Columbia University Nevis Labs

A brief history of Nevis

Nevis Labs is located on a scenic 68-acre estate originally owned by James Hamilton, son of Alexander Hamilton. Col. James Hamilton built his house here in 1835. He named it Nevis, after the birthplace of his father. The original house was square, in the style of a Greek temple. In 1851, he added a south wing.
East side West side
Hamilton House at Nevis 1850
1850
Hamilton House at Nevis 1861
1861


In 1884, Alexander Hamilton, son of James Hamilton, added a north wing to the house to balance out the south wing. In 1915, the house passed out of the Hamilton/Schuyler family. It was purchased by Thomas Coleman du Pont in 1920; he was the U.S. Senator from Delaware in 1921-1922 and 1924-1928. In 1934, du Pont's widow, Alice, donated the Nevis estate to Columbia University.
East side West side
Hamilton House at Nevis 1938
1938
Hamilton House at Nevis 1938
1938


During WWII, Prof. Hugh Findley used the estate to teach classes on victory gardens. After the war, Columbia decided to use the property for scientific research. Construction of physics facilities at Nevis began in 1947. In 1950 Dwight D. Eisenhower, then President of the University, inaugurated what was then the world's most powerful cyclotron, which was eventually retired in 1978. The Hamilton House is still located on the Nevis Labs property. It's used for physics conferences and temporary housing for researchers working at Nevis.
East side West side
Hamilton House at Nevis 2014
2014
Nevis Hamilton House at Nevis 2014
2014