Thursday, September 10, 2015

P.S. 34 Oliver H. Perry School - Greenpoint

Front of P.S. 34 on Norman Avenue
P.S. 34 Oliver H. Perry School
Eckford Street side of building
P.S. 34 Oliver H. Perry School
McGuinness Boulevard side of building
P.S. 34 Oliver H. Perry School
Terracotta plaque above top floor window reading Public School No. 34. 1867
P.S. 34 Oliver H. Perry School
P.S. 34, the Oliver H. Perry School in Greenpoint, is a landmarked school building at 131 Norman Avenue between Eckford Street and McGuinness Boulevard. According to the book Brooklyn’s Historic Greenpoint, “P.S. 34 is one of the city’s oldest school buildings still in use”.[1]

The school was named after Oliver H. Perry, a war hero from the battle of Lake Erie in the war of 1812.[2] The building’s architectural style is a blend of Renaissance and Romanesque revivals. Designed by architect Samuel B. Leonard, the school was built in 1867, with an addition in 1870 and a subsequent addition in 1888. Leonard designed the initial structure, as well as the first addition to the building and James W. Naughton designed the second expansion. Both men were architects for the Brooklyn school system and made significant contributions to the borough’s school buildings.[3]  Leonard designed the building formerly known as Colored School No. 3 in Williamsburg, which is now a landmarked private residence. Naughton also designed the Boy’s High School in Bed-Stuy (which Brownstoner recently posted as their building of the day).

  1. Brian Merlis & Riccardo Gomes Brooklyn's Historic Greenpoint Gomerl Publishing, NJ 2015
  2. Dillon, James T. NYC Landmark's Preservation Commission Designation Report 12, April 1983
  3. White, Norval, Willensky, Elliot, and Leadon, Fran AIA Guide to New York. Oxford University Press, 2010


  1. Think this is not just one of the oldest school buildings in NYC, but actually the oldest one still using its original outside fa├žade; only the inside of it has been ongoingly modernized over the years. I was disappointed, though, to learn that the moving walls between classrooms on the left and right sides of the building - moved to make all classrooms into one big 'Assembly" on each floor - had to be either replaced or locked in place, as some moron decided the moving ones constituted some kind of child endangerment - this after they'd posed no danger to anyone for a good century!

  2. Hello. I went to PS34 and remember Mrs Woley was the principal. Mrs Harris was my first teacher in first grade.
    Lawrence Willinsky started school 1952. Born 1947 155 Greenpoint Ave.... then on to PS 126..
    On to Boys High School. Graduation 1964. USAF 1964-1968.
    SR71 Black Bird Parts Support.
    Loved my Greenpoint Childhood.