Tag Archives: New York

Restored chandeliers installed at Washington Irving Intermediate School

Ten beautifully restored chandeliers were recently installed in the auditorium at the Washington Irving Intermediate School of Tarrytown, New York.

The school recently underwent a major renovation which included larger classrooms, an expanded library, a new art room, renovated music rooms, a new nurses station and renovations of the existing offices.

A wonderful restoration job from 2009. The article does makes a few errors; the Washington Irving school isn’t in “Betelle’s signature collegiate-gothic style”, but rather Georgian, and Guilbert & Betelle was located in Newark, NJ, of course, not NYC at that time (I know, I can’t help nitpick).

New Rochelle High School Can’t Catch a Break

Poor New Rochelle High school. As if a devastating fire in 1968 wasn’t bad enough, the old girl suffered another indignity as lightning struck one of its towers about 6pm on Friday. The strike arrupted a blaze that basically destroyed the conical roof, but luckily it was a localized event, and should be fully repairable.

A few more photos of this and the 1968 fire can be found on flickr.

Thanks to our man in the field, John Elwood, for calling this in.

The Ghost of New Rochelle High School

New Rochelle High School

Referencing New Rochelle’s French heritage, New Rochelle High School was rendered in a French Gothic style infused with provincial chateau elements.

My first exposure to New Rochelle High School was a series of photographs in a 1932 article on school architecture written by James Betelle. While I had been pretty familiar with the traditional English Gothic and Neo-Classical designs of his schools, this one stood out as unique; it had a style unlike any other. Towers, dormers, finials and ornate sculptural details combined to create an edifice almost implausibly grand for a public high school. I had to see it.

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The Spectre of Typos

Isaac Young High SchoolWhile doing a little bit of research into Guilbert & Betelle’s New Rochelle High School, I came upon this postcard of Isaac E. Young High School, also in New Rochelle.

Isaac E. Young Middle School, as it is called now, is quintessential Collegiate Gothic, featuring red brick, a central tower with octagonal corners in the classic Princeton mode, and a sprawling, asymmetrical profile. Needless to say I wanted to find out it’s architect. I was pretty sure it wasn’t Betelle, but my records of his buildings is far from complete, so you never know.

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Great Neck High School

Great Neck High SchoolThe December, 1931 issue of The Architectural Forum article, “Nine Senior High School Buildings” featured two Guilbert & Betelle schools; Great Neck High School and The Bronxville School. The text and illustrations for Great Neck High School (now Great Neck North High School) are shown here.

While Betelle is on record as preferring the Collegiate Gothic style, GNHS is very much a traditional Colonial design, of which he did numerous buildings. As the text points out, this was to make the school “harmonize with the history and architecture of the community.” Another interesting point is on the plan: the angled front facade hides the fact that an optimistically symmetrical portion of the school was left unbuilt as a “future addition.” Whether the school ever had an addition which followed Betelle’s plan, I don’t know.

Great Neck High School, Great Neck, L.I., N.Y.
Guilbert & Betelle, Architects

EXTERIOR: The Colonial character of the building was decided upon as being in harmony with the history and earlier architecture of the community. The walls are of red brick, with limestone trim, and the roof is of green slate. The windows are of wood, double hung.

Great Neck High School Floor PlanINTERIOR: The corridors and stairs have glazed-brick wainscoting, plaster walls and ceilings. For most of their length the corridors are lined with lockers. The classrooms, library, administrative offices, etc., have plaster walls, chestnut trim, and maple floors. Corridor floors are of concrete. Toilet rooms have tile floors and walls, and metal toilet partitions. The building is heated by direct steam radiation, and ventilated by unit ventilators; the controlled cut-off system permits heating of the library, auditorium, and cafeteria independently of the balance of the building.

Great Neck High School General ViewCOST AND CONSTRUCTION: The building is of fireproof construction, with solid brick walls, concrete floor slabs and steel framework over the large spans of the auditorium and gymnasium. The non-bearing partitions throughout are of terra cotta. Total cost, exclusive of land and architect’s fee, was $907,000, or 1,905,000 cu. ft. at 46 1/2 cents per cu. ft.