A Revolution in Public-School Design: The Legacy of New York City’s Charles B. J. Snyder
PS 169 (1900) 168/169 x Audubon Ave demolished
PS 169 (1900) 168/169th x Audubon demolished
PS 5 (1895), 140 x 141st x Edgecombe x Fred Douglass (demolished)
PS 5 (replaced 1895 building), 140/141 x Edgecombe Ave, es
“The number of contracts to be let for new buildings will not only be the largest in the history of the city but of the world.” 1897Annual Report “The Board of Education is conducting the most extensive building operation of any firm or corporation in the country.” 1904 Annual Report
“Radical and interesting innovations in schoolhouse architecture,” Edmund Wheelwright, 1899 Snyder “was hired to reform school design and instead created a revolution, setting a standard for municipal architecture that has proved hard to match.” Christopher Gray, New York Times 1998
PS 73, 1921 addition to an 1888 Building by Naughton, landmarked, Brownsville, Ocean Hill, Brooklyn “Does a silk mill or office building need more light than a school room? Is the work more important? You will answer “no” to both questions. Then let us...have the funds [for buildings] that will not be a menace to the eyesight and health of the pupils and teachers, and a reproach to the system.”
Public School 188, 1903, East Houston St.
PS 4 (1898 w 1917 addn) On Crotona Park in the Bronx
Morris High School, 1904, Bronx
DeWitt Clinton HS (1906), 10thAve x 58/59thSt, later Haaren HS , now John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY Wadleigh HS for Girls (1902), Harlem landmarked Morris HS (1904) 169th St x Boston Rd Bronx, landmarked Former Stuyvesant HS (1908) 15th/16th St X 1st/2nd Ave, landmarked
“Snyder does that which no architect before his time ever did or tried, he “builds them beautiful.” Literally, he found barracks, where he is leaving palaces to the people. “ “The man who builds our beautiful schools” Jacob Riis, The Battle with the Slum (1902)
Wadleigh HS for Girls (1902) 114/115th St x 7/8thAve Landmarked Now Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing and Visual Arts
PS 184 (1902), 116th/117th x 5th/Lenox, demolished
PS 90 (1907), 147th/148th x ACPowell/Fred Douglass
PS 81 (1908), 119th/120th x ACPowell/Fred Douglass
PS 100 (1909), 138th/139th x 5th/Lenox, demolished
“We seek to make the school building itself quite as much a factor in education as the textbooks.” New York Tribune 9 April 1892
Wadleigh HS for Girls (1902), Harlem, landmarked “A beautiful and regal building, the Wadleigh school was a profound reminder to students of individual and collective dignity… All over Harlem Snyder reinforced the notion of the specialness of young citizens with splendid new buildings.”
George Washington HS (1925) Northern Manhattan
Ideas Snyder Schools Convey / Morals They Inculcate
Students are worthy; they’re respected as individuals with potential.
Education is important and a big enterprise.
PS 27 (1898), overlooking St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx Normal College (1913), now Hunter College, UES
Snyder Schools Teach that
Students are worthy.
Education is important.
Education is uplifting.
PS 157 (1900) St Nicholas Ave x 126/127
School is healthy and liberating: it brings balance and light to life;
it involves community and abundance.
Education, ideals and beauty are for
everyone equally, not just for the privileged. GS 1 (1898) Henry/Catherine/Oliver
Public School 6 (1894), 85th x Madison, demolished Architecture and Building, August 5, 1893 New York Times, Oct 1, 1893
PS 158 (1899) 77/78 x York Ave PS 96 (1895) 81/82 x York Ave demolished PS 7 (1893) Hester x Chrystie, se cor demolished
Wadleigh HS for Girls (1902) Harlem Former DeWitt HS for Boys (1906), behind Lincoln Center “The style symbolized the fact that the education received by New York’s poor and immigrant residents was every bit as good (if not better) than that at the nation’s most presigious schools.” --Andrew Dolkart