High School of Graphic Communication Arts

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High School of Graphic Communication Arts
HS of Graphic Communication Arts 1.JPG
West 49th Street facade
439 West 49th Street
Manhattan, New York City, New York 10019
United States
Coordinates 40°45′48″N 73°59′26″W / 40.763466°N 73.990561°W / 40.763466; -73.990561Coordinates: 40°45′48″N 73°59′26″W / 40.763466°N 73.990561°W / 40.763466; -73.990561
School district New York City Geographical District 2
Superintendent Elaine Gorman
School number 625
Principal Brendan Lyons
Grades 9-12
Enrolment 1,344

The High School of Graphic Communication Arts (also referred to as H.S.G.C.A.) is a vocational high school located in the Hell's Kitchen section of Manhattan. Founded in 1925 as the New York School of Printing, the school is divided into five academies that offer basic instruction in several fields including printing, photography, journalism, visual arts, and law enforcement.

The present building that now houses the school was built in 1959 by the architectural firm of Kelly & Gruzen (now known as Gruzen Samton Architects) and is one of the best known structures designed utilizing a vigorous display of the international architectural style movement in the city.[1] It was also the first high school in the city to have escalators.[2] The school is home to a mural located at its main entrance that was designed by Hans Hofmann, one of the leading artists of the Abstract Expressionist movement.[3] The building is located on West 49th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues. The current principal of the school is Brendan Lyons.[4]

The school has leased some of its space to the Manhattan Playhouse to serve as a community theater that showcases many local off-Broadway productions.

In October 2010, it was announced that the school was on the New York City Department of Education's shortlist of schools targeted for closing. It was one of two schools in Manhattan on the list, and the only high school in the borough scheduled to be closed due to poor academic performance.[5] On 26 April 2012, the city's Board of Election voted to close the school after the last graduating class graduates in June 2012.[6] On May 11, 2012, the city's education department announced that the school will be reopened in the Fall 2012 as the Creative Digital Minds High School. However, on June 29, 2012, a ruling by a legal arbitrator announced that all 24 schools slated to close under the city's "Turn Around" program (which included Graphics) will remain open. The ruling halted a central element of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plans for closing and reopening the affected schools, saying its method for overhauling the staff at those institutions violated existing labor contracts.[7]

The Success Academy Charter Schools group plans to open an elementary school in the same building as the high school in 2013.[8] The location was suggested by the city's education department.[9] In addition, Success Academy Charter School – Manhattan Middle School is planned to open for school year 2015–2016 to educate the middle school grades of several other Success Academies.[10]

Notable alumni[edit]

Mari Feliciano Primario- Emmy winning journalist/ assignment editor based her career in NYC newsrooms, 1985 graduate.


  1. ^ AIA Guide to New York City from Google Books ISBN 0-19-538386-9
  2. ^ New York Songlines: 50th Street from www.nysonglines.com
  3. ^ You're in Hell's Kitchen: High School of Graphic Communication Arts
  4. ^ New York City Board of Education: High School of Graphic Communication Arts
  5. ^ City Considering 47 Schools For Closing SHARON OTTERMAN, New York Times, October 28, 2010.
  6. ^ Panel votes to close 24 failing schools from ABC News 27 April
  7. ^ Mediator Halts City’s Plan to Overhaul 24 Schools from The New York Times 29 June 2012
  8. ^ New Charters Proposed for Manhattan from The Wall Street Journal; 15 July 2012; as accessed July 25, 2012.
  9. ^ DOE Selects 'Suggested' Sites for Success Academy Collocations from DNAinfo.com; 17 July 2012; as accessed July 25, 2012.
  10. ^ The Proposed Co-location of the Middle School Grades of Success Academy Charter School – Manhattan 1 (84MTBD), Success Academy Charter School – Manhattan 2 (84MTBD) and Success Academy Charter School – Upper West (84M523), Collectively Known as Success Academy Charter School – Manhattan Middle School (84MTBD), with Existing Schools High School of Graphic Communication Arts (02M625), Business of Sports School (02M393), Urban Assembly Gateway School for Technology (02M507), the Elementary Grades of SA – Manhattan 2, and a New District High School, 02M135, in School Building M625, Beginning in the 2015–2016 School Year (Notice) (N.Y.: NYC Department of Education), January 18, 2013, as accessed January 26, 2013.
  11. ^ New York Literary State Tree: Carolyn A. Butts from www.nyslittree.org

External links[edit]