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

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St. Paul's School of Garden City, New York
St. Paul's Front Overall sm.jpg
Photograph of the front of the St. Paul's Episcopal School for Boys, in Garden City, NY.
St. Paul's School (Garden City, New York) is located in New York
St. Paul's School (Garden City, New York)
St. Paul's School (Garden City, New York) is located in the US
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
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. As of 2010, the building is not currently used and is under threat of demolition.[2]


This building of High Victorian Gothic design was 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. 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).

Development and demolition[edit]

In 1993, the building was sold to the Incorporated Village of Garden City. The residents of Garden City were 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 which recommended that the property be redeveloped, and leased for 99 years to a private senior assisted living company. The proposal was controversial because there was no municipal use of the buildings and because the proposal increased the building footprint and decreased green space, as well as lack of 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.

In 1996, a Village-wide opinion poll was held, 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.

In 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, on December 16. Removal of its designation as parkland would require the approval of the New York State Legislature.

In 2008, a Village-wide opinion poll was held, and 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.

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.[2]

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

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  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]