The large brownstone Cooper Union is a private college offering degrees in architecture, fine arts and engineering; it was founded by glue millionaire Peter Cooper in 1859. The next year, Abraham Lincoln gave his 'Right Makes Might' speech condemning slavery in the college's Great Hall – a speech which some historians believe helped propel him to the White House.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. 41 Cooper Square

0.04 MILES

This state-of-the-art academic building, which opened in 2009, was designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Thom Mayne. One of the more eye-catching…

2. Astor Place

0.04 MILES

Even with the Alamo, an iconic piece of public art more often referred to as 'The Cube,' restored after several years absence, this is not the Astor Place…

3. Mosaic Trail

0.13 MILES

Follow St Marks Pl from Broadway to Ave A to seek out the tile-encrusted street poles of this grassroots civic-art project, now in its fourth decade. In…

4. Merchant's House Museum

0.14 MILES

Built in 1832 and purchased by merchant Seabury Tredwell three years later, this red-brick mansion remains the most authentic Federal house in town. It's…

5. Grace Church

0.19 MILES

This Gothic Revival Episcopal church, designed in 1843 by James Renwick Jr, was made of marble quarried by prisoners at ‘Sing Sing,’ the state…

6. St Mark's Church in-the-Bowery


Though it’s most popular with East Village locals for its cultural offerings – readings hosted by the Poetry Project or cutting-edge dance performances…

7. St Marks Place

0.22 MILES

One of the most magical things about New York is that every street tells a story, from the action unfurling before your eyes to the dense history hidden…

8. Museum of the American Gangster

0.27 MILES

During Prohibition, New York had an estimated 30,000 speakeasies – including one hidden away in this building (and later turned into an off-Broadway…