It’s School Week here on Brownstoner — a series of posts celebrating the start of the school year.

We’ve been highlighting some of the wonderful school buildings in Brooklyn this week, focusing on the schools of James W. Naughton and C.B.J. Snyder, two of the greats of school architecture.

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.

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It’s School Week here on Brownstoner — a series of posts celebrating the start of the school year.

After nearly five decades in and out of the classroom, Carmen Fariña became New York City’s highest-ranking education official in January 2014. During her first 20 months in office as New York City Schools Chancellor, Fariña has worked to improve the public schools serving the city’s 1.1 million students.

She’s also butted heads with the charter school contingent and passionately supported the Common Core. This week, the start of the school year, Brownstoner photographed Fariña at her old stomping grounds — P.S. 29 in Cobble Hill — and learned more about her own Brooklyn history and plans for the borough’s schools.

It’s School Week here on Brownstoner — a series of posts celebrating the start of the school year.

I did not grow up in New York City, so I never had the opportunity to be educated in a school designed by the great Charles B.J. Snyder. But his influence on school architecture extended far beyond the city’s borders, and my education was still affected by the innovations and principles he devised.

C.B.J. Snyder was born in 1860 and died in 1945. Between 1891 and 1897 he was the Superintendent of School Buildings for Manhattan and the Bronx, and after the creation of Greater New York in 1898, became the architect of all of the city’s schools until he retired in 1923.

Building at a Time of Great Growth in the City

Snyder was the school architect at the busiest time in New York City’s history. His predecessor only had to worry about Manhattan and the Bronx, but Snyder now had five boroughs’ schools under his wing.

He also took on this job just as the school population swelled with thousands of immigrant children, which overcrowded the schools. On top of that, new advances in education were being devised by the Board of Education, bringing vocational, technical and other specialized high schools into the mix with the city’s public schools.

The Board of Ed’s beancounters did not plan for large enough schools — or enough schools, period. Snyder had his hands full, both in keeping costs down and getting the most from what he was given.

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It’s School Week here on Brownstoner. Stay tuned to check out more school-themed stories.

I was asked to pick my favorite school building for this series of school posts. Of course, I have to go with Boys High School. It’s a masterpiece. Filmmakers think so too — the school’s been used as a setting for at least two major productions.

Name: Boys High School
Address: 832 Marcy Avenue
Cross Streets: Putnam Avenue and Madison Street
Neighborhood: Bedford Stuyvesant
Year Built: 1891, with additions 1905-1910
Architectural Style: Richardsonian Romanesque Revival
Architect: James W. Naughton, additions by C.B.J. Snyder
Other works by architect: Girls High School (Bed Stuy), P.S. 9 Annex (Prospect Heights), P.S. 107 (Park Slope); Snyder: Erasmus High School (Flatbush); John Jay High School (Park Slope); for both, many, many others
Landmarked: Yes, individually landmarked (1975); National Register (1982)

Brooklyn, as an independent city, led the metropolitan area in public education. Educators had long felt that public schooling beyond elementary school was necessary for an educated populace and workforce.

In 1885, the first high school in New York City, Girls High School, opened nearby on Nostrand Avenue. Originally planned to hold both boys and girls, it was too small for both before the doors even opened. The boys had to wait until September of 1892, when this school was completed.

James W. Naughton, who was Superintendent of Buildings for the Board of Education of the City of Brooklyn (put that title on your door), held his office from 1879-98.

During that time, this Irish-born, Cooper Union–trained architect was the sole architect for more than 100 schools built during his tenure. He was active right at the peak of Brooklyn’s ascendency as one of America’s finest fast-growing cities.

A Majestic School Worthy of a City on the Rise

By the mid 1880s, the Romanesque Revival architecture style was seen as a fitting style of architecture for important civic, commercial and residential buildings in America.

The style had complex massing of shapes and textures, soaring arches and ornamental elements, all perfect for showing off in a spectacular way.

In the 1890s in Brooklyn, the fire headquarters, post office, Eagle Warehouse, Germania Club, Alhambra Apartments, Hulbert, Behr and Schieren houses, and many more were designed in the Romanesque Revival style. But the Boys High School would top them all.

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It’s School Week here on Brownstoner. Stay tuned for more school-themed posts celebrating the start of the school year.

The old P.S. 9 Annex in Prospect Heights is one of those buildings that everyone stops in front of and wonders, “What exactly is it and how can I live there?” I did the same thing before I moved in, and I’m still learning about the genesis of the building.

Living in a converted schoolhouse with a mysterious history could not be a better fit for me. As the author of a series of historical novels, I draw a lot of writing inspiration from my apartment building. Rumor has it that silent-film star and original It Girl Clara Bow went to school here back in the day.

Just walking into the building, with its tall, imposing iron gates, wide stairwells and carpeted corridors makes me feel simultaneously like I’m stepping back in time and as though I’m reliving my middle school years.

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The start of the school year means it’s School Week here on Brownstoner.

The children are coming! As the Brooklyn population swells and the residential units created in Brooklyn’s ongoing development boom continue to fill, the borough is seeing a stretch of its amenities — including in the realm of education.

With limited funding, the Department of Education (DOE) can only afford to buy or build so many new buildings to house incoming students. But with or without new infrastructure, a common tactic used by the DOE is to rezone schools to move children from overcrowded districts and into less-crowded ones.

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.