Go Back To School This Fall & Visit Landmarks
Take Tours Of Newtown & Flushing High Schools
To better appreciate New York City’s extraordinarily rich architectural heritage this autumn, the New York Landmarks Conservancy is urging New Yorkers and tourists alike to explore two Queens high schools—Newtown High School in Elmhurst and Flushing High School.
Newtown High School at 48-01 90th St. in Elmhurst, was designed in 1917 by Charles B.J. Snyder in the Flemish Renaissance Revival Style. This building features a monumental centrally-placed 169-foot tower topped by a cupola and turrets, along with stepped gables.
Flushing High School, at 35-01 Union St., is the oldest public high school in New York City, founded in 1875. It has a distinctive Neo-Gothic style, built of buff-colored brick, terra cotta and granite, and was constructed between 1912 and 1915, with another wing added in 1954.
The entrance is a five-story, square central tower, which is an element closely associated with Gothic architecture. It was designated as a New York City Landmark in 1991 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
With more than 1,700 schools and 1.1 million students, the NYC Department of Education is the nation’s largest and one of the oldest school systems. The Conservancy has long championed the preservation of New York’s historic schools with a special emphasis on those by the legendary C.B.J. Snyder, Superintendent of School Buildings from 1891 to 1922.
He believed that schools should be “civic monuments for a better society” and oversaw the construction of more than 350 “Snyder” schools during his tenure, many of which he designed. They offered light, air, beauty and dignity at a time when waves of immigrant children poured into the school system.
Today, many of these buildings remain vibrant places of discovery and learning, others have been converted to new uses, and some await restoration.
Through the Landmarks Conservancy’s monthly series of “Mystery Landmarks” and “Tourist in Your Own Town” videos at www.nylandmarks.org, visitors to the website will discover many architecturally interesting public school buildings. he Conservancy will create a Facebook album with some historic school photos from its archives. .