A Revolution in <br />Public-School Design:<br />Charles B. J. Snyder’s<br />Legacy<br />jean.arrington<br />@gmail.com<br />
“Radical and interesting<br />innovations in schoolhouse <br />architecture,”<br />Edmund Wheelwright, 1899<br />Snyder “w...
PS 8 (1887)<br />Debevoise,<br />King x Varick<br />PS 79, East<br />Village, now<br />condos<br />PS 25 (1871), East Vill...
“Three-quarters of the public school buildings in New York are defective or unsanitary to a greater or lesser degree.”  (N...
*Greater than the combined public day<br />school populations of the next 5 largest <br />cities in the country (Chicago, ...
PS 23 (1893), Bayard x Mulberry<br />Now Chinese community center<br />“In the first and most essential particular, the ne...
PS 73, 1921 addition to an 1888<br />Building by Naughton, landmarked,<br />Brownsville, Ocean Hill, Brooklyn<br />“Does a...
Public School 25, now  PS 751 (1894 with 1908 addition) , 4th St x 2nd Ave/1st Ave, East Village<br />
“Sincere appreciation <br />for your policy of using <br />the judgment of those <br />whom you expect to <br />occupy a p...
PS 67 (1894)<br />46th x 5th/6th<br />Landmarked<br />Later <br />High School <br />of the<br />Performing<br />Arts<br />...
PS 72 Annex<br />(1924)<br />Lexington Ave<br />x 105/106 Sts<br />
Morris High School, 1904, the Bronx<br />
Public School 188, 1903, East Houston St.<br />
PS 4 (1898 w 1917 addn)<br />On Crotona Park in the Bronx<br />
Morris<br />High<br />School, <br />1904, <br />Bronx<br />
Washington Irving High School, 1913, near Union Square<br />
DeWitt Clinton HS (1906), 10thAve x 58/59thSt, later <br />Haaren HS ,  now John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY<br /...
“Snyder does that which no architect before his time ever did or tried, he “builds them beautiful.”  ...  Literally, he fo...
PS 158 (1899)<br />77th/78th x York Ave<br />PS 109 (1901) 99th/100th x 2nd/3rd NRHP<br />PS 4 (1898), Crotona Park, Bronx...
PS 169 (1900)<br />PS 32 Bronx (1900)<br />PS 31 Bronx (1900)<br />
Morris High School (1904), Bronx<br />
Erasmus HS (1906/1911), landmarked, Flatbush Ave x Church/Snyder Sts.<br />
Flushing HS (1915), landmarked<br />
Public School 189 (1923)<br />188/189 x Amsterdam, ws<br />
Hotel de Cluny, Paris<br />- possible inspiration<br />
Public School 165 (1900), 108/108 x Broadway/Amsterdam<br />
PS 170 (1901), 111th/112th x 5th/Lenox, demolished<br />
The original DeWitt-Clinton HS (1906), <br />the Haaren HS, now John Jay School of <br />Criminal Justice.  Behind Lincoln...
PS 109 (1901), 99th/100th x 2nd/3rd, NRHP<br />
PS 179 (1901, 1995), 101st/102ndx Columbus/Amsterdam<br />
PS 186 (1903) , Harlem, abandoned since 1975<br />
“We seek to make <br />the school building <br />itself quite as much<br />a factor in education <br />as the textbooks.” ...
Wadleigh HS for Girls 1902), Harlem, landmarked<br />“A beautiful and regal building, the Wadleigh school was a profound r...
Ideas Snyder Schools Convey / Morals They Inculcate<br /><ul><li> Students matter.
   Education is important and a big enterprise.</li></ul>PS 27 (1898), overlooking<br />St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx<br />...
<ul><li>Education is enlightening and uplifting.</li></ul>    It brings balance to your life.<br />
<ul><li>   Education, ideals, and beauty are for everyone equally.</li></ul>PS 7 (1893), Hester x Chrystie, se cor, demoli...
jean.arrington<br />@gmail.com<br />
Ideas Snyder Schools Convey / Morals They Inculcate<br /><ul><li>  Education is important and a big enterprise.
 Students are worthy.
  Education is uplifting.   </li></li></ul><li>
Public School 59 <br />(1871) with <br />1909 Snyder <br />addition (demolished)<br />“Does a silk mill or office building...
PS 27 (1898), now 277,<br />On St. Mary’s Park, Bronx<br />
PS 34 (1904), Staten Island (demolished)<br />PS 127 (1902), Brooklyn<br />PS 133 (1901)<br />Park Slope, Brooklyn<br />PS...
