The Most Famous Classroom in New York City

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If you believe Hollywood, every single college lecture hall in New York City looks like the one below:

Rows of individual wooden desks and tiered seating... enormous wood-framed green chalkboard with sliding panels for additional writing space...

...a wood-paneled front desk for the lecturer...

...and even one of those little doors that swings back and forth!

In reality, however, there is just one lecture hall in New York like this, and everyone shoots there: Room 309 in Havemeyer Hall at Columbia University.

There simply isn't anything comparable in New York City. Peter Parker sat here in all three Spider-man movies. It was also featured in dozens of other movies and TV shows, including Kinsey and Mona Lisa Smile. Note the gold rails at the top, gold seat numbers, and planked floors.

The room, which features a domed ceiling (sadly, those windows no longer have much of a view), was designed by Charles McKim (of McKim, Mead, and White) and built between 1896 and 1898.

Room 309 is located in Havemeyer Hall (pictured above), one of the six original buildings on Columbia's Morningside Heights campus, and is primarily used for chemistry. In fact, six individuals who researched in Havemeyer went on to win the Nobel Prize. Of course, you probably know Havemeyer best from one particular film... which Havemeyer Hall below...

...was transformed into Weaver Hall, Department of Psychology (and parapsychology, of course!):

Though I went to Columbia as an undergrad, I only discovered the lecture hall years later while scouting. Of course, this makes sense when you examine the chalkboard left from a previous class, and consider that I was, er, a film studies major...

If you ever visit in person, watch out for radioactive spiders!

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