Posts Tagged ‘New York City high schools’

Stars who started out at Seward Park High School

November 3, 2012

I wonder why so many famous actors and entertainers attended the Lower East Side’s Seward Park High School?

Among its alumni: Walter Matthau, Jerry Stiller, Zero Mostel, Estelle Getty, Tony Curtis (then known as Bernard Schwartz), Sammy Cahn, Aida Turturro, Keenan Ivory Wayans, and former Black News host Bill McCreary.

Opened in 1905 as P.S. 62 and renamed Seward Park Junior High, it evolved into a senior high school in the 1920s.

In 1929, the current school building went up on the Lower East Side block bounded by Essex, Broome, Grand, and Ludlow Streets—a few blocks from the actual Seward Park.

The school and park were named for William H. Seward, the former New York senator who served as secretary of state in the Lincoln administration . . . and was almost assassinated along with his boss.)

Seward Park won’t be producing any more notable alumni. The school graduated its last class in 2006, and the building now houses several smaller schools and academies, none of which are named after any New York politicians or landmarks.

This Brooklyn high school has also enrolled its share of future celebs.

Long Island City’s class of 1916

June 3, 2008

Just a random page from The Owl, the yearbook for Queens’ William Cullen Bryant High School, 1916 edition. June is graduation month, and it’s neat to look back at some high school seniors who were students in an era when earning that diploma was no small achievement.

It’s hard not to like these kids, especially with the girls dressed in stylish middy blouses and the guy wearing a bow tie. I like the way they refer to one another as “chap” and “a pleasant companion.” And the school had its own gun club! Well, Long Island City was relatively rural at the time.

Bryant High School still exists, but no address is listed in the yearbook, so I don’t know if the same building has housed the school all this time. Here’s a photo of that school today.

Boys High School graduates, 1934

May 20, 2008

Look at these kids, graduating high school in January, 1934 (city schools used to do that; they had January graduates as well as June grads). Most headed to college, then they may have gone off to war. What did they make of their lives? Guess we’ll never know.

Boys High School is now Boys & Girls High School on Fulton Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant.


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