Boys High School (Brooklyn)

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Boys High School
Boys HS Putnam Av jeh.jpg
South face
Boys High School (Brooklyn) is located in New York City
Boys High School (Brooklyn)
Boys High School (Brooklyn) is located in New York
Boys High School (Brooklyn)
Boys High School (Brooklyn) is located in the US
Boys High School (Brooklyn)
Location 832 Marcy Ave, New York
Coordinates 40°41′4″N 73°56′54″W / 40.68444°N 73.94833°W / 40.68444; -73.94833Coordinates: 40°41′4″N 73°56′54″W / 40.68444°N 73.94833°W / 40.68444; -73.94833
Area 1.9 acres (7,700 m2)
Built 1891
Architect James W. Naughton, C.B.J Snyder
Architectural style Romanesque, Rundbogenstil
NRHP Reference # 82003361[1]
Added to NRHP February 25, 1982

Boys High School is a historic and architecturally notable public school building in the Bedford–Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, United States. It is regarded as "one of Brooklyn's finest buildings."[2]


The "splendid" Romanesque Revival building is richly decorated in terracotta somewhat in the style of Louis Sullivan.[3] The building is admired for its round corner tower, dormers, and soaring campanile.[4]

The building was erected in 1891 on the west side of Marcy Avenue between Putnam Avenue and Madison Street. It was designed by James W. Naughton, Superintendent of Buildings for the Board of Education of the City of Brooklyn.[5] The building is regarded as Naughton's "finest work."[6]

When Boys High was landmarked by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1975, the commission called it "one of the finest Romanesque Revival style buildings in the city."[7]

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 25, 1982.


In 1975, the same year the building was landmarked, Boys High merged with Girls' High School to become Boys and Girls High School.[7] Boys and Girls High School immediately moved to a new building at Fulton Street and Utica Avenue.[7]

The school was a college preparatory program with high academic standards. Congressman Emanuel Celler described Boys High in his autobiography, "I went to Boys' High School — naturally. I say "naturally" because Boys' High School then, as now, was the high school of scholarships. Boys of Brooklyn today will tell you, "It's a hard school." It was highly competitive..."[8]

Another Boys High graduate remembered that "I went to Boys High School in Brooklyn, a great school. It was out of the classic tradition. I guess eighty percent of the student body had to take Latin — we didn't have to; we elected Latin, because we felt it was expected of us."[9]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Robbins, Michael W.; Palitz, Wendy (2001). Brooklyn: a State of Mind. Workman Publishing. p. 228. ISBN 978-0761116356. 
  3. ^ "New York Architecture Images - Brooklyn Bedford-Stuyvesant: Boys' High School". New York Architecture. 
  4. ^ "Boys' High School". The New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Archived from the original on November 28, 2010. 
  5. ^ An architectural guidebook to Brooklyn, Francis Morrone,Photographs by James Iska, Gibbs Smith, 2001, p. 37.
  6. ^ "Walkabout with Montrose: Master of Schools, JW Naughton," September 8, 2009, Brownstoner.
  7. ^ a b c "Boys High School And Historic Dock Made Landmarks; Boys High And a Dock Are Cited, Joseph P. Fried,October 5, 1975, New York Times.
  8. ^ Celler, Emanuel (1953). You Never Leave Brooklyn: the Autobiography of Emanuel Celler. The John Day Company. p. 31. 
  9. ^ Simons, Howard (1990). Jewish Times: Voices of the American Jewish Experience. Anchor Books. p. 262. ISBN 978-0385266970. 
  10. ^ "Lee Farr obituary". Los Angeles Times. 2017-03-27. Retrieved 2017-04-16. 
  11. ^ Kamil, Seth; Wakin, Eric (2005). The Big Onion Guide to Brooklyn. New York University Press. p. 64. ISBN 978-0814747858. 

External links[edit]