Tourist In Your Own Town

Tourist in Your Own Town # 13 - C.B.J. Snyder (Public Schools)

This month we are highlighting the architectural designs by the unsung New York hero C.B.J. Snyder. As Superintendent of Schools from 1891 to 1923, he is credited with the design of over 400 structural projects. Through his leadership and innovation Snyder transformed the school building construction process, creating beautiful buildings in Beaux Arts, Flemish Renaissance revival and Collegiate Gothic Styles. These new designs and innovations left an amazing imprint on the City and gave children a better environment for learning; classrooms with larger windows, quality construction with better fireproofing and interior courtyards for light and air ventilation.

Millions of New Yorkers have benefited from the work of C.B.J. Snyder and the countless others that helped design, build and maintain these treasured cathedrals of learning. If you haven’t had the pleasure to walk their halls stop and look around as you walk by next time. They remain some of the loveliest buildings in the City and they stand as memorials to a great architect and a great New Yorker.

Tourist in Your Own Town - C.B.J. Snyder (Public Schools) - Season 2, ep. 1 from New York Landmarks Conservancy on Vimeo.

Here are a few buildings from the video:

*The Bronx*
Morris High School Campus (formerly Peter Cooper High School), 1900-04
East 166th Street at Boston Road - First major secondary school in the Bronx.

Erasmus Hall High School Campus (formerly Erasmus Hall Academy), 1905-6
899-925 Flatbush Avenue - Famous alumni include Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand.

PS 157, Benjamin Franklin circa 1904
850 Kent Avenue, Clinton Hill - 2001 winner of the Conservancy’s Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award for outstanding restoration work.

DeWitt Clinton High School (now John Jay College of Criminal Justice), 1903
10th Ave & 58th St - It was the largest high school building in the United States when it opened in 1903.

Public School 166 (now The Richard Rodgers School of Arts & Technology), 1897-99 132 W 89th St. - One of the oldest extant public schools on the Upper West Side.

Flushing High School, 1912-15
35-01 Union Street, Flushing - Founded in 1875, it is the oldest public high school in New York City.

Newtown High School, 1920-21
48-01 90th Street, Elmhurst - A recent Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award winner.

*Staten Island*
Curtis High School, 1902-04
105 Hamilton Avenue at St. Mark’s Place - The first high school on Staten Island.

Click here to see a more comprehensive list of Snyder schools and don’t forget to visit our Facebook page highlighting New York’s Historic Public Schools.