Best underappreciated waterfall that also happens to be a historic site (2008)

Morningside Park's mini-waterfall

Morningside Park's mini-waterfall is the unintended outcome of a famed 1968 protest. Back then, Columbia University students and Harlem residents got their collective panties in a wad over the school's plan to build a public gym in the historic park, a narrow and steep strip of land that stretches from 110th Street to 123rd Street. The gym was to have separate (but equal!) entrances for its two constituents: White Ivy Leaguers would enter on the west, black Harlemites on the east. The protesters managed to stop the construction, but not before Columbia had already dug a hole for its planned swimming pool. The big pit in the ground was eventually converted into the picturesque (though slightly muddy) pond and waterfall that turtle families enjoy to this day. At a time when the university is pushing out hundreds of folks in West Harlem to make room for a massive new campus, the peaceful little pond remains a symbol that once—a long, long time ago—the protesters actually won.

Location Details

401 W. 110th St.
New York NY 10025


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