About Low Memorial Library
Historic Architecture, Architecture, Interesting Places, Other Buildings And Structures
The Low Memorial Library of Columbia University was built in 1895 by University President Seth Low as the University's central library. Financed with $1 million of Low's own money due to the recalcitrance of university alumni (a recurring problem throughout the university's history), he named it in memory of his father, Abiel Abbot Low. "Neither low nor a library," (as described by a popular quip) however, it has housed the central administrative offices of the university ever since the completion of the Butler Library in 1934, and is the focal point and most prominent building on the university's Morningside Heights campus.