PS 157 (1900) <br />St Nicholas, ws x 126/127<br />
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  • Google images – Justice to the Boy ch 13The great crusader for better schools, Jacob Riis, in his 1902 book The Battle with the Slums, described the typical New York City public school as appalling, “dangerous to life and health” of teacher and pupils.When Snyder was hired by the Board of Education in 1891, he inherited a dire situation: In the late 1880s when five-story tenements rapidly replaced the one- and two-story houses that had surrounded the schools, the typically three-story structures no longer got sufficient light and air. The existing schools have been described on the whole as deplorable – threats to life and health – malodorous, rat-infested firetraps without adequate clrm furniture, heating or ventilation, esp given the fumes from the gas light fixtures. Bathrooms were outhouses, separate bldgs. Many schs had saloons within 200 ft of the bldg. Of the children age 8 to 14 targeted by the 1874 compulsory-education law, no more that half could be accommodated by the number of “sittings” in the grammar schools – even with sometimes as many as 150 children in one classroom. Immigration rates were significantly higher during Snyder’s tenure than in any decades before or since. Diane Ravitch, The Great School Wars, New York City, 1805-1973: A History of the Public Schools as Battlefield of Social Change (New York: Basic Books, 1974): 138. Schools tended to be thought of as a civic responsibility like that of dealing with criminals. Prison became a metaphor for schools, along with schools as factories, turning out educated citizens, or schools as military barracks, in the half-hearted war against poverty and illiteracy. Riis wrote that Snyder”does th wh no architect before his time ever tried, he builds them beautiful, that where he found barracks, he’s leaving palaces to the people.” He writes that Snyder is “one of those rare men who open a window to the soul of the times.”New York City’s public school houses still exemplified all the short-comings, “the disgraceful condition of the average schoolhouse,” that Henry Barnard had cited as the impetus for his 1842 “manual on the art of building and equipping schools”
  • Romanesque Revival – Completed 5 schools Debevoise had started.PS 23 (1893; plans approbed Oct 5, 1891) drawing in May 14, 1892 Record and Guide and 1929 view1894 AR: The Committee on Bldgs, when approving of the plans for new G.S. No. 23, also approved of the construction of an attic under the pitched roof of a sufficient size for a gymnasium, which I demonstrated could be built for a very slight add’l cost, doing so in the hopes that if the cost could be kept down, and the new departure recognized and appreciated, the idea could then be further developed. All their hopes have been more than realized. The attic story of that bldg has been made into a complete gym—and Manual-Training rooms, for cooking, clay modeling and carpenter work. 217Careful attention has been paid to making the first or ground floor of all the new school bldgs suitable for Evening Lectures, since the erection of the new G. S. No. 23 in 1892, before referred to, wherein the Committee carried out the recommendations I made to them at that time, which were: (a) The changing of the construction of the bldg so that the girders heretofore showing below the first story ceiling be concealed; (b) that the story be increased somewhat in height; (c) that the first floor be of fireproof construction, iron beams, brick arches and paved with asphalt; (d) that instead of the usual stationary partitions between the boys’ and girls’ playgrounds, there be substituted sliding doors with wire work in the upper panels for ventilation; (e) and that this first floor when so constructed could be used for a drill room or Evening Lectures, w/o damage or detriment to the balance of the bldg, and with absolute confidence of the inability of the crowd to injure this first story lecture room, or have any trouble in case of a panic, as there wd be eight or nine outlets directly into the street, with only two or three steps intervening.The whole plan has in its practical workings proved a success, and therefore in all the new schools we strive to preserve on the ground floor a clear space, 55x100 ft or more in size, free, as far as possible, from all obstructions. 218 Francis Wilson, 1900 – PS 23: the massive bldg on the corner of Mulberry and Bayard Sts, in the heart of the Ital quarter, may be called the first expression of the “new thought.” No departure fr time-honored custom was made in the way of mat’l, the usual red brick and brown stone being employed, but in the wide projecting cornice and square tower, two char’istic features of Ital archi, a graceful and imaginative tribute was paid to the poe who throng that part of the city. One wonders how many homesick Itals lounging on the benches in the opposite square and remembering sadly the bloe skies and olve groves of Italy, have looked up at th bldg and comprehended the gracious, if timid, overture th their adopted home is making to them there. It is NY’s effort to say a few words of welcome in Italian.
