Cooper Union Foundation Building, New York City

2.3
Academic Vision

Through outstanding academic programs in architecture, art and engineering, and a Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art prepares talented students to make enlightened contributions to society.

From the start, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills that lead to prosperity while, at the same time, enriching their intellects and sparking their creativity. And he had a third purpose as well: To instill a sense of social justice that would translate into action. In 1859, such a broad pedagogical goal was visionary; today, it is the standard by which excellence in higher education is measured.

FOUNDATION BUILDING

The Cooper Union’s Foundation Building is a national and city landmark. Its Great Hall has served as a public forum since 1859, when 3,500 people could stand to hear free lectures by the speakers whose views were reshaping society. This exceptional venue served as a platform for Abraham Lincoln’s “Right Makes Might” and the birth of the NAACP and the women's suffrage movement. As a presidential candidate and then returning two years later as President, Barack Obama spoke on financial reform and economic regulation. Today, The Great Hall continues as a forum for civic discourse, cultural events, performances and community activities.

41COOPER SQUARE

The Cooper Union’ s new building at 41 Cooper Square—a technologically advanced academic facility—is located on the east side of Third Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets. Awarded LEED Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), 41 Cooper Square houses the college’s Albert Nerken School of Engineering and Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences along with additional facilities for the School of Art and the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture. Designed by 2005 Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne of Morphosis, the nine-story, 175,000 square foot, full-block building replaces more than 40 percent of the academic space at the college with reconfigurable, state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, studios and public spaces. Built with stringent sustainability goals, 41 Cooper Square is the first LEED Platinum certified academic building in New York City.

ALUMNI

The college has educated leaders whose contributions have significantly shaped our world, including design of the microchip prototype, cancer detection processes, signature buildings and widely recognized works of art. Just a few celebrated Cooper Union alumni include:

Daniel Libeskind

Jewish Museum in Berlin

Russell Hulse

Nobel Prize in Physics (discovered binary pulsar)

Wangechi Mutu

Internationally known artist



Elizabeth Diller/ Ricardo Scofidio

Designers of the High Line and Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hal

Kevin Burke

Consolidated Edison

CEO and Chairman

Alex Katz

Legend in contemporary art scene since 1950s
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Cooper Union Foundation Building Reviews
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  • This is not the very modern The Cooper Union for the Avancement of Science and Art, which is located at 30 Cooper Sq. The Cooper Union Foundation Building is a school born to offer free education to anyone who asks. The style of the building is Italian Renaissance and the façade is in red bricks and cast iron. I find it very interesting from an architectural point of view. It is also located in a very nice place, a little square of the same name. It is still not part of the places to be missed.
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  • Ton of history hear back as far a President Lincoln. Great archives and easy to use if you wish to do so.  more »
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