From Masten Park High School to City Honors:- Table of Contents

From Masten Park High School to City Honors:
The Four Schools

The Schools That Have Been Housed in the Building:
1897-1927 Masten Park High School
1927-1954 Fosdick-Masten High School
1954-1979 Fosdick-Masten Vocational High School
1980- City Honors School

Masten Park High School

1897 Masten Park High School Faculty

Masten Park High School opened in September of 1897 in its new building. The faculty consisted of 32 members. There were only 92 pupils in the first graduating class in 1899.

The devastating fire occurred in 1912.The burned out building was razed and a new building was built in 1913-14. While waiting for the school to be rebuilt, the students attended annexes at Lafayette and School 59.

The replacement building bore little resemblance to the old building. The old assembly with rnoveable seats and wooden floor was replaced by a modern auditorium. A welcome innovation was the gymnasium. Lunch room facilities were greatly improved, in that a regular cafeteria service replaced the former makeshift lunch counter, managed by the janitor and his wife.

In 1916 the United States, which had remained neutral during the first two years of World War I, joined the Allies. Patriotic students and teachers quickly adapted themselves to a wartime routine, and gave freely of their time in selling Liberty Bonds and assisting with Red Cross work. A Cadet Corps was organized and, competing with other high schools in an exhibition drill held at the Front on Memorial Day, 1918, received a trophy. The service flag shows that 524 of Masten's finest students entered the services, 23 of them never to return.

Fosdick-Masten Park High School

Dr. Frank Sheldon Fosdick, 1851-1926.
Principal 1914-1926.

In 1927, Masten Park High School was renamed Fosdick-Masten Park High School, in honor of the popular Dr. Frank "Pop" Fosdick, the first principal of the new school in 1914 until his retirement in 1926.

In 1928, while the auditorium was being reconstructed because of an imperfect ceiling, Mastenites enjoyed having their assemblies at the 106th Armory. This same armory was destroyed by fire on May 8, 1931, as the pupils watched the conflagration.

From 1941 to 1945, the activities of the school were frequently affected by World War II. The combined efforts of teachers and pupils in buying and selling War Bonds and Stamps enabled the school to finance the purchase of two Bell airplanes, appropriately named "Fearless Fosdick I" and "Fearless Fosdick II." At the end of the war, the service flag showed a total of 1782 men and women who had served their country, fifty-eight of whom paid the supreme sacrifice.

After World War II, when the population shifted toward the suburbs, the number of students at the school decreased. In 1951, it was decided to close the school The announcement to close shocked the student body, which reacted by picketing City Hall. Alumni and neighborhood groups also objected. The order was stayed, and the school opened its doors the following September.

Another order to close the school was issued in 1953. The objections were not so vehement, and the "last" graduates were sent out in June.

But the school did not close.

Fosdick-Masten Vocational High School

Vocational education for girls had started in the City of Buffalo in 1922. Central Continuation School enrolled both boys and girls, and in 1926 the girls' department moved to its own building and became known as the Girls' Continuation School.

The 1971 Male Faculty
Mark Schlacter, Jerome Piwko, Robert Czajka, Eernest Beck, James Duggan, Harvey Epstein, Bogdan Fundalinski, Joseph Leone, Ronald Neubauer, Samuel Vizzi.
The names in green are of teachers who in 1999-2000 taught at City Honors School. Photo from 1971 yearbook

In 1936 the school, now named Girls' Vocational High School, moved into a new building at Carleton and Peach Streets which it jointly occupied with an elementary school for 17 years.

During the summer of 1953 it was moved the Fosdick-Masten Park building and its name was changed to Fosdick-Masten Vocational High School.

The curriculum offered courses in business, foods, clothing, beauty culture and practical nursing.

Mr. William J. Regan was the principal from 1922 until the time of his death in 1956.

Again, numbers slipped and the Board could not justify maintaining the program. The school graduated its last class in 1979. The building was used as a school department warehouse for a year and was scheduled for demolition to provide expansion room for the Pilgrim Village housing development that occupies the former park west of the school.

City Honors School

But the fate of the building was not sealed. In 1980, the building became the new home of City Honors School – grades 5-12 – which had outgrown its space in School 17 at Main and Delavan.

There is a waiting list for City Honors for both the Middle School and High School. The Board continues to upgrade the facility. The future for the building and the program seems secure.
See also A Brief History of City Honors High School.


This page was created by the City Honors School Webmasters class under the supervision of Chuck LaChiusa

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