Timeline


Our timeline lists significant events in the history of Manhattanville, together with a listing of selected national and world events that provide context for Manhattanville's development.

One hundred years ago, Manhattanville was changing quickly; in many ways changing more in the first half of the 20th century than even in the 21st Century.
Kenneth T. Jackson, Jacques Barzun Professor in History and Social Science, Columbia University

 

1776

The Battle of Harlem Heights culminates near the present Morningside campus, Columbia University. It is the first major victory for General Washington in the American Revolution.

1609

Henry Hudson exchanges goods for food with Lenape Indians at the present site of Manhattanville.
1613

Juan Rodriguez, born in Santo Domingo (now known as the Dominican Republic) to a Portuguese sailor and an African woman is considered the first immigrant, the first person of African heritage, the first merchant, the first Latino, and the first Dominican to settle in Lower Manhattan.

1635

Dutch begin to settle in the “Hollow Way,” as they called the valley that would eventually become 125th Street.
1664

The English capture New Amsterdam from the Dutch and rename the city New York.

1695

Harlem grows to include forty Dutch farming families.

1776

The Battle of Harlem Heights culminates near the present Morningside campus, Columbia University. It is the first major victory for General Washington in the American Revolution.
1789

Bill of Rights is adopted.

George Washington elected 1st president of the United States.

1799

Gradual emancipation of slaves is declared in New York State. Several decades will pass before slavery is finally and totally abolished.

1806

The Village of Manhattanville is founded by merchant Jacob Schieffelin, local Quakers and others.

1811

The Grid Plan for Manhattan calls for the gradual development of orderly construction as far north as 155th Street.

1819

The first stage coach line opens in New York, running from near City Hall to a stop at 129th Street.

1820

Harriet Tubman is born.  Born into slavery, she escaped to Philadelphia in 1849, and subsequently became one of the most successful "conductors" on the Underground Railroad. She is credited with leading more than 300 slaves to freedom.

1823

Manhattanville features fifteen houses and two private schools. The population consists of British, Dutch, and African Americans.

1846

Manhattanville’s population booms to 500 residents.

1851

The Hudson River Railroad is completed, connecting Manhattanville to the downtown area.

1852

Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, is published. It becomes one of the most influential works to stir anti-slavery sentiments.

1857

Manhattanville’s streets are partly paved. Its first library opens.

1857

James Buchanan is inaugurated as the 15th president.

Dred Scott v. Sandford: Landmark Supreme Court decision holds that Congress does not have the right to ban slavery in states, and that slaves are not citizens.

1861

The American Civil War begins.

 

1862

The process of pasteurization is discovered in France.

1865

A streetcar line opens allowing passengers to travel from 125th Street to City Hall in an hour and a half.
1865

13th Amendment is ratified abolishing slavery.

1868

14th Amendment is ratified granting citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States” and overturns Dred Scott v. Sandford.

1870

15th Amendment is ratified giving African American men the right to vote.

1871

Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, emigrates from Puerto Rico to New York. He is considered by many to be the “Father of Black History.”

1873

Ten years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation a former slave, John Roy Lynch is elected Speaker of the House for the State of Mississippi becoming the first African-American in the U.S. elected to this position.

1880

Nearly all of Manhattan’s milk supply arrives by railroad. The 130th Street depot is a major hub.

1886

The Statue of Liberty is dedicated.

1892

Ellis Island opens to immigrants.

1893

The Sheffield Farms company opens the first milk pasteurization plant in the nation.

1898

Spain cedes Puerto Rico to the United States under the Treaty of Paris, concluding the Spanish-American War.

1900

Manhattanville has more than 600 buildings and a population nearing 15,000.

1904

The subway opens, leading to a building boom, and finally connecting the neighborhood seamlessly into the rest of the city.

1908

Ford introduces the Model T.

1908

Sheffield Farms works with reformers to supply healthy, inexpensive milk to the city’s poor.

1909

The Sheffield Farms dairy company builds a new processing plant and sixstory stable in Manhattanville.

1910

The International Pure Milk League is founded by two women who live on Riverside Drive.

1912

New York City mandates that all milk sold to children must be pasteurized.

1914

Panama Canal completed​.

1915

Thomas Edison shoots a film in front of the entrance to the Claremont Theatre at 135th Street.

