Walking Tour: Morningside Heights (In Person)

Event Pass Information

Event Pass Type
AIANY Member$20.00 USD
Student with Valid ID$20.00 USD
General Public$30.00 USD

Event Details

Meet at the Peace Fountain east of the intersection of West 111th Street & Amsterdam Avenue on the grounds of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. 


Best known as the site of Columbia University, Morningside Heights can well be described as an institutional acropolis. It is also home to the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Barnard College, Teachers College, the Union Theological Seminary, the Jewish Theological Seminary, Riverside Church, the Manhattan School of Music and St. Luke’s Hospital, now renamed Mount Sinai Morningside. Bounded by Riverside Park and Morningside Park, the elevated area boasts a great variety of notable institutional architecture spanning from 1842 to the present, including works by many nationally recognized architects. 

The tour will begin with the neighborhood’s oldest extant structure, the Leake & Watts Orphan Asylum designed by Ithiel Town. The main focus will be Columbia University’s campus, from Charles Follen McKim’s masterplan to today. We will view and discuss buildings by Ralph Adams Cram, Handel Architects, James Stewart Polshek, Harrison & Abramovitz, Bernard Tschumi, SOM, Weiss/Manfredi, Rafael Moneo and others. 

Tours will run rain or shine. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to tour start time. Registration is limited to 15; walk-ups are not guaranteed a spot on the tour. This tour is approved for 2.5 LU/HSW in AIA CES.

AIANY Guide: John Arbuckle, Assoc. AIA


Health and Safety Guidelines:

The safety and comfort of our guides and guests is our number one priority. By registering for this tour, you acknowledge and agree to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • This tour will be conducted outside; masks are optional for vaccinated individuals. In accordance with CDC guidelines, unvaccinated guests must please wear a mask throughout the tour. 
  • Maintaining six feet of distance from the guide and anyone not in your party is strongly encouraged.

Failure to follow these guidelines may result in your guide requesting that you kindly leave the tour group. Refunds will not be provided for tours canceled due to a failure to comply with safety guidelines. 

AIANY cannot be held liable and assumes no responsibility for any injury or loss incurred by participants in these programs.