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Campus exfoliates

The grounds will be looking a little spiffier upon your return, as an anonymous photobwogger documents below. 

College Walk, swathed in black plastic for most of the summer, updates its look with new asphalt paving, new granite curbs, a storm drainage system and new lighting.



More photos after the jump!

Lerner decides to hide behind trees…


 …while the Journalism School undergoes facial reconstruction surgery


Wien courtyard went for the eclectic look, pairing brick for the entryway with impressed asphalt to simulate quaint cobblestones.


Earlier in the summer, Pike, PsiU, and the IRC were all wrapped in chemical peel wraps. Butler opted for deep cleaning.


Construction on the NW Science buildings currently resembles a massive blackhead on the corner of 120th and Broadway. 


Proper skincare wasn’t enough for McIntosh, which has committed to full-body tightening and toning.


And in a completely non-hygiene-related analogy, they’re adding a ninth level to the Law School (not pictured). As if law school wasn’t hellish enough.



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  • update says:

    @update theres wiring in place for lighting along college walk. it hasnt been installed yet.

  • stupid says:

    @stupid the “cosmetic” analogies were stupid.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous how often do they do this? I remember there being major reconstruction my first year in ’02. maybe next time i goto CU I won’t be tripping all over the place on uneven bricks

  • Bwog says:

    @Bwog Photo misattributions corrected. No, we really have no good excuse this time.

  • freshmen timing says:

    @freshmen timing is college walk going to be done in time for convocation? there’s nothing like columbo talking in back of the wonderful lowe library, and the historic rent-a-fences.

    1. oy freshmen says:

      @oy freshmen before you make a fool out of yourself in front of your friends … “low” library.

  • pfft says:

    @pfft Drainage system, schmainage system, I say let campus get all puddly because I just bought kickass rainboots. Shame I waited until my senior year, though – you don’t want to know how many pairs of Chucks I’ve ruined stomping around College Riverwalk during rainstorms. Ah well, it only took a few years for the message to soak…er, sink…in.

  • John says:

    @John Can someone please point out the storm drainage system on College Walk? Perhaps, how water is going to be funneled to the drains (which I have not seen for all my looking) although the cobbles are not graded?

    Typical Columbia rush job. First storm and it’s all Potemkin.

    1. yeah says:

      @yeah i don’t hold out much hope, considering its all tightly packed…

      from eyeballing though it looks like the main thoroughfare has a sligh concave curve to it. there are some drains along it.

      also the new granite curbs are practically at grade with the pavers. do they expect runoff into the grass patches (which are still chained off- UGLY.)

  • update says:

    @update as of 8:45pm tonight, crews were still at work on the brickwork on college walk. they haven’t replaced the bricks- just fixed them up a bit. it’s the pavers that have been replaced.

    1. wirc says:

      @wirc They’re doing the brickwork later, and getting the center open for school. “Phases,” you know.

  • aww says:

    @aww I’m going to miss having my feet soaked to the ankles every time it rains. There’s something positively Darwinian and satisfying about the trek across campus being that difficult during a light shower.

  • so can says:

    @so can anyone tell me why they are planting weeds along college walk?

    1. i heard that says:

      @i heard that it’s ivy being planted along college walk. or something related to ivy. to shut up the people complaining that columbia has no ivy.

  • 17 again says:

    @17 again also, it serves to reduce the creepiness factor of older alumni wandering around lerner and butler at all hours…

    1. CC '07 says:

      @CC '07 creepiness? You’re a girl, right?

  • wellies says:

    @wellies “…new asphalt paving, new granite curbs, A STORM DRAINAGE SYSTEM and new lighting.”

    Hallelujah and amen!

    1. don't says:

      @don't get your hopes too high.

      Alum: OnCampus would be ideal, but I think McVickar would serve just as well, if done right- i.e. it’s designed well, billed properly, and made a focal point for small scale Alumni events. Push it as the home for Alumni coming to see columbia. I’ve visited the Columbia College Alumbi Affairs office in God’s Box (the Interchurch Center on Claremont and 120th) and it’s not exactly the most inviting location.

