Public School No. 74
126 Donaldson Rd, Buffalo, New York

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Ernest Crimi

Date of Initial Construction


See also: Highlights of Buffalo's History, 1925

Historical and Architectural Importance

The structure is one of nine similarly designed elementary school buldings built between 1924 and 1930. The buildings exhibit Classical Revival style entrance bays and feature two stoy pilaster strips, a Flemish bonding system in alternating two toned brick, and brick pattern work in spandrels and end bays. A block plan with center skylight court or courtyard is employed. The buildings are categorized in two types: a three story, twelve bay form with two story, six bay wings, as seen in public chools no. 67, 71, 76, 77, 78 and 81, and a three story, ten bay form with two story, ten bay wings as seen in public schools no. 72, 74 and 75. The wings house the gymnasium and auditorium.

The Buffalo architect Ernest Crimi is responsible for the design and construction of the school buildings except public school no. 67 built in 1920 by Daniel G. McNeil. Crimi began his career with the firm Green and Wicks a~d 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 School.

Interrelationship of Building and Surroundings

The school building is located on th northeast corner of Donaldson road and Wohlers Avenue. The east side residential neighborhood is composed of early Twentieth century Bungalow style houseshouses on small narrow lots. A one story shool annex abuts the building to the east.

Other Notable Features of Building and Site

The school building is a three story, ten bay, brick structure with Classical Revival style features. A two story, ten bay wing spans the east and west elevations of the main block. The block plan with center skylight court is surmounted by a flat roof. The symmetrical north and south facades are divided horizontally by a stone band course at the first floor level and a simple stone entablature below the brick parapet. Two story brick pilaster strips with stone capitals flank second and third floor window bays. The structure has a low stone basement level with brick facing the principal elevations in a Flemish bond style.

The east and west end bays feature a Classical Revival style entrance with double doors enframed by a stone architrave trim and a tab surround. Over the entrance is an oversize 6/9 light window with broken pediment stone surround and cast iron balconet. The third floor contains a 3/3 light window with stone surround.

The window fenestration in the eight center bays consists of paired 6/6 light windows with stone sills. Stone lintels cap the second floor windows.

The wing extending to the west has four one and one half story paired straight headed, 9/9 light windows with stone semicircular panels above. Circular medallions decorat~ the spandrel areas. The end bays have one story 3/3 light windows with relieving arch.

Building Materials

Stone, Brick, Concrete

Structural System

Steel Frame.


Building-Structure Inventory Form - 1984; Buffalo Artist's Register, Lee F. Heacock, 1962; Buffalo News, September 1, 1955.

Page by Chuck LaChiusa
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