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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.
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.
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.
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:
Jewish Museum in Berlin
Nobel Prize in Physics (discovered binary pulsar)
Internationally known artist
Elizabeth Diller/ Ricardo Scofidio
Designers of the High Line and Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hal
CEO and Chairman
Legend in contemporary art scene since 1950s
Tours To Cooper Union Foundation Building
East Village Walking Tour with Food Tasting BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $38
Duration: 3 hours
Private Tour of the Beats, Rockers, Punks of the West Village BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $450
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cooper Union Foundation Building Reviews
Copper Union Foundation Building is one of Manhattan’s examples of modernist architectural. The architecture itself is unmistakable and its historical reputation is long-standing. more »
This Italianate Brownstone Building was erected by a self made man, Peter Cooper. It was the first building in NYC to be erected using Rolled Iron I Beams which were invented by Peter Cooper. Iron..... more »
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