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The AU Garden City Campus Over 92 Years

By Lizz Panchyk

Adelphi’s 125 years of history includes several decades in Brooklyn as the Adelphi Academy in Brooklyn was originally founded in 1863. But in 1929, the university moved to Garden City on the campus we all know well. How did campus look when it first started? What has been added since then that makes it the abundant area we are so familiar with today?

Woodruff Hall circa 1990 and tennis courts Photo by Caren Prommersberger

In the early days it was just three buildings: Levermore Hall, Blodgett Hall and Woodruff Hall (now connected to the Center of Recreation and Sports added in 2008) which were designed by architects McKim, Mead and White. As the years went by, more was built on to the campus. In 1963, the campus expanded from these original three to 16. Sports fields were also added along with dormitory buildings and others, such as Hagedorn Hall (formerly known as the Business Building) in 1964, the University Center in 1972 (which has been renovated and reopened as of January 2021), the Swirbul Library in 1963 and many more. The most recent add-on is the Nexus Building, which was completed as of fall 2016.

Circa 1940 aerial view of Adelphi University Photo from National Archives

The campus itself is 75 acres, once covered with grasslands and now home to over 25 buildings. The campus is much more walkable with the concrete paths that lead directly to all the buildings instead of walking through grass. But the overall natural beauty of the campus--which is also a registered arboretum and includes nearly 70 different types of trees and shrubs--has been kept intact as bunnies still call this campus their home; and so do we.

Nexus Building circa 2021 Photo by Lizz Panchyk

See "Robert Conaghan: A Man with a Green Thumb Who Keeps University's Arboretum Thriving" to learn more about why this campus is an arboretum.

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