Schools of Albany, 1922: Where are they now?

By 1922, the “new” Albany High School on Lake Avenue, which had only opened in September 1913 at a cost of a million dollars, was already “taxed beyond its capacity so that ‘double sessions’ are necessary,” according to the Chamber of Commerce’s helpful report on “Education in Albany.” At that time, four new elementary schools were being planned, and one was under construction. “These are of the most modern type and will cost approximately one and one-quarter million. The high school is crowded beyond its capacity and plans are under way for relieving it by constructing two junior high schools at a cost of approximately another million and a quarter. In the near future two and one-half millions will be spent for public school improvements.”

(Some of these had changed from a similar inventory that was done in 1894.)

Education has changed a lot in the past 90 years, but many of these old schools remain. The high school remains as part of the SUNY downtown campus, as many folks know. But how many of these other buildings are still remembered as schools?

High School Lake Avenue.pngGirls Vocational School, in the High School Building. This school had an enrollment of 68 and offered “Elementary and first two years academic; Cooking; Millinery; Dressmaking.”

196 Morton Avenue.png Boys Vocational School, 196 Morton Ave. This school had an enrollment of 74 and offered “elementary and first two years academic; Printing; Woodworking; Drawing; Machine Shop Practice.” The building is still in use as apartments today.
Not Part-Time School.png Part-Time School, Broadway and N. Lawrence Street. This school, of which no trace remains, had an enrollment of 894, and offered courses in “Bookwork; Household Arts; Industrial Arts; Electrical Work; Sheet Metal Work; Commercial Subjects; Dressmaking; Printing.” Today: no matter which side of N. Lawrence it was on, it’s a parking lot today.
School No 11.png Ungraded School, In School No. 11, 409 Madison Avenue. This was an elementary school with an enrollment of 43, inside School 11. Today, it’s a lovely condominium building.
Public School No 1.png School No. 1, Bassett Street, corner Franklin Street. A primary school with enrollment of 414. The building still stands.
School No. 2, 29 Chestnut Street. A grammar school with enrollment of 363. It’s hard to be certain how the addresses worked; this may be where 90 S. Swan St. is, or may have been on the part of Chestnut Street eliminated by the Empire State Plaza.
School No 3.png School No. 3, Watervliet Avenue, corner Hunter Avenue. This was a primary school with enrollment of 337. This is now the Henry Johnson Charter School.
School No. 4, Madison Avenue and Ontario Street. A grammar school with enrollment of 166; the booklet notes it as “(Burned).” I’m not clear on the location; the Vincentian Institute was already on one corner of that intersection, so perhaps School No. 4 had been across the street?
School No 5.png School No. 5, 206 N. Pearl Street. This was a grammar school with 405 students. The building, from 1882, still stands as the Quackenbush condominiums.
School No. 6, 105 Second St. A grammar school with 632 students. The building is gone, the site is now occupied by the Metropolitan Baptist Church.
School No 7.png School No. 7, 165 Clinton Avenue. A primary school with 253 students. The building still stands, home to New Covenant Christian Fellowship.
Not School No 8.png School No. 8, 157 Madison Ave., a primary school with 323 students. The building is gone, a parking lot between Madison and Van Zandt.
School No 9.png School No. 9, 333 Sheridan Avenue, a primary school with 218 students. This building still stands, home to Albany Community Action Partnership.
School No 10.png School No. 10, N. Lake Ave., corner of Central Avenue, a primary school with 226 students. Still there, still a school: Brighter Choice Charter School.
School No 11.png School No. 11, 409 Madison Ave., a grammar school of 336 students. As mentioned above, there was another school within this one. Today, it’s a lovely condominium building.
School No 12.png School No. 12, Robin Street at Western Avenue, a grammar school of 496. Recently converted into lovely apartments.
School No. 13. Just kidding! Of course there was no School No. 13. Even in the 21st century, I worked in a building that skipped numbering the 13th floor.
Its exclusion from this listing may mean that the old P.S. 13 was closed by then; originally it was in the old State Arsenal building at Broadway and Lawrence streets, which dated to 1799.
School No 14.png School No. 14, 69 Trinity Place, a grammar school of 998 students. This incredibly beautiful building still stands as the Schuyler Apartments.
Not School No 15.png School No. 15, Herkimer Street, corner of Franklin Street. This was a primary school with an enrollment of 565. Today this appears to be nothing but park space on one of the pretty streets of the Pastures.
Pine Hills Elementary.png School No. 16, 41 N. Allen Street, a grammar school of 686. This is now the site of the Pine Hills Elementary School; I don’t know if any of the original building elements were retained in the reconstruction that took place in 2005.
School No 17.png School No. 17, Second Avenue and Stephen Street, a grammar school of 466 students. This building still stands, sadly derelict.
Delaware Community School.png School No. 18, Bertha and Hurlbut Streets, a grammar school of 578. This lovely old structure was recently replaced by a thoroughly modern school building for the Delaware Community School. I understand why, the interior was almost completely unsuited to contemporary schooling. But I’m kicking myself for having lived directly across the street from it and never having taken a picture.
School 19.png School No. 19, New Scotland Avenue, a primary school with 254 students. This building remains in use as an Albany City School, the New Scotland Elementary School.
School No 20.png School No. 20, N. Pearl and N. Second Streets, a grammar school of 446 students. Still in use as a city school, the North Albany Academy.
Not School No 21.png School No. 21, 666 Clinton Avenue, a grammar school of 739 students. (Apparently, while “13” is an unacceptable number for a school, “666” is a perfectly acceptable address.) The site would appear to be a vacant lot today.
School No 22.png School No. 22, 292 Second Street, a primary school of 312 students. Sadly, another decaying hulk.
School No 23.png School No. 23, Whitehall Road, a primary school of 264. Still a city school, home to the Albany School of Humanities.
Not School No 24.png School No. 24, Delaware and Dana avenues, a grammar school of 379. The building is gone; today the site is occupied by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Albany.

8 thoughts on “Schools of Albany, 1922: Where are they now?

  1. That’s correct. But it wasn’t listed in the 1922 guide, so perhaps it was closed by then. I’ll update to at least reflect where it used to be.

  2. School No. 4 was directly across Madison Avenue from VI. We had our class pictures taken on the steps of that school because they were south-facing; the front facade of VI was in the shadows.

  3. School 24 was replaced by a new building in Lincoln Park, just east of Delaware Avenue. It was renamed the Thomas O’Brien Academy of Science and Technology (TOAST) the year my son transferred from School 23 (ASH).

Leave a Reply to carljohnson Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *