. In the 1960s he revolutionizes mechanical design by using computers in kinematics synthesis and the design of mechanism. In his PhD dissertation (Columbia, 1954), he develops what is later called the Freudenstein Equation, to determine the position of an output lever in a linkage mechanism. Illustrative of his work is the sequence on the left: the four-bar linkages used on 2D planar surfaces are seen to also be usable on the 2D surfaces on spheres.
1962—Mayor Robert Wagner (mayor from 1954-1965) makes predictions about New York City in 2012 in the New York Times Magazine, Oct. 7, 1962. He predicts: Commuters will travel by “rocket-powered vehicles suspended from monorails, or by huge vertical-rising helicopters”; There will be “more sunlight, grass and greenery” to “balance skyscrapers”; That “shopping streets and centers will become malls”; “We may safely say that in 2012 New York City will be a city where all races and nations meet and mingle, a city of many cultures, each of which will be respected and prized. The prevailing spirit of this city in 2012 will reflect the spirit of individual enterprise, of economic opportunity, of social ferment and of cultural excitement. At the same time it will bespeak social pioneering, progress and justice.”
1962—Andy Warhol creates his iconic Campbell’s Soup can painting, which is displayed at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). It is included in his first New York solo pop art exhibition, at Eleanor Ward's Stable Gallery Nov. 6–24, 1962. MOMA hosts a symposium on pop art in Dec. 1962 where artists like Warhol were attacked for "capitulating" to consumerism. But “the times they are a-changin’” and Warhol becomes the center of the change in the art world.
Prof. Cyril M. Harris advises concert halls on acoustics, starting in the 1960s, including the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center (The Dec. 3. 1962 Spectator). Later, in 1976 he redesigns the acoustics of Avery Fischer Hall at Lincoln Center. Shown, Prof. Harris with students, c. 1982.
Photo from the establishment of the Robert A. W. Carleton Strength of Materials Laboratory in 1963 (Carleton seated on the sofa). The lab moves to Engineering Terrace in 1966 from the Engineering (now Mathematics) Building where it began in 1918. Robert A.W. Carleton, C.E. 1904, built many of new York's subway and railroad tunnels. He served as president and chairman of the Board of the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Company, and was a principal endower of this lab.
As reported in The Oct. 1, 1963 Spectator, the School has moved to the thirteen-story Seeley Wintersmith Mudd Building, which was completed late in 1961. The second phase of the Engineering Center is now under construction. The Eng. Terrace (ET) Building, to be built between Schermerhorn and Mudd Hall, will include nuclear, mechanical, and chemical engineering laboratories, and will also have a strength of materials laboratory to be named after Robert A. W. Carleton. Chemical engineering laboratories are now in Havemeyer Hall and in Chandler. Funds to complete the building are now available, through new gifts, particularly from the estate of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Krumb. The third phase in construction of the Engineering Center is the projected Tower building attached to Mudd above the Terrace level. (It is never built and the space over ET is later given to Biology.) A possible auditorium-classroom group between Mudd and Pupin laboratories would represent the fourth phase of the construction program. (It was never built and this space is later used for the Schapiro CEPSR Building.)
Working on a laboratory assignment involving microwave generation and transmission. Photo from the 1964 Columbia Engineer yearbook.
February 7, 1964—The Beatles arrive in New York at JFK Airport and are greeted by 3,000 screaming fans. Two days later, they make their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, with 73 million U.S. television viewers, or about 40 percent of the U.S. population, watching. Their impact provides a bit of healing for a nation mourning the recent assassination of John Kennedy.
The Beatles spelled their name with an "a" partly as a reference to the Beat Generation, whose beginnings can be traced to Columbia University.
1964-1965, New York World’s Fair.
1964—Construction of Engineering Terrace begins, as depicted in the Sept. 25, 1964 Spectator. It is expected to be completed in 1966.
1964—Celebrating the SEAS Centennial.