Public School No. 32
342 Clinton Avenue, Buffalo, New York

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Date of Initial Construction


See also: Highlights of Buffalo's History, 1913

Historical and Architectural Importance

The use of the Tudor Perpendicular Gothic style is unique to Buffalo's public schools, with Public School No. 6 and Hutchinson Technical High School exhibiting such stylistic features.

Public School No. 32 was organized in 1851 with the construction of a three story brick building on Cedar Street near William Street in 1851. An additional two story brick building, on the school lot near Clinton Street, was erected in 1872. At this time the majority of students were of German parentage, with Russian and Jewish pupils predominating the school district in 1901. With the construction of the present building the school was known as Bennett Park School, due to its proximity to recreational grounds of that name.

Interrelationship of Building and Surroundings

The school building is located on the north side of Clinton Street between Pine and Hickory Streets.

The Academy of Visual and Performing Arts is across Clinton Street to the south with Public School No. 6 located to the southeast.

The open grass land of Bennett Park dominates the area with low rise housing projects adjacent to the school property.

Other Notable Features of Building and Site

The school building is a three story, five bay, brick structure with three story, two bay wings projecting beyond the main block. The I-shaped plan with flat roof features the Tudor Revival style. The symmetrical front (south) facade is divided horizontally by a string course at the basement and first floor levels. The structure has a high basement level of rough cut, regular course stone with brick facing the principal elevations.

The central entrance bay features a rough cut stone terrace with battlemented rail and extends to a brick parapet that interrupts the roof line. The Tudor arch entrance with moulded door head features two recessed doors enframed in a Tudor arch opening. Polygonal end piers mark the first floor and parapet. Over the entrance is a two story Tudor arch opening enframing second floor straight headed, 1/1 light windows and third floor Tudor arched, 1/1 light windows. Tudor arched moulding surmounts the third floor windows. The third floor spandrel area is inscribed with "Bennett Park School".

The projecting wings have end piers with rectangular moulded panels accenting the parapet area. Window fenestration in the basement, first and second floor levels consists of paired straight headed, 1/1 light windows. Third floor Tudor arched windows are paired, 1/1 light. Moulded eye brow window heads cap third floor windows. The second floor spandrel area is decorated with a quatrafoil pattern.

Secondary entrance bays are located on the east and west facades and feature two doors enframed in a Tudor arch, a two and one half story Tudor arch opening enframing straight headed windows, and two story Perpendicular Gothic end piers at second and third floor levels.

Building Materials

Stone, Brick

Structural System

Steel Frame


Building-Structure Inventory Form - 1984; "Municipality of Buffalo," Henry W. Hill, 1923; Buffalo Times, October 10, 1926.

Page by Chuck LaChiusa
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