St. Paul's School (Garden City, New York)
St. Paul's School of Garden City, New York
Photograph of the front of the St. Paul's Episcopal School for Boys, in Garden City, NY.
|Location||289 (or 288) Stewart Avenue, Garden City, New York, 11530|
|Area||53 acres (21 ha)|
|Architect||John Kellum; Henry G. Harrison|
|Architectural style||Italianate, Italianate vernacular|
|Part of||A. T. Stewart Era Buildings|
|NRHP Reference #||78001864|
|Added to NRHP||November 14, 1978|
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 () 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 () 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. In 2014, an annex known as Ellis Hall, built in 1969 to provide additional school space, was demolished. Many people supported this, despite the fact that most preservation plans included saving this annex as well.
- Henry C. Allen (1872–1942), represented New Jersey's 6th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1905 to 1907.
- Joe Mohen Internet Entrepreneur, graduated in 1974
- Harry Whitney (1873-1936), Hunter, author, and adventurer who went to Greenland with the Peary expedition in 1908, and stayed with the Eskimos through the winter.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
- Buckley, Cara (January 15, 2010). "A Suburban Treasure, Left to Die". New York Times. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
- Henry Crosby Allen biography, United States Congress. Accessed August 11, 2007.
- Committee to Save St. Paul's
- Save St. Paul's Facebook Group
- Article "Uncertain Fate for Long Island School"
- Historic News Clipping from Old Days of St. Paul's School
- News Clipping from Garden City Life reporting on the Dedication of St. Paul's School as Park Land
- Incorporated Village of Garden City Website with links to St. Paul's "Village Facts"