State Normal School / Grover Cleveland High School
110 Fourteenth St., Buffalo NY 14202

Site:

The school building occupies an entire city lot bounded by Fourteenth Street to the north, Normal Avenue to the south, York Street to the west, and Jersey Street to the east. The residential west side neighborhood is composed of two-story late nineteenth century houses. Kleinhans Music hall, a National Historic Landmark, is located to the east

Erected:

1913

Building Material:

Steel frame.
Exterior: Stone,
brick, terra cotta

Style:

Colonial Revival / Georgian Revival

Architect:

H. W. Hoefer, the State Architect for the State of New York.

TEXT Beneath Illustrations


The 1871 predecessor building. A Normal School is a college for preparing students to become teachers. The replacement building was also named the State Normal School until it moved to a new campus on Elmwood and renamed Buffalo State College.  The Lafayette Avenue school then became a city public school named after President Grover Cleveland.









Postcard courtesy of Jim Brown



Colonial Revival style





Monumental steeple ... Classical two-story columns in center bay



Finial atop cupola






The lantern section features classical ornamentation like cornice and modillions, arch with keystone, balustrade






Chimney hoods ... Parapet



Parapet  ... Terra cotta  molding, from the top: Palmette leaves ... Egg-and-dart ...  Dentils ... Acanthus leaves (2 rows) ... Vitruvian scroll



Two-story Roman (smooth shaft)  columns with two rows of acanthus leaves in center bay



New York State official logo in tympanum



Terra cotta  molding, from the top:  Egg-and-dart ... Dentils ...  Leaf-and-dart ... Paterae ...     Palmette leaves ...  Vitruvian scroll
Capitals: Tower of the Winds Corinthian order features palm and acanthus leaves


Tower of the Winds Corinthian order features palm and acanthus leaves



Paired S scrolls decorated with acanthus leaves support cornice



S scroll decorated with acanthus leaves supports cornice












Balustrade



Note terra cotta stringcourse.



View south (from rear of the building).


Cast iron gate posts..



History

1867 - State Legislature approves purchasing the site, a 5 1/2 acre parcel of land, from the estate of Jesse Ketchum for $4500 to build a State Normal School . The city and the county agreed to erect the school building at their joint expense, each issuing bonds in the amount of $45,000 for that purpose.

A three-story French Renaissance style structure designed by John H. Selkirk was constructed in 1869. The school opened in September 1871 with 66 pupils in attendance. The concept of the Normal School was to furnish trained teachers for the public schools of the State. The control of the school was vested in the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the local Board of School Trustees. Grover Cleveland was one of nine members named to the original board.

1910 - The building was found to be inadequate and a bill was introduced to the State Legislature providing for the construction of a new building.

1914 - The present Colonial Revival / Georgian Revival style building opened in September, 1914.

1927 - The school as renamed the New York State College for Teachers at Buffalo. Increased enrollment and the need for updated facilities prompted the City and the State to implement a land swap. The State gave the city of Buffalo the Normal School building in exchange for twenty acres of land fronting Elmwood Avenue and $1.5 million for the construction of a new campus (present Buffalo State College).

1931- Grover Cleveland High School, named after the second US President from Buffalo (Millard Fillmore being the first), opens and relieves enrollment at Hutchinson Central and Lafayette High Schools.

1960 - One-story brick L-shape addition added to the northwest facade.


Photos and their arrangement 2006 Chuck
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