Public School No. 3
D'Youville Porter Campus School
255 Porter Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14201


Associated Buffalo Architects Inc.

Date of Initial Construction


See also: Highlights of Buffalo's History, 1921

Historical and Architectural Importance

The structure is one of five similarly designed elementary school buildings built between 1921 and 1923.

The E-type floor plan, which anticipates future additions without compromising the original architectural design, is characteristic of the schools. The center block houses the gymnasium and auditorium with classrooms occupying the side wings. The buildings use Classical Revival style entrance bays and feature two story pilaster strips flanking flat or curved bays and a Flemish bonding system.

Public schools no. 3, 11, 66, 68, and 69 were designed by Associated Buffalo Architects Inc. The Association, a collective of local architects, was organized (See Continuation Sheet) in 1920 with Charles S. Wood as President. Such prominent Buffalo architects as Edward B. Green, Duane Lyman, Frederick Backus and Max Beierl were members, assisting in the collaboration on each school building design. The Association contracted with the Board of Education for the design and supervision of school building construction. From 1921 to 1925 the Association constructed public schools no. 3, 11, 31, 45, 64, 65, 66, 68, 70 and 200.

The original District No. 3 was located on Perry Street between Illinois and Mississippi Streets with the first school building erected in 1845. The structure was destroyed by fire in 1851.

A three story Greek Revival style structure was erected on the same site at a cost of $1014.60. The 45 by 70 foot structure had three assembly rooms and six recitation rooms and accomodated natives of England and Ireland.

In 1898 a brick addition was completed. With the encroachment of manufacturing establishments the school was forced to relocate to its present site on Porter Avenue. The building is located on the former A.P. Thompson Fstate and was constructed at the cost of $498,000.

Interrelationship of Building and Surroundings

The building is located on the southeast side of Porter Avenue between Niagara and Seventh Streets. The area is a mix of residential and commercial structures, with the international border crossing located to the northwest. Directly to the north across Porter Avenue is Prospect Park.

Other Notable Features of Building and Site

The school building is a four story, seven bay, brick structure with three story, four bay wings extending east and west of the main block. A two story, four bay wing extends from the front (north) facade. The E-shaped plan with flat roof features the Classical Revival style. An octagonal cupola with domical roof is situated on the main block roof. The horizontally by a stone band course at the first and third floor levels. The structure has a low stone basement level with brick facing the principal elevations in a Flemish bond style.

The main block features three story pedimented entrance bays projecting from the facade. The double door entrances are enframed by an entablature stone surround with end console supports and paneled spandrel area. Above the entrance is a straight headed multi-light window with stone surround. A one and one half story three sash, 6/6/6 light window extends from the third floor into the second floor over the entrance. The third and fourth floor window bays of the main block are flanked by two story Doric pilster strips with stone capitals supporting an entablature. T>e frieze is decorated with circular medallions. Window fenestration consists of third floor tripart windows; 6/6 light center window with flanking 2/2 light, and fourth floor 3/3 light windows.

The end bays of the north wing house secondary entrances capped by stone lintels. At the second floor level is a stone band course. The single bay east and west facades have two story straight headed multi-light windows.

The two center bays on the east and west wings project slightly from the facade with window fenestration consisting of four straight headed 6/6 light windows in each bay. The bay flanking the main block has a narrow 4/4 light window on each floor. -

Building Materials

Stone and Brick

Structural System

Metal (Steel Frame)


Building-Structure Inventory Form - 1980;
Municipalitv of Buffalo, Henry W. Hill, 1923;
Courier Express, January 17, 1926;
Buffalo Times, December 1, 1901, November 2, 1930;
Report of the Buffalo School Survey, Buffalo Municipal Research Bureau, 1931.

Page by Chuck LaChiusa
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