It’s School Week here on Brownstoner — a series of posts celebrating the start of the school year.
It costs a lot to build a building, so people have always repurposed buildings whenever possible and tailored them to fit their needs. Today we’re looking at buildings that had a different function before becoming a school, or were built as schools and have now been put to another use. Just as the P.S. 9 Annex became apartments, one should never let a good school go to waste.
It’s School Week here on Brownstoner. Stay tuned for more school-themed stories celebrating the start of the school year.
Here’s a look at some of the best school buildings in the city of Brooklyn, and the man who designed them.
Schools have always been important in Brooklyn. The second school in the entire New Amsterdam colony was built here, in Williamsburgh in 1662. The first Brooklyn public school was also in Williamsburgh, opening in 1826.
In 1855, the City of Brooklyn incorporated. It established a Brooklyn Board of Education and chose Samuel B. Leonard as its first Superintendent of Buildings, a position that entailed designing and overseeing all of the school construction in this growing city.
Leonard held the position from 1859-79 and was succeeded by James W. Naughton, who held the position from 1879-98.
For almost 20 years, Naughton designed ALL of the schools built in Brooklyn, totaling more than 100 buildings.