Urban Humanities and Their Publics

Hidden in Plain Sight: The Progressive-Era Public Schools of Charles B. J. Snyder Jean Arrington, Borough of Manhattan Community College


From our friends in NYU’s Art History Department:

Hidden in Plain Sight: The Progressive-Era Public Schools of Charles B. J. Snyder
Jean Arrington, Borough of Manhattan Community College

Wednesday, October 21, 6:30 pm
New York University Department of Art History
Silver Center, Room 301
100 Washington Square East (entrance on Waverly Place)

This talk examines one of the major contributors to the New York City public-school system, Charles B. J. Snyder.  As architect for the Board of Education, Snyder revolutionized the city’s schools during his thirty-year career, which coincided with the span of the Progressive Era. He used innovative construction techniques for health and safety.  By providing amenities such as gymnasiums, auditoriums, and science laboratories, he transformed the simple 19th-century schoolhouse consisting of just classrooms into the complex 20th-century school building that we know today.  And he “did that which no other architect before his time ever tried or did,” said Jacob Riis, “he built them beautiful.” More than half of Snyder’s 400 school buildings and additions still function today as public schools.  Architect and historian Robers A. M. Stern has deemed them “everyday masterpieces, among the great glories of our city.”  The history of Snyder’s schools shows how the United States has contributed to the provision of universal public education, especially in New York City, which remains today the largest public-school system in the country, as it was in Snyder’s day.

Sponsored by the Society of Architectural Historians, New York Metropolitan Chapter and the New York University Department of Art History, Urban Design and Architecture Studies

Link to flyer for event: https://nyu.box.com/s/86dy8up7ysmqumsl02xfen1win1mlj69

–Free and open to the public–