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August 17, 2023
Back to (Snyder) School
Clockwise from top L: Westinghouse HS, Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, Patrick Henry Preparatory, Newtown HS

It’s back-to-school time for New York City’s students. Those who attend a school designed by Charles B. J. Snyder may overlook the gargoyles, Guastavino tile, and Neo-gothic details around them. But SUPERSTRUCTURES has had the honor of working on various Snyder structures, contributing to the preservation of his architectural legacy—whether students notice or not.

As an architect, engineer, and New York City Superintendent of School Buildings from 1891-1923, Snyder left a legacy of hundreds of distinctive school buildings. He focused on improving the health and safety of students through enhanced fireproofing, increased daylighting, and an innovative “H” plan which encompassed courtyards for outdoor recreation.

One of his most notable is Westinghouse High School in Brooklyn, a 1908 masterpiece of English Collegiate Gothic style. Our exterior masonry and roof restoration was honored with a Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award in 2018.

Other Snyder structures in our restoration portfolio include the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center (originally P.S. 160) and Newtown High School, for which Snyder designed an addition. Both projects also garnered Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards for SUPERSTRUCTURES’ work.

Most recently, SUPERSTRUCTURES conducted a restoration of Patrick Henry Preparatory (P.S. 171), comprising flood elimination, facade repairs, and window and door work. This project was guided by an incredible 93 sheets of contract documents, attesting to the complexity of the task and the firm’s industry-leading attention to detail.

For new or returning New York Public School students this fall: there may be an immersive class in turn-of-the-century architecture all around you. Just pause between classes to take a look.

SUPERSTRUCTURES Engineers + Architects

14 Wall Street, 25th Floor, New York, NY 10005
(212) 505 1133


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