Philosophy Hall

1150 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, New York


Street View 


As a senior at Columbia University's new Philosophy Hall in 1912, Edwin H. Armstrong worked in the second-floor Hartley Laboratories on his first of several major developments in wireless communication technologies. After graduation the promising young engineer was assigned a small laboratory to continue his work, and eventually became the head of the Hartley Laboratory. Even after a series of inventions made him not only wealthy, but one of the foremost inventors in wireless technology, Armstrong continued to use these second-floor laboratories and office facilities, as well as lecture rooms elsewhere in Philosophy Hall, to advance his work. The last of his major developments was the design of a wide-band frequency modulation (FM) system that achieved unprecedented fidelity and elimination of static. This revolutionary technology was met with resistance from those heavily invested in the well established amplitude modulation (AM) system. Unfortunately, Armstrong's untimely death in 1954 prevented him from witnessing the eventual widespread dominance of his FM system. -- National Historic Landmark statement of significance, July 31, 2003

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on July 31, 2003
Reference number
Architectural styles
Victorian: Renaissance; Victorian: Italianate; Italian Renaissance
Areas of significance
Communications; Engineering; Invention
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; B - Person
Property type
Historic function
Research facility
Current function
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1925-1949; 1950-1974
Significant years
1913; 1919; 1933

Update Log 

  • May 12, 2017: New Street View added by Michael Miller