Public School No. 80
600 Highgate Avenue, Buffalo, New York

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Ernest Crimi

Date of Initial Construction


See also: Highlights of Buffalo's History, 1929

Historical and Architectural Importance

The structure is one of nine similarly designed elementary school buildings built between 1924 and 1930. The buildings exhibit Classical Revival style entrance bays and feature two story 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 schools no. 67, 76, 77, 78, 80 and 81, and a three story, ten bay form with two story, ten bay wings 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 1930 by Daniel G. McNeil. Crimi began his career with the firm Green and Wicks and 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 the north side of Highgate Avenue between Orleans Street and Eggert Road.
The north Buffalo residential neighborhood is composed of one and one half story Bungalow style houses. Buffalo's northern boundary is located one block to the north with the the Town of Amherst 1ying beyond the city's limits.

Other Notable Features of Building and Site

The school building is a three story, twelve bay, brick structure with Classical Revival style features. A two story, six 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 using an alternating two tone brick.

The second and third floor end bays are decorated with a brick diamond design with the panel accented by a stretcher row of bricks. Flanking the end bays to the inside are Classical Revival style entrance bays projecting from the facade, featuring double doors enframed by stone architrave trim and 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 second floor windows, and diamond patterned brick work decorates the third floor spandrel area.

The wing extending to the south has four one and one half story paired straight headed, 9/9 light windows with semicircular panels above. Circular medallions decorate the spandrel areas. The end bays have one story straight headed, 6/6 light windows with reliev

Building Materials

Stone and Brick and concrete

Structural System

The bulk of the structure is reinforced concrete. Aud and Gym have steel exterior columns and steel roof framing. A minor amount of additional steel is used in the rest of the building.


Building-Structure Inventory Form - 1984;
Buffalo Artist's Register, Lee F. Heacock, 1926;
Buffalo News, September 1, 1955;
Courier Express, February 19, 1928.

Page by Chuck LaChiusa
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