Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Cooper Union
COOPER UNION, or COOPER INSTITUTE, an institute founded in New York City in 1857 by Peter Cooper. Its object is to provide free schools of art and science, and free reading rooms and library for the working classes. The course in science includes the engineering, chemistry, astronomy, and mechanical drawing; and that of art includes architectural, industrial, and ornamental drawing, clay modeling and painting. Instruction is also given in English literature and Belles Lettres, wood engraving, pottery, typewriting, stenography, and telegraphy. There are lecture courses, a museum, an art gallery, and a library with a reading room containing current numbers of nearly 500 magazines and newspapers. The Institute was built at a cost of $630,000 and was endowed by Mr. Cooper with $300,000. It has received additional gifts from time to time from Edward Cooper and Abram S. Hewitt, and in 1899 Andrew Carnegie gave it $300,000 for the founding of a mechanical day art school. The endowment of the Union in 1920 amounted to about $3,000,000. Over 4,000 persons were enrolled in the various departments.