In 1894, New York University established a spacious campus in the Bronx and the chancellor of the school, Henry Mitchell MacCracken, worked diligently to name the surrounding area University Heights. His work paid off since more than 100 years later, the area is still called University Heights. In addition to being the site of historic buildings, Bronx Community College is the first establishment to have a “Hall of Fame.”
“The Hall of Fame of Great Americans” is an outdoor arcade that runs for 630 feet over the highest elevation in the Bronx, that houses 98 busts of the country’s greatest politicians, scholars, teachers and authors, created by some of the country’s most noted sculptors even the name plates under the busts were made by Tiffany Studios.
University Heights is also home to several schools, parks and grand churches such as St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church which was established in 1906. In 1973 NYU sold the campus to the City University of New York, which renamed the campus Bronx Community College, but the neighborhood name has remained.
In 1917, the IRT Jerome Avenue train station opened and the neighborhood began a rapid transition from a one-time farm community that had become a place where wealthy people had their mansions and suburban villas, to an urban neighborhood built almost entirely of low-rise apartment buildings housing the prosperous middle classes.