Morningside Heights Housing Corporation (MHHC) became a reality under the auspices of the following institutions: Barnard College, Columbia University, Corpus Christi Church, International House, Jewish Theological Seminary, Juilliard School of Music (then on Claremont Avenue), Riverside Church, Teachers College, and the Union Theological Seminary.
In 1957, MHHC became home for 980 families, a population of approximately 2,000 people of diverse ethnicity and backgrounds. On June 24, 1957, the first cooperators began moving into 80 LaSalle Street, the first building to be completed. Over a period of six months, all six buildings were fully occupied. To the question raised at an early meeting of new cooperators, "What shall we call ourselves?" the answer was "Morningside Gardens." Already at that time, the rubble and mud that had greeted newcomers was being transformed into what was to become a beautiful garden. Indeed, it is the imaginatively conceived and well-tended garden that makes MHHC one of the most distinctive apartment complexes in New York City.
At a special meeting on October 19, 1993, the shareholders of MHHC approved a reconstitution plan that became effective on February 7, 1994. This meant that Morningside Gardens had amended its Certificate of Incorporation to remove itself from the jurisdiction of the Private Housing Finance Law and, consequently, from the supervisory authority of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
As a cooperative housing corporation, created to further the development of Morningside Heights into an attractive, integrated residential community, Morningside Gardens continues to fulfill its mission.