Morningside Heights is a neighborhood located in the Borough of Manhattan.
It is known as the home of institutions such as Barnard College, Columbia University, the Manhattan School of Music, the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, the Riverside Church and St. Luke’s Hospital.
Morningside Heights is bounded by the Upper West Side to the south, Morningside Park to the east, Harlem to the north and Riverside Park to the west. The streets marking the borders of Morningside Heights are generally considered to be either 106th Street or 110th Street to the south, Riverside Drive on the west, 123rd Street or 125th Street on the north, and Morningside Drive or Central Park West, just below 110th Street, on the east. The main thoroughfare through Morningside Height is one of the most famous streets in America, Broadway.
The area has been referred to by several different nicknames: the "Academic Acropolis," the "Acropolis of New York," "Bloomingdale Village” or "South Harlem."
It earned the name “Academic Acropolis” because it sits on one of the highest natural points in Manhattan and contains a number of academic institutions. In fact, much of Morningside Heights is the campus of Columbia University. The university also owns a large amount of the non-campus surrounding real estate.
Morningside Heights is also home to other educational institutions, including Barnard University, Union Theological Seminary, the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Manhattan School of Music, Teachers College, the Bank Street College of Education, Wadleigh Secondary School, the Thurgood Academy and St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's School.
NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies is also located in Morningside Heights in a building owned by Columbia University.
Morning Side Heights History
Use of the title "Morningside Heights" for Morningside Heights arose in the 1890s when development of the area commenced. Although the name "Bloomingdale" was adopted for the area in regards to the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum (located at the present location of the main campus of Columbia University), other names like "Morningside Hill" and "Riverside Heights" were put to use for the area and no single title was frequently used for Morningside Heights as projects began to develop the university campus, as well as the nearby Teachers College, the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine and St. Luke's Hospital. In time two titles gained the most make use of; "Morningside Heights" was liked by the two colleges while "Cathedral Heights" was preferred by St. John's and St. Luke's. After about 1898, Morningside Heights became the most generally recognized, even though diocese at St. John's continued to call Morningside Heights Cathedral Heights well into the 20th century. The term "Morningside" originated from the park about the east wing of the plateau, which was lit up by increasing sunlight and which was called "Morning Side Park" in 1870 when the city parks commissioner recommended a survey of the land.