Situated north of the Upper West Side and south of Harlem, Morningside Heights is Manhattan's academic acropolis, home to prestigious institutions, including Columbia University, Teachers College, Barnard College, the Manhattan School of Music and Bank Street College.
Bounded by 110th Street, 125th Street, Morningside Drive, and Broadway, Morningside Heights features a mix of longtime residents and students attending the many local academic institutions. In addition to universities and schools, Morningside Heights is known for its many prestigious religious landmarks, including the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, Riverside Church, the Broadway Presbyterian Church, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Interchurch Center and St. Luke's Hospital.
First developed in the 1890s, the area now called Morningside Heights was also known as Bloomingdale -- after the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum, formerly located on what is now Columbia University's main campus -- as well as Morningside Hill and Riverside Heights.
In the early 20th century, Morningside Heights became a preferred middle-class neighborhood, with elegant apartment buildings that were among the first residential buildings to have elevators. But in subsequent decades, the neighborhood declined as many buildings were converted to single-room occupancy hotels. By the second half of the century, Columbia University began buying up large swaths of real estate, often leading to conflict with longtime residents.
Today, Morningside Heights offers a peaceful yet vibrant lifestyle. As the main dining and shopping thoroughfare, Broadway is lined with eclectic establishments, including the famous Tom's Restaurant and the West End Bar, a meeting place for writers of the Beat Generation.
In addition to the neighborhood's namesake park, Morningside Heights is in close proximity to Riverside Park and its many amenities. The area is accessible via the 1 train running along Broadway.