Public School No. 39
487 High Street, Buffalo, New York

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Ernest Crimi

Date of Initial Construction


See also: Highlights of Buffalo's History, 1926

Historical and Architectural Importance

The first school building constructed on this site was in 1885. The two story, brick Victorian Romanesque style building was added to in 1889.

By 1900 pupil registration numbered 1,600. In 1926 the present structure was erected housing the gymnasium, auditorium, kitchen, sewing room and manual training room.

The architect Ernest Crimi is responsible for the design of the school building. Crimi began his career with the firm Green and Wicks and later Wicks and Hopkins. He was a student of the landscape architect Bryant Fleming. In 1923 he became the architect for the Board of Education. Under his direction the following public schools were designed and built: nos. 6, 17, 28, 39, 53, 71, 72, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 80, 81, Burgard Vocational High School and Emerson Vocational High Schools.

Interrelationship of Building and Surroundings

The school building is located on the south side High Street between the Kensington Expressway and Grey Street. The east side residential neighborhood is composed of two story frame residences, religious structures and empty lots. The Kensington Expressway borders the school property to the southeast.

Other Notable Features of Building and Site

The 1926 school building has been incorporated into the floor plan of the 1968 addition. The visible portion of the original structure is the east elevation's third floor. The rectangular plan with flat roof has brick facing the principal elevations in a Flemish bond style. Pilaster strips mark bay areas. The Contemporary style addition is a two story, 15 bay brick structure with U-shaped plan and flat roof.

Building Materials

stone, brick, concrete

Structural System

steel frame


"Buffalo Times", April 15, 1900, November 28, 1926; "Buffalo News", March 19, 1936, September 1, 1955; "Buffalo Artist's Register", Lee F. Heacock, 1926; "Municipality of Buffalo", Henry W. Hill, 1923.

Page by Chuck LaChiusa
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