The Great Hall
Upcoming Events & Exhibitions
Best-selling author and award-winning columnist Jeffrey J. Selingo delivers the 2016 John Jay Iselin Memorial Lecture. Free and open to the public
Tadao Ando is the founding principal of Tadao Ando Architect and Associates
New York Irish musicians, writers and storytellers perform in tribute to James Connolly on the stage where he spoke in 1902 in a free, public event
The 157th graduating class shifts their tassles
In a free, public talk, the author discusses his latest novel, an exploration of how romantic love can survive and thrive in the long term
The Great Hall of The Cooper Union has stood for more than a century as a bastion of free speech and a witness to the flow of American History and ideas. When the hall opened in 1858, more than a year in advance of the completion of the institution, it quickly became a mecca for all interested in serious discussion and debate of the vital issues of the day.
The Great Hall was the platform for some of the earliest workers' rights campaigns and for the birth of the NAACP, the women's suffrage movement and the American Red Cross. To the Great Hall's podium has come a pageant of famous Americans — rebels and reformers, poets and presidents. Before they were elected, Presidents Lincoln, Grant, Cleveland, Taft, Theodore Roosevelt and Barack Obama all spoke there. Besides Woodrow Wilson, only one incumbent president has spoken in the Great Hall: William Jefferson Clinton, who, on May 12, 1993, delivered a major economic address on reducing the federal deficit. And, during the past century's times of tremendous upheaval, it was through meetings in Cooper's famous auditorium that the politics and legislation necessary to build a humane city took shape.
The Great Hall is located in The Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues.
The Great Hall is wheel chair accessbile. Assisted listening devices are also available upon request.
The Great Hall can be rented for events. For inquiries about renting The Great Hall contact Christine Sarkissian, manager, rental programs, at 212-353-4196 or firstname.lastname@example.org.