Peter Cooper wanted to provide educational opportunities for all citizens regardless of class. Therefore, he established a school of higher learning with a mandate to provide free schooling and training for working-class students. Augustus Saint Gaudens, the sculptor, remembered Cooper coming by his workbench when he was a youth, suggesting that the young cameo jeweler attend night classes at the Cooper Union. Cooper is memorialized by Saint Gaudens who build a monument to the philanthropist in front of the brownstone, round-arched building designed by a German-born architect.

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Cooper Union Foundation Building
Cooper Square, Frederick Peterson [1859]