Freeze Frames: A Photo History of Columbia Winters

 Spring is coming! At least, according to our nation's most famous groundhogs. 

Neither Punxsutawney Phil nor Staten Island Chuck saw his shadow as they emerged from their winter dens this morning, and legend dictates that if the groundhog does not see his shadow on Groundhog Day, there will be early spring-like weather.

But, if our experience with winters at Columbia is anything to go by, we won't be swapping our boots for flip flops any time soon.

Check out these wintry scenes of our campus during this month in history, frozen in time.


1. Construction of Butler Library, Winter of 1932

Construction on Butler began in 1931 and the dedication ceremony was held in 1934. Check out these 8 facts you may not know about Columbia's preeminent library. 

Photo: Columbia University Libraries


2. Morningside Campus, 1960

Pulitzer Prize-winning Columbia alumnus Herman Wouk '34CC once referred to Columbia as a place of "doubled magic," where "the best things of the moment were outside the rectangle of Columbia; the best things of all human history and thought were inside the rectangle." 

Photo: The New York Times Photo Archives


3. Alma Mater During the Biggest Storm in NYC History, February 2006 

On February 12, a total of 26.9 inches fell in Central Park, the most since record-keeping began by the National Weather Service in 1869. 

Photo: Flickr via @Jason Zerdin


4. College Walk, February 2008

Did you know? The campus Tree-Lighting Ceremony of College Walk is a relatively new tradition at Columbia, inaugurated in 1998. 

Photo: Flickr via @Ramune Rastonis


5. Alma Mater and Low Library, February 2010

Alma Mater was donated in memory of alumnus Robert Goelet, College College Class of 1860, by his wife, Harriette W. Goelet. 

Photo: Bwog


6. Columbia Law School, February 2013 

"Life Force" by David Bakalar was donated anonymously in 1992 and honors Ruth Goldman Schapiro '50LAW.
Photo: Flickr via @gigi_nyc


7. Alma Mater and Butler Library, February 2014

Fun fact: Dan Futterman '89CC wrote parts of the screenplay Capote in Butler Library.  

Photo: Bwog

8. Snowball Fight, February 2015

Nothing comes between Columbia students and a good ol' fashioned snowball fight, as CNN reporter Anderson Cooper found out in this video.

Photo: Lucas de Abreu '15GSAPP and Fabio Silva '15SEAS


9. Winter Storm Jonas, January 2016

The blizzard turned campus into a wonderland, and a student filmmaker (Kevin Chiu '17SEAS) captured the magic.


10. Groundhog Day, February 2016

 Snowy, with a chance of...spring? 


We're ready to put a little spring in our step!