Side Note: From learning to living

Archive photo of PS 157

PS 157 today by D. Bell

Yesterday we posted a link to an article about the fight to preserve PS 186 in Hamilton Heights. The article noted that both PS 186 (opened 1903) and PS 90 (opened 1905) were built by the same architect, Charles Snyder who served as the superintendent of school buildings from 1891-1923. In his tenure he built more than 140 elementary schools.

Snyder is best known for introducing the H-plan to New York City schools which allows for more light and air to circulate throughout the buildings. Both PS 186 and PS 90 are classic examples of his signature style of architecture. Another one of Snyder’s ideas that never came to fruition was an eight-story school building served by escalators!

Snyder was also the architect of PS 157 (opened the same year as PS 90) at 327 St. Nicholas Avenue. PS 157 closed in 1975 after years of being left to deteriorate, but was eventually converted to apartments back in the early 1990s, long before Harlem began to redevelop at the rate it is now. There is now talk of PS 157 converting from rentals to cooperative apartments in the near future.

You can find an extensive list of schools designed by Snyder on Wikipedia.