  • Grand Union Hotel and veranda
  • Fire stairs drawing
  • WIHS aud
  • Wadleigh (1902) LANDMARK 7 – 1st pub girls’ sch in NYC. Named for Lydia Wadleigh, who founded the 12th-St Advanced Sch for Girls and achieved the position of Lady Supt at the NY Normal Col. H-plan, framed in steel, allowing for large banks of windows, wh give good light and ventilation. On a relatively small plot of land, the 5-story sch has clrms, labs, offices, gyms, and study halls, all accessible by some of the earliest electric elevators in a NYC pub sch. Inspired by the Col Gothic style, the red-brick and sandstone sch has gabled dormers and is ornamented w decorative terra-cotta shields. A 125-foot corner tower w a pyramidal roof gives the bldg a commanding presence despite its midblock location. In the 1990s a 2-story gym annex. 349
  • Google images – Riis Ch 13
  • Fanlight Bx 16, stairs and entrance Bx 28
  • Morris HS (1904) LANDMARK 8
  • PS 170 (1901)
  • Wadleigh (1902) LANDMARK 7 – 1st pub girls’ sch in NYC. Named for Lydia Wadleigh, who founded the 12th-St Advanced Sch for Girls and achieved the position of Lady Supt at the NY Normal Col. H-plan, framed in steel, allowing for large banks of windows, wh give good light and ventilation. On a relatively small plot of land, the 5-story sch has clrms, labs, offices, gyms, and study halls, all accessible by some of the earliest electric elevators in a NYC pub sch. Inspired by the Col Gothic style, the red-brick and sandstone sch has gabled dormers and is ornamented w decorative terra-cotta shields. A 125-foot corner tower w a pyramidal roof gives the bldg a commanding presence despite its midblock location. In the 1990s a 2-story gym annex. 349
  • PS 158 (1899)
  • Manual Training School (1905)
  • Nysha 6 4-10

    1. 1. A Revolution in <br />Public-School Design:<br />Charles B. J. Snyder’s<br />Legacy<br />jean.arrington<br />@gmail.com<br />
    2. 2.
    3. 3. “Radical and interesting<br />innovations in schoolhouse <br />architecture,”<br />Edmund Wheelwright, 1899<br />Snyder “was hired to reform <br />school design and instead <br />created a revolution, setting <br />a standard for municipal <br />architecture that has proved <br />hard to match.” <br />Christopher Gray, <br />New York Times 1998<br />
    4. 4. PS 8 (1887)<br />Debevoise,<br />King x Varick<br />PS 79, East<br />Village, now<br />condos<br />PS 25 (1871), East Village (demolished)<br />1884 Real Estate Record and Guide: “There is not a public school in New York<br />which is even a decently creditable piece of architecture.”<br />
    5. 5. “Three-quarters of the public school buildings in New York are defective or unsanitary to a greater or lesser degree.” (New York Times 3 January 1895)<br />JacobRiis, The Battle with the Slum (1902)he Slum. 1902.   <br />Ch XIII. Justice to the Boy <br />
    6. 6. *Greater than the combined public day<br />school populations of the next 5 largest <br />cities in the country (Chicago, Philadelphia,<br />St. Louis, Boston, and Cleveland)<br />**An additional $105 million had been<br />expended for school sites and buildings.<br />
    7. 7. PS 23 (1893), Bayard x Mulberry<br />Now Chinese community center<br />“In the first and most essential particular, the new buildings are fireproof throughout, of steel skeleton construction, with steel beams and brick arches for the foundation of the floor system,<br />terra cotta partitions, iron and stone stairs, and an abundance of light and air. “<br />(1898 Edu’l Review)<br />
    8. 8.
    9. 9.
    10. 10.
    11. 11.
    12. 12.
    13. 13.
    14. 14. PS 73, 1921 addition to an 1888<br />Building by Naughton, landmarked,<br />Brownsville, Ocean Hill, Brooklyn<br />“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.” <br />
    15. 15. Public School 25, now PS 751 (1894 with 1908 addition) , 4th St x 2nd Ave/1st Ave, East Village<br />
    16. 16. “Sincere appreciation <br />for your policy of using <br />the judgment of those <br />whom you expect to <br />occupy a projected <br />building. …The usual <br />attitude of a school <br />architect toward a <br />teacher is “Mind your <br />own business, this is <br />mine.” It seems to me <br />that your policy of <br />interchange of views <br />corrects and broadens <br />both the builder and <br />the occupant.”<br />Washington Irving High School (1913),<br /> Irving Place x 15th/16th (East of Union Sq)<br />
    17. 17. PS 67 (1894)<br />46th x 5th/6th<br />Landmarked<br />Later <br />High School <br />of the<br />Performing<br />Arts<br />Now<br />Jackie K.<br />O’nassis<br />High School<br />for<br />International<br />Careers<br />
    18. 18. PS 72 Annex<br />(1924)<br />Lexington Ave<br />x 105/106 Sts<br />
    19. 19.
    20. 20. Morris High School, 1904, the Bronx<br />
    21. 21. Public School 188, 1903, East Houston St.<br />
    22. 22. PS 4 (1898 w 1917 addn)<br />On Crotona Park in the Bronx<br />
    23. 23.
