East Village Building Blocks

150 First Avenue; 409 East 9th Street | Block : 437 | Lot #1

  • Building Date : 1885
  • Original Use : School
  • Original Owner : City of New York Department of Education
  • Original Architect : Charles B.J. Snyder

Description & Building Alterations

This four-story Jacobean Early Gothic-style building was originally erected in 1885 as a public school and designed by Charles B.J. Snyder, prolific architect whose thirty-one-year career with the Board of Education changed the face of public school structures significantly.  The western side looked out onto the First Avenue El train until the line was removed in 1942. The school was closed due to the City’s financial crisis in 1976. After the former P.S. 122 was abandoned, a group of visual artists started to use the classrooms for studios. The Department of Cultural Affairs bought the building from the Board of Education, and then leased it for $1 a year to the P.S. 122 Community Center, founded in 1980. An AIDS drop-in center, a day-care center, two theater companies, and artists’ studios occupied the site. The movie Fame was filmed here in 1979.

The former school’s gym on the first floor was converted into a performance space in 1986, signifying the organization’s expansion. The present facade features projecting center and corner bays, brick surface, point-arched window openings at center bays and southern-side first story, quoins flanking each window, flat lintels and rectangular sills, molded cornice above first story. The point-arched main entrance on west facade is enclosed in a portico with peaked gable and flanked by Corinthian columns. The original roof cornice has been removed. Snyder unusually placed the main arched entranceway on the western side of the logitudinal axis, rather than at the center of the horizontal axis.

Block : 437 / Lot : 001 / Building Date : 1885 / Original Owner : City of New York Department of Education  / Original Use : School / Original Architect : Charles B.J. Snyder

Do you know this building? Please share your own stories or photos of this building here!

Social Share Buttons and Icons powered by Ultimatelysocial