St. Paul's School (Garden City, New York)

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St. Paul's School of Garden City, New York
St Pauls from Stewart Road
St. Paul's School (Garden City, New York) is located in New York
St. Paul's School (Garden City, New York)
Location 289 (or 288) Stewart Avenue, Garden City, New York, 11530
Coordinates 40°43′31.69″N 73°38′51.18″W / 40.7254694°N 73.6475500°W / 40.7254694; -73.6475500Coordinates: 40°43′31.69″N 73°38′51.18″W / 40.7254694°N 73.6475500°W / 40.7254694; -73.6475500
Area 53 acres (21 ha)
Built 1871
Architect John Kellum; Henry G. Harrison
Architectural style Italianate, Italianate vernacular
Governing body Local
Part of A. T. Stewart Era Buildings
NRHP Reference # 78001864[1]
Added to NRHP November 14, 1978

St. Paul's School is a 500-room brick edifice in the Village of Garden City, New York, United States. It is not currently used and is under threat of demolition.[2]

This building of High Victorian Gothic design, erected in 1879 along with the Cathedral of the Incarnation, Garden City, and St. Mary's School, as a memorial to the multi-millionaire Alexander Turney Stewart, is currently vacant. It was originally an all-boys college preparatory and science boarding school owned by the Cathedral of the Incarnation in the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island. Its aim was professed by its headmaster Frederick Luther Gamage to be to "develop manly, Christian character, a strong physique, and the power to think." It closed in 1991.

The AIA Architectural Guide to Nassau and Suffolk Counties describes the building as having "poly-chromatic voussoir arched windows, elaborate cast-iron balustrades, and Dorchester stone trim." The building was selected in 2003 by the Preservation League of New York State as one of its "Seven to Save" endangered properties (view newsletter).

On December 16, 2004, the Village Board of the Incorporated Village of Garden City voted to dedicate St. Paul's School's 48 acre (194,000 m²) site as parkland, with then Mayor Barbara Miller voting twice to break the tie of 4 board members in favor and 4 members opposed. Removal of its designation as parkland would require the approval of the New York State Legislature.

The building was sold to the Incorporated Village of Garden City in 1993. The residents of Garden City are as yet unable to come up with a viable plan to use the school for a different purpose. The Mayor of Garden City appointed a committee to make recommend uses for the buildings. The Mayor's committee recommended that the property be redeveloped, and leased for 99 years to a private Senior Assisted Living firm. This proposal was controversial, because there was no municipal use of the buildings, because the proposal increased the building footprint and decreased green space, and because the leases would not have generated any significant tax revenues.

In 1995, Tishman Speyer Properties conducted a preliminary inspection and evaluation on the potential to adapt the St. Paul's buildings as the new Garden City High School. Tishman Speyer submitted four preliminary designs to the Garden City Board of Education for their consideration. The proposal was supported by many of the younger families; however, the Eastern Property Owners Association vigorously lobbied the Board of Education not to consider it out of fear it would cost more, and the Board of Education eventually took it off the table. Ironically, the alternative cost of renovating the Garden City Middle and High School subsequently proved to be even more.

A Village-wide opinion poll was held in 1996, with voters being offered a "yes" or "no", if they supported the Senior Assisted Living initiative at St. Paul's. The vote was 50.1% opposed, and 49.9% in favor.

A Village-wide opinion poll was held on December 2, 2008. The results were ([1]) Approve Demolition: 2,272 votes (45.4%); Approve Mothballing of Main Building: 1,857 votes (37.1%); Approve of the Avalon Bay proposal: 873 votes (17.5%) - Total Voter Turnout 5,002. The Village Board of the Incorporated Village of Garden City is considering the demolition ([2]) of the building to add to open space. It is currently undergoing environmental reviews of the demolition proposal. Demolition would only save the village $100,000 a year in maintenance charges.[2]

Entrance to St. Paul's School, Garden City.
Main entrance to St. Paul's School.

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ a b Buckley, Cara (January 15, 2010). "A Suburban Treasure, Left to Die". New York Times. Retrieved 18 January 2010. 
  3. ^ Henry Crosby Allen biography, United States Congress. Accessed August 11, 2007.

External links[edit]