New Deal Public School Buildings In NYC

Frank da Cruz
Last update: Fri Dec 6 10:51:31 2019
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Showing only extant school buildings originally constructed with New Deal assistance but not older buildings with New Deal additions or murals. The table includes schools that might have been closed or renamed and/or chopped up into mini-"excellence" academies. All of these were funded through the Public Works Administration (PWA). Since they did not fall within Robert Moses' purview, some of them already have plaques mounted, e.g. P.S.162 in Queens. Sources (up to now): The Living New Deal and the New York Times archive. Note: This is a wide ugly table but I thought substance was more important then form in this case; best viewed on a wide screen. A date with "+" means "or later"; e.g. 1936+ means it was first documented as a PWA project in 1936 but might have opened a year or two later. NOTE: P.S. 186 Damrosch School has been removed from this list; see Note 15 below.

School with LND link Date Address Other name NY Times Refs
Bronx (see gallery) (see below)
P.S. 86 1935 2756 Reservoir Ave, Bronx NY 10468 Kingsbridge Heights School 8
P.S. 107 1935 1695 Seward Ave, Bronx NY 10473 P.S. 107X Learning Community 7, 8
P.S. 108 Philip J Abinanti School 1937 1166 Neill Avenue, Bronx NY 10461
J.H.S. 80 Isobel Rooney Middle School 1935+ 149 E Mosholu Pkwy N, Bronx NY 10467 (various new names) 4, 13
M.S. 113 Richard R. Green School 1930s 3710 Barnes Avenue, Bronx NY 10467 Olinville JHS, P.S. 113, JHS Richard R. Green 10, 12
Jane Addams High School 1937 900 Tinton Ave, Bronx NY 10456 Bronx Industrial HS for Girls 14, 15, 16
Walton High School 1935 2780 Reservoir Ave, Bronx NY 10468 Discovery School, etc. 23, 24
Brooklyn
P.S. 213 New Lots School 1938+ 580 Hegeman Ave, Brooklyn NY 11207 20, 22
P.S. 221 Toussaint L'ouverture School 1940 791 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn NY 11213
P.S. 244 1938+ 5404 Tilden Ave, Brooklyn NY 11203 K244 Richard R. Green 20
P.S. 247 1935 7000 21st Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11204 7, 8
P.S. 253 1933 601 Ocean View Ave, Brooklyn NY 11235
P.S./M.S. 27 The Agnes Y. Humphry School 1940 27 Huntington St, Brooklyn NY 11231
I.S. 211 John Wilson Middle School 1938+ 1001 East 100th Street Brooklyn NY 11236 P.S. 211 20
I.S. 239 1936+ 2401 Neptune Ave, Brooklyn NY 11224 At Coney Island 10, 11, 14
Arthur W. Cunningham Junior High School 1935+ 1875 E 17th St, Brooklyn NY 11229 J.H.S. 234 12, 14
Automotive High School 1930s 50 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn NY 11222
Brooklyn Technical High School 1933 29 Fort Greene Pl, Brooklyn NY 11217 High School 430 13
Franklin K. Lane High School 1938 999 Jamaica Ave, Brooklyn NY 11208 7, 9, 10
Samuel Tilden High School 1938+ 5800 Tilden Ave, Brooklyn NY 11203
William J. Gaynor Junior High School 1930s 223 Graham Ave, Brooklyn NY 11211 I.S. 49, P.S. 49 5, 7, 10
Manhattan
P.S. 194: Countee Cullen School 1940 244 West 144 Street, New York NY 10030
Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts 1930s 509 West 129 Street, New York NY 10027 P.S. 43, Manhattanville JHS 5, 7
Queens
P.S. 2 Alfred Zimberg School 1934+ 75-10 21st Ave, Flushing NY 11370 4, 7
P.S. 15 Jackie Robinson School 1938 12115 Lucas Street, St. Albans NY 11413 21
P.S. 48 1935+ 108-29 155th St, Jamaica NY 11433 P.S. 48Q William Wordsworth 7
P.S. 127 Aerospace Science Magnet School 1937 98-01 25th Ave, East Elmhurst NY 11369 Q127
P.S. 146: Howard Beach School 1930s 98-01 159th Ave, Howard Beach NY 11414 7
P.S. 149 1936+ 93-11 34th Ave, Jackson Heights NY 11372 Q149 Christa Mcauliffe 4, 13
P.S. 159 1938+ 205-01 33rd Ave, Bayside NY 11361 Q159 20, 27
P.S. 162: John Golden School 1937 201-02 53rd Ave, Flushing NY 11364 18
P.S. 166: Henry Gradstein Elementary School 1930s 33-09 35th Ave, Astoria NY 11106
Andrew Jackson High School 1937 207-01 116th Avenue, St Albans NY 11411 Campus Magnet School 7, 8, 9, 10, 19
Bayside High School 1936 3224 CPL Kennedy St, Bayside NY 11361 3, 10, 13, 17
Staten Island
Curtis High School 1936+ 105 Hamilton Ave, Staten Island NY 10301 14
Staten Island Technical High School 1935+ 485 Clawson St, Staten Island NY 10306 New Dorp High School 7
Tottenville High School 1934 Academy and Yetman Aves (now Totten Intermediate School) 25, 26
NY Times References
  1. New High Schools to Have Campuses - Modernistic Motif Prevails in Plans for City High Schools, New York Times, 27 Dec 1931.