1916

Sheffield Farms supplies 20 percent of the city’s milk.

1917

United States enters World War I

Puerto Ricans are granted U.S. citizenship.

1919

Prohibition Era begins.​

1920

19th Amendment grants women the right to vote.​

1925

The Harlem Renaissance leads to a flowering of arts and letters among African Americans in upper Manhattan.

1926

Sheffield Farms becomes the largest dairy products company in the world.

1927

Charles Lindbergh flies solo across the Atlantic.

1929

Stock Market crashes, the Great ​Depression begins.

1931

The Empire State Building opens to the public.

1931

The George Washington Bridge opens to traffic, lots of traffic.

1932

Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected 32nd president, institutes the New Deal to end the Depression.

1935

Sheffield Farms hires AfricanAmerican foremen at its 125th Street plant.

1938

The last milkdelivery horses in Manhattanville are replaced by trucks.

1940

Charles R. Drew received a Doctorate in Medical Science from Columbia University, the first African American to do so.  Dr. Drew, whose research focused on blood plasma was responsible for the “Blood for Britain” project which collected blood plasma donations from thousands of civilians and sent across the Atlantic to aid the Allied effort.  In 1941, Dr. Drew became the first director of the American Red Cross Blood Bank, the first national blood bank in the country.

1941

Japan attacks Pearl Harbor. The United States enters World War II.

1954

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas declares that racial segregation in schools is unconstitutional.

1956

General Grant Houses open.

1960

John F. Kennedy elected 35th president.

1961

Manhattanville Houses open.

1963

President Kennedy is assassinated.

1965

Voting Rights Act passed to prevent states from disfranchising minority voters.

Malcolm X, black nationalist and founder of the Organization of Afro-American Unity, is assassinated.

1967

Thurgood Marshall becomes the first AfricanAmerican nominated and confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

1968

Martin Luther King, Jr., is assassinated in Memphis, Tenn.

Robert F. Kennedy, candidate for U.S. president is assassinated.

1970

Commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall riots, thousands of members of the LGBT community march through New York into Central Park in what is considered America's first gay pride parade.

1981

Sandra Day O’Connor becomes the first woman nominated and confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

1989

David N. Dinkins is elected as the first AfricanAmerican mayor of New York City.

1991

MTA opens Manhattanville Bus Depot.

2000

Vermont becomes the first U.S. state to legalize civil unions.

2001

On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with AlQaeda hijack four airliners and carry out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two planes crash into the World Trade Center towers in New York City, a third plane hits the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashes in a field in Pennsylvania.

2002

Lee C. Bollinger is inaugurated as the 19th president of Columbia University.  During his inauguration speech, President Bollinger identifies the need to find space for the University to continue to meet its mission.

2003

Cuban native Jordi Reyes–Montblanc is elected Chair of Community Board 9. President Bollinger announces the intention to build a campus in the old Manhattanville manufacturing zone of West Harlem.
2003

The Supreme Court rules in the Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger that the use of affirmative action in school admission is constitutional if it treats race as one factor among many.

2005

Hurricane Katrina devastates New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

2005

NYC breaks ground on West Harlem Piers Park.

2006

The West Harlem Local Development Corporation is formed.

2007

Columbia University begins the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure in June and finishes in December.

2008

Barack Obama is elected 44th president the first AfricanAmerican president of the United States.

2008

General Project Plan Adopted and Affirmed.

Pat Jones becomes CB9 Chairperson.

Former CB9 Chair Jordi Reyes Montblanc dies after battle with cancer.

2009

Sonia Sotomayor becomes the third female and first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.

U.S. Senate confirms Columbia Trustee Eric H. Holder, Jr. United States Attorney General. 

2009

West Harlem Community Benefits Agreement signed by President Lee C. Bollinger and WHLDC President Julio Batista.

2010

Columbia University holds a groundbreaking ceremony for the Manhattanville Campus.

2011

The Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions is signed by Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger.

2012

Former CB9 Chair and West Harlem Local Development Corporation President Pat Jones dies.
Columbia earns first LEEDND Platinum certification in New York City, and first Platinum certification for a university campus plan nationally.

2012

President Barack Obama reelected.

2016

Manhattanville Campus Dedication.