Peter Cooper established Cooper Union in 1859. Famed for many reasons, Cooper Union was the site of Abraham Lincoln's greatest early speech, the 1860 speech that ultimately propelled him into the White House.
When Peter Cooper built Cooper Union Hall he included an elevator shaft --- even though the elevator had not yet reached its final, usable design. When Elisha Otis finally perfected the elevator, it took the shape of a rectangle, not the egg-shaped container that Cooper had anticipated. The original elevator dome however still graces the roof of Cooper Union Hall.