  2. $2,852,270 Grant for New York City - PWA Allots Funds for Nine Projects, Including Completion of 14 Hospitals, Part for Subway Work, New York Times, 26 Aug 1934. $977,000 for construction of a three-story fireproof high school in Tottenville (Staten Island); $384.000 for construction of a three-story elementary school building at 108th Avenue an 136th Street (there is no school there today).
  3. Federal Aid Asked for 2 City Works - $2,500,000 Loan Sought for Construction of Bayside High School in Queens, New York Times, 4 Oct 1933, p.25.
  4. More PWA Funds Granted - $1,418,700 Allotted for 3 Schools and New Wing for Hospital, New York Times, 27 Sep 1934. P.S. 2 in Queens, P.S. 80 in the Bronx, P.S. 149 in Queens.
  5. Asks $1,500,000 School in City Housing Area - Board of Education Seeks PWA Loan for Brookly Project , New York Times, 15 Nov 1934. P.S. 49, plus "A total of $805,000 was set aside for the erection and mechanical equipment of Public School 43, the new Manhattanville Junior High School, at 129th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. An appropriation of $172,000 was approved for construction and mechanical equipment of an addition to Public School 201, Twelfth Avenue, between Eightieth and Eighty-first Streets, Brooklyn."
  6. Tottnville Starts New School Project - $1,197,000 Structure to be erected with PWA funds, New York Times, May 22 1935. Tottenville High School
  7. 65 WPA [sic] Projects Listed by Mayor - Most of $117,241,674 Relief Work Already Has Been Started - Wants More Schools, New York Times, 11 Sep 1935. P.S. 2 Queens, P.S. 43 Manhattan, P.S. 48 Queens, P.S. 49 Brooklyn, P.S. 107 Bronx, P.S. 146 Queens, P.S. 247 Brooklyn, Andrew Jackson High School Queens, Franklin K. Lane High School, Brooklyn, New Dorp High School Staten Island, Tottenville High School Staten Island.
  8. Plans for 4 Schools Approved by Board, New York Times, 26 Sep 1935. Andrew Jackson HS, PS247, PS107, PS86.
  9. PWA Loans Approved - $17,245.200 Federal Contracts Are Signed by City, New York Times, 18 Jul 1935. Franklin K. Lane HS, Andrew Jackson HS, "a Bronx elementary school". The article calls them grants, not loans.
  10. Program Speeded for New Schools - $25,000,000 of Construction With PWA Funds Will Be Under Way By Christmas, New York Times, 13 Oct 1935:
    With eleven of the new schools in the program already under construction, bids for the erection of the first of thirteen others will be opened Tuesday ... The first complete school building in the city to have been erected with Federal funds, the Bayside High School, will the the first on the program to open its doors ... It is of English Tudor architecture, the source of the design having been in Kirby Hall, a Northamptonshire manor house ... The new Franklin K. Lane High School ... for which bids will be opened Tuesday, is regarded by Walter C. Martin, architect for the board, as "the biggest and best job we have ever done." ... Three of the thirteen latest buildings with be junior high schools, with accommodations also for rlementary pupils. They are Public School 49, Brooklyn, in the Federal model housing area in Williamsburg; Public School 113, Bronx, and Public School 239 Brooklyn, each costing about $1,500,000. The new buildings also include the $2,500,000 Andrew Jackson High School [in] Queens. ... The new construction program will give an impetus to employment in the building trades, Mr. Martin pointed out yesterday, and will be reflected in other industries as well. No building program affects such a diversification of trades ... as school construction. Besides building materials various equipment will be needed to fit the buildings for occupancy, stimulating emplyment in many fields. "I feel that when the school building program is completely under way, and with all the other work the PWA is financing," Mr. Martin said, "we will be going a long way toward relieving unemployment in the labor group."
  11. $1,138,000 Scholl Planned at Coney, New York Times, 22 Nov 1935. P.S. 239.