      Have you seen the visitor’s center in Low library? Think that but on a larger scale. It could in part serve as a surrogate for the lack of a true Columbia Club in NYC. Furnish it with memorabilia and paraphenelia. As a fairly recent alum, I’d love to have a place like that to visit for events.

      1. Alum says:

        @Alum The space in the Interchurch Center aren’t *supposed* to be the same thing. It’s just office space and are not intended as a gathering place for alumni.

        I agree that a very nice space could be built in McVickar. The problem is that alumni who never went anywhere near that building when they were students are unlikely to feel sentimental about gathering there now. An alumni center should at least be someplace with a view of the campus, even if it can’t actually be on the campus itself.

        A good location might be the 15th floor of International Affairs, where the Kellogg Conference Center is now. CU needs a conference center, but Kellogg is small and outdated. If a new one is built in Manhattanville, the space in IAB can be re-used.

        Another possibility is the space now occupied by the business library in Uris (after the B-school moves, of course). Columbia really should put a consolidated science library there, but is instead determined to put it in the new science tower.

        There are probably many other priorities for these spaces, but if CU wants an alumni center and wants to do it right, those are probably the best options available.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous That’s the new social work school..It used to be at 113th , west of B’way.

    and long, long ago, the SSW was in the old Carnegie Mansion on fifth Ave. at 91st. St.

    One of the museums is there now. I can’t remember which.

  • paver says:

    @paver college walk has the same pavers as before. facilities has put down a layer of asphalt below it, probably thinking that it’ll stabilize the ground and prevent warping.

    wien courtyard is just straight asphalt with a cobblestone pattern impression.

    bwog, can you find this out- McVickar Hall is being converted to a new home for UDAR ( – will it include an alumni center a la barnard’s Vagelos Center? I’m gonna bet that they havent planned one, which would be a major missed opportunity.

    1. Alum says:

      @Alum An alumni center would be a good thing, but it shouldn’t be in McVickar. When alumni return for a visit they don’t venture down 113th Street (unless they went to the School of Social Work); the center should be someplace where they will want to go.

      What we now call Buell Hall used to be the Alumni House and served this purpose (it then became East Hall for many years before getting its current name). Any new facility for alumni should be on or adjacent to the campus.

      Granted, I have no good location to suggest. But a center in McVickar probably wouldn’t draw enough visitors to justify its existence.

      1. hmm says:

        @hmm ok i’ve learned i suck at identifying campus locations…but SSW is at like 121st isn’t it? I believe so because I’ve had to walk up there at like 10 pm several times(stupid statistics TA…)

        1. Alum says:

          @Alum The Social Work building at Amsterdam & 121st is just two or three years old. SSW was previously in McVickar. That’s why McVickar is available for UDAR to move into.

  • need to know says:

    @need to know also…College Walk got asphalt paving? As in it’s entirely paved over? Or it got that same kind of faux cobblestone asphalt as outside Wien? Or…?

  • not says:

    @not the headline for the 3rd to last photo is misleading…that’s nexus, not the nw science building.

  • are you sure... says:

    @are you sure... no they arent…the last is definitely the law school

    1. yes says:

      @yes it is the demolition of mcintosh. thats altschul, not iab, in the background.

      the 3rd to last is a picture of the mcintosh site after full demolition.

      1. really? says:

        @really? are you sure the last picture isn’t of the law school….?
        (I’ve never been a great identifier of CU buildings, but I didn’t think I was this bad!)

        1. well says:

          @well a) they’re not demolishing anything near the law school

          b) I took the photo…

          1. not fair says:

            @not fair I feel like b) is the kind of information you should disclose earlier so I stop arguing this stupid position…I’d have accepted your authority long ago. Oh well

  • photo patrol says:

    @photo patrol It’s “Wien” not “Wein”

    All of the last 3 photos are Nexus-related.

  • brick lover says:

    @brick lover asphalt? ewww. i hate asphalt and think we should keep it to as low a presence as possible in the whole city if not columbia, at least.
    maybe it’s because i don’t wear heels, but I’d rather have bricks any day

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