Boys’ High School

STATUS Designated Individual Landmark

832 Marcy Avenue

ARCHITECT: James W. Naughton

DATE: 1891

STYLE: Romanesque Revival

Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn Romanesque Revival

Designated September 23, 1975

The Boys’ High School is a monumental example of the mature Romanesque Revival style which became popular in the United States in the last quarter of the 19th century. The mature phase of the style was greatly influenced by the “Richardson Romanesque”, originated by Henry Hobson Richardson (1838-86), one of the most important and influential American architects of the 19th century. Richardsonian Romanesque is characterized by a picturesque silhouette, the use of round-arched openings, an emphasis on the contrast of smooth and rough-faced stonework and — above all — by a strong, powerful massing that is often swelled with rounded bays, towers and porches, a great contrast to the flat, angular planes of neo-Classical and Renaissance facades. In 1891, when Boys’ High School was built, the Romanesque Revival was at the height of its popularity in Brooklyn. Boys’ High School faces onto three streets with each facade having certain elements in common: round-arched windows and doors, gables, dormer windows and a wealth of terra-cotta ornament. The Marcy Avenue facade is the most impressive of the three; each end of this facade is terminated by an imposing tower.

STATUS Designated Individual Landmark

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The Bedford-Stuyvesant community in northwest Brooklyn is a residential area, home to ornate rows of brownstones, early middle-class apartment buildings and several institutional structures. Bedford-Stuyvesant is characterized by its wide, tree-covered avenues and low-scale residences; generally only church spires and school towers rise taller than...

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City Lore, Folklorist
Bronx Music Heritage Center, Co-Artistic Director

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