  12. School Contracts Let, New York Times, 8 Dec 1935: PWA projects P.S. 234 Brooklyn, P.S. 113 Bronx.
  13. PWA School Aid Hailed by Tuttle - $34,500,000 Received by City for Work in Depression Years, New York Times, 26 Jan 1936. Confirms that PS 149 in Queens was funded by the PWA, and that JHS 80 in the Bronx was at least partially PWA-funded. It notes that PWA-funded Bayside High School has built-in hair dryers for girls who have received swimming lessons. It also notes that an $825,000 PWA appropriation that went entirely for equipment at Brooklyn Technical High School "is not even rivaled by the great plants at the Massachuttes Institute of Technology or Cornell."
  14. Contracts Voted for 3 New Schools - Two Buildings in Brooklyn and One in Richmond Are to Cost $2,263.782 - Federal Aid Accepted, New York Times, 3 Feb 1936. P.S. 234 Brooklyn, P.S. 239 Brooklyn, Curtis High School in Staten Island, Bronx Industrial High School for Girls.
  15. PWA Grants $565,544 for School in Bronx, New York Times, 8 Jan 1936. A "girls' industrial high school at Clinton and Union Avenues, Bronx, to be built at an estimated cost $1,675,000, has been approved by Harold L. Ickes, Federal Public Works Administrator, it was announced yesterday by Arthur S. Tuttle, acting State directory or the PWA." The Damrosch school is at the location cited, but it was not built until 1960. Evidently the site for the Girl's Industrial School (later Jane Addams High School) was changed to Union Avenue between 161st and 163rd Streets, 0.8 mile to the south, before it was built.
  16. Officials to Start Bronx High School, New York Times, 1 Mar 1936. PWA provides $465,00 for the new $1,500,00 Bronx Industrial High School at 161st Street and Tinton Avenues. This is now Jane Addams High School.
  17. Bayside School Opened - 2,300 Students at the $2,500,000 Institution Built by WPA, New York Times, 17 Mar 1936.
  18. $3,498,295 PWA Fund for City Approved, New York Times, 29 Jul 1936. P.S. 162.
  19. Queens High School to be Opened Monday - Andrew Jackson to Be Formally Dedicated in September - Gaynor Exercises Monday, New York Times, 6 May 1937.
  20. PWA Gets City Bid for Funds to Begin $130,000,000 Works, New York Times, 29 May 1938. William Howard Taft High School Bronx, P.S. 142 Brooklyn (no such school today), P.S. 211 Brooklyn, P.S. 213 Brooklyn, P.S. 244 Brooklyn, P.S. 194, Manhattan, P.S. 159 Queens.
  21. $937,835 City Bonds Voted for PWA Aid, New York Times, 22 Jul 1938. Partly for P.S. 15 in Queens (the PWA paid $256,500; the City has to pay $313.500).
  22. PWA Grant Accepted - Education Board Lets Work for School the Money Will Build, New York Times, 19 Aug 1938. P.S. 213 in Brooklyn.
  23. Bronx Realty Men Expect Good Year New York Times, 23 Dec 1932. Mentions Walton High School among many other Bronx sites:
    Public works and institutional construction programs are tiding the Bronx over a period of readjustment... Several new schools, hospitals, municipal and government buildings, streets, in addition to subway extensions, are under way or definitely projected, and these constitute the major building items at present ... Plans have been approved for a new Walton High School building at 195th Street and Reservoir Avenue to seat 3,000 pupils and to cost $2,225,000. The building will be three stories in height and the auditorium will seat 1,391 students.
    This was a public work, paid for by government money, not private funds. Construction began around 1930 or 1931 (before the New Deal). Construction was likely to have been financed by NY Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt's FERA program, forunner to the federal New Deal, especially since Walton is immediately adjacent to the Hunter College (now Lehman College) campus, which was built by Governor Roosevelt's army of relief workers, as were other monuments of this period such as the Bronx Court House.
  24. Bronx School Dedicated - Walton High School for Girls is Formally Presented at Ceremony, New York Times, 23 Dec 1932. The actual opening of the school for classes must have been some time in 1933.
  25. $13,869,770 Grants for City Approved, New York Times, 9 December 1934, p.89: "PWA has acted on 45 projects authorized... Tottenville High School...$232,000"; the school still exists but now it is Totten Intermediate School; today's Tottenville High School is a different building in a different location.
  26. $2,852,270 Grant for New York City, New York Times, 26 August 1934, p.14: "...$977,000 for construction of a three-story fireproof high school in Tottenville, Borough of Richmond..."
  27. Bayside School Opened, New York Times, 17 March 1936, p.23.


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