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Dana Schutz, 2005
Photo by Paul Laster
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by Charlie Finch

The new studios for the lucky and talented four dozen students in the Columbia Master of Fine Arts program on 125th Street, west of Broadway, were the home of the top secret Manhattan Project to create the A-bomb during World War II.

Going down to the basement of the studio building, one can still see the giant turbines where the great Columbia physicist Leo Szilard tried to crack the secrets of the atomic nucleus. He succeeded, of course, and later became a leading campaigner for nuclear disarmament.