Designated June 24, 2003
Erasmus Hall High School, originally called Erasmus Hall Academy, a private institution of higher learning founded in 1786 by Dutch settlers in Flatbush, was the first secondary school chartered by the New York Regents. The clapboard-sided, Federal style building, constructed in 1787 on land donated by the Flatbush Dutch Reformed Church (designated a New York City Landmark in 1966), continued in use and was donated to the public school system in 1896.
At the turn of the twentieth century, Brooklyn experienced a rapidly growing population, and the original small school was enlarged with the addition of several wings and the purchase of several nearby buildings. In 1904, the Board of Education began a new building campaign to house the burgeoning student population. Superintendent of School Buildings, C.B.J. Snyder designed a series of buildings to be constructed as needed, around an open quadrangle, while continuing to use the old building in the center of the courtyard. Erasmus Hall, designed in the Collegiate Gothic style that Snyder used on many of his buildings, was constructed in four sections, in 1905-06, 1909-11, 1924-25, and 1939-40, with the two later buildings supervised by William Gompert and Eric Kebbon, respectively.
*Excerpt from the Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report
STATUS Designated Individual Landmark
“I don’t know what the City would be without HDC. [They] testified before LPC time after time and helped us focus on the right issues. We would not be an historic district without HDC! ”
Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance
“Use HDC as a resource because they know what they are doing and can offer advice on how to go about creating a district from every front: architectural, political, LPC, and the media. I had floundered prior to my involvement with this invaluable organization.”
Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site
“HDC provided guidance and shared information during that process—we knew which Council members were going one way or another and we changed a few minds. I don’t think NoHo would have had as cohesive a district had it not been for HDC’s aid.”
Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension
“I remember Richard saying at a meeting, we have someone here from HDC, Nadezhda Williams, Director of Preservation and Research, to help us. She said to us, ‘You are not the only ones going through this.’ HDC included us in an enormous community”
Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society