The murals of Washington Irving High School

If you find yourself on 17th Street and Irving Place with time to spare, it’s worth taking a look inside gorgeous, gothic Washington Irving High School. The school, built in 1913, features an enormous, 2-story wood-paneled lobby, complete with a fireplace.

A series of giant murals toward the ceiling depict scenes from New York City history. Here, the Dutch approach Long Island and New York harbor:











Not the kind of painting you see in the typical high school:


Manhattan wildlife, circa 1800: birds, porcupines, squirrels, beavers, and skunks:


Washington Irving High School’s most famous graduate: Claudette Colbert, class of 1923.

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2 Responses to “The murals of Washington Irving High School”

  1. When Giants Meet Says:

    Goooooooo Irving! Art House over here. Class of ’97

  2. Loveliness in turn of the century Bryant Park | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] during a 1930s park renovation, the bust is now part of Washington Irving High School near Gramercy […]

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