    24. 24. Morris<br />High<br />School, <br />1904, <br />Bronx<br />
    25. 25. Washington Irving High School, 1913, near Union Square<br />
    26. 26.
    27. 27. DeWitt Clinton HS (1906), 10thAve x 58/59thSt, later <br />Haaren HS , now John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY<br />Wadleigh HS for Girls<br />(1902), Harlem<br />landmarked<br />Morris HS (1904)<br />169th St x Boston Rd<br />Bronx, landmarked<br />Former<br />Stuyvesant HS (1908)<br />15th/16th St<br />X 1st/2nd Ave,<br />landmarked<br />
    28. 28. “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.”<br />“The man who builds our beautiful schools”<br /> Jacob Riis, The Battle with the Slum (1902)<br />
    29. 29. PS 158 (1899)<br />77th/78th x York Ave<br />PS 109 (1901) 99th/100th x 2nd/3rd NRHP<br />PS 4 (1898), Crotona Park, Bronx<br />PS 31 (1900), 144th x <br />Grand Concourse, Bronx<br />) PS 175 (1914)<br />Brownsville, Bk<br />
    30. 30.
    31. 31.
    32. 32. PS 169 (1900)<br />PS 32 Bronx (1900)<br />PS 31 Bronx (1900)<br />
    33. 33. Morris High School (1904), Bronx<br />
    34. 34. Erasmus HS (1906/1911), landmarked, Flatbush Ave x Church/Snyder Sts.<br />
    35. 35. Flushing HS (1915), landmarked<br />
    36. 36. Public School 189 (1923)<br />188/189 x Amsterdam, ws<br />
    37. 37. Hotel de Cluny, Paris<br />- possible inspiration<br />
    38. 38. Public School 165 (1900), 108/108 x Broadway/Amsterdam<br />
    39. 39.
    40. 40. PS 170 (1901), 111th/112th x 5th/Lenox, demolished<br />
    41. 41.
    42. 42. The original DeWitt-Clinton HS (1906), <br />the Haaren HS, now John Jay School of <br />Criminal Justice. Behind Lincoln Center<br />
    43. 43. PS 109 (1901), 99th/100th x 2nd/3rd, NRHP<br />
    44. 44. PS 179 (1901, 1995), 101st/102ndx Columbus/Amsterdam<br />
    45. 45. PS 186 (1903) , Harlem, abandoned since 1975<br />
    46. 46.
    47. 47. “We seek to make <br />the school building <br />itself quite as much<br />a factor in education <br />as the textbooks.” <br />New York Tribune 9 April 1892<br />
    48. 48. Wadleigh HS for Girls 1902), Harlem, landmarked<br />“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.”<br />Michael Henry Adams, Harlem Lost and Found<br />
    49. 49. Ideas Snyder Schools Convey / Morals They Inculcate<br /><ul><li> Students matter.
    50. 50. Education is important and a big enterprise.</li></ul>PS 27 (1898), overlooking<br />St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx<br />Normal College (1913), now Hunter College, UES<br />
    51. 51. <ul><li>Education is enlightening and uplifting.</li></ul> It brings balance to your life.<br />
    52. 52. <ul><li> Education, ideals, and beauty are for everyone equally.</li></ul>PS 7 (1893), Hester x Chrystie, se cor, demolished<br />PS 158 (1899)<br />77/78 x York Ave<br />PS 96 (1895)<br />81/82 x York Ave<br />demolished<br />“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 <br />nation’s most prestigious schools.” --Andrew Dolkart<br />
    53. 53.
    54. 54. jean.arrington<br />@gmail.com<br />
    55. 55.
    56. 56. Ideas Snyder Schools Convey / Morals They Inculcate<br /><ul><li> Education is important and a big enterprise.
    57. 57. Students are worthy.
    58. 58. Education is uplifting. </li></li></ul><li>
    59. 59. Public School 59 <br />(1871) with <br />1909 Snyder <br />addition (demolished)<br />“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.” <br />
    60. 60. PS 27 (1898), now 277,<br />On St. Mary’s Park, Bronx<br />
    61. 61. PS 34 (1904), Staten Island (demolished)<br />PS 127 (1902), Brooklyn<br />PS 133 (1901)<br />Park Slope, Brooklyn<br />PS 85 (1908), Long Island City, Queens<br />PS 19 (1893), Bronx (demolished)<br />
    62. 62.
    63. 63. PS 157 (1900) <br />St Nicholas, ws x 126/127<br />
    64. 64. PS 175 (1914), Brownsville,<br />Brooklyn<br />
    65. 65. A Revolution in <br />Public-School Design:<br />The Legacy of<br />New York City’s<br />Charles B. J. Snyder<br />jean.arrington@gmail.com<br />

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