The Cooper Union

The Cooper Union (HM2IWD)

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N 40° 43.777', W 73° 59.439'

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7 E(ast) 7(th Street)

— Built 1852-1859 —

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art is America's first free college. Founded by progressive thinker/abolitionist/inventor Peter Cooper, its doors were opened to all, regardless of race, religion, gender or social status.
Its famous Greta Hall has been a bastion of free speech and progressivism, presenting great minds, talents and the burning issues of the day. Lincoln's anti-slavery "Right Makes Might" speech (2/27/1860), propelled him to the presidency. A 1909 speech by Clara Lemich sparked the uprising of 20,000 shirtwaist workers. Other appearances include Mark Twain, Frederick Douglass, Chief Red Cloud, Susan B. Anthony, Emma Goldman, Mother Jones, Nikola Tesla, Clarence Darrow, P.T. Barnum, William Randolph Hearst, Andrew Carnegie, W.E.B. DuBois, Bertrand Russell, Margaret Mead, Orson Wells, Allen Ginsburg, Billy Joel, Philip Glass, Steven Colbert and Presidents Grant, Cleveland, Taft, T. Roosevelt, Wilson, Clinton, and Obama.
Prominent alumni include Nobel physicist Russell Hulse, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Max Fleischer and Freedom Tower's Daniel Libeskind.
Peter Cooper (1791-1883) was successively a laborer, clerk, mechanic, inventor, manufacturer, financier, philanthropist, philosopher, and presidential candidate. He built America's first Steam locomotive, invented powdered

gelatin and founded the company that laid the first Transatlantic Cable.
Frederick A. Peterson's design for Cooper Union's Foundation Building was the earliest to employ rolled iron beams. Built 1854-1859, the stately Anglo-Italianate brownstone is a NYC landmark.
-Michael Zwick, Artist/Tour Guide, Lower East Side History Project (
Year Placed2016
Placed ByBowery Alliance of Neighbors
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, July 18th, 2019 at 2:04pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 585234 N 4509232
Decimal Degrees40.72961667, -73.99065000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 43.777', W 73° 59.439'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 43' 46.62" N, 73° 59' 26.34" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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