P.S. 31 Castle on the Concourse

IMG_0029P.S. 31, located on the 425 Grand Concourse between E. 144th St and East 146th St to Walton Ave, has been ordered to be demolished by the Department of Buildings. Being found structurally unsound, and a public safety hazard as there are claims of falling and flying debris, the city owned dilapidated building, regardless of its landmark designation, may be seeing its last days.

The 114th year old landmark is locally referred to as “Castle on the Concourse” due to its Collegiate Gothic style. It was designed by architect C.B.J. Snyder under his role of Superintendent of School Buildings for the New York City Board of Education. Though Synder’s prior works followed the Romanesque Revival style that was common in the day, he is credited for the introduction of Collegiate Gothic style to the architecture of New York public schools.

Set up on a hill, the five story rectangular shape building dominates the area and is visible from all sides.

The school closed its doors in 1997 and though renovation work was planned, none was done and the building was left to decay.

It truly is a castle, and community members and organizations have been rallying for years to work towards a resolve. A proposal was introduced by not-for-profit “SoBRO” to convert the building into an art gallery and residences.

Last week, Melrose resident and founder of “Welcome2theBronx.com”, Ed Garcia Conde, began a petition on Change.org to save the landmark building. Over 500 signatures were collected in less than a week.

The Landmark Preservation Commission is holding a final meeting, allowing community members to voice their opinions, tomorrow, Tuesday, December 17, 2013, at their offices in Manhattan.


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