From Framework for Planning (Emily Lloyd, Columbia University, 1998), Chapter 09:

Historic photographs show that many apartment building in Morningside Heights had window awnings. Awnings were used to shade the building interiors from the sun in the days before air conditioning. (521 West 111th Street).
"Canvas awnings enjoyed widespread use throughout Morningside Heights in the days before air conditioning. They were found on many residential buildings on the east, west, and south facades to shade the apartments from the sun. The armature was almost always retractable. The material was canvas, available in many colors, and frequently striped. Only a few buildings have any surviving awnings. Others have traces of awning hardware still visible."

Frank da Cruz / / Columbia University Computing History /