About this Project

Columbia University’s Jerome L. Greene Science Center in Manhattanville occupies land that in the early part of the 20th century was owned by Sheffield Farms, a historic private commercial endeavor that successfully addressed one of the most critical health issues of that time: the challenge of supplying healthy milk to expanding urban populations increasingly distant from rural dairy farms.

To commemorate this rich and largely unknown history of our community, Columbia has developed an exhibit called Sheffield Farms, the Milk Industry, and the Public Good. It's part of a broader understanding of this once-thriving industrial area that leads us to see Manhattanville as a true New York Nexus. The exhibit is located at in the Nash Building at 560 West 133rd Street.

The history of Sheffield Farms and Manhattanville’s pivotal role in modernizing the milk industry had been mostly forgotten. Now it will be remembered. We are very proud to be able to tell the story of the many residents of northern Manhattan and other ordinary people who came together to secure advances that improved the lives of so many around the world. As you learn about them, you will see their unmistakable courage and compassion.

For those engaged in this work, developing the exhibit became a labor of love. We were particularly struck by the fact that the public health mission of Sheffield Farms in the last century will be reprised—albeit on different terms—by the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, at the Greene Science Center, in this new century. Through this exhibit and additional exhibits in the future, we plan to continue providing a platform for celebrating the many links between Harlem and the Columbia community.