Columbia alum and archives donor featured in NY Mag’s Curbed (with photos)


How do you live in the same Chelsea one-bedroom — purchased for $3000 — for over 50 years and still have room for a wealth of collectibles? Apparently, by donating select objects to Columbia’s distinctive collections libraries.

Photo: Annie Schlechter for NY Mag

For its Great Rooms feature Curbed, an NY Magazine vertical dedicated to that New York obsession real estate, showcased Columbia architecture alum Andrew Alpern’s apartment. He has an affinity for collecting. According to the article, Alpern, “is well known for his 11 books on Manhattan’s architecture since around 1860 and has written about, among other subjects, Rosario Candela’s buildings and the Dakota. (His most recent book, Posh Portals: Elegant Entrances and Ingratiating Ingresses to Apartments for the Affluent in New York City, was published in 2020.)”

Passing mention of Alpern donating a collection of Edward Gorey drawings, books, and ephemera to Columbia in 2010 sent us to Columbia’s online catalog, CLIO. He’s also donated a number of other interesting collections, including one of English, Continental and American drafting sets and individual instruments dating from circa 1700 to 2004 , as well as real estate brochures dating back to 1910. See other archival gifts…or just look at photos of his apartment and feed your envy.