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These schools are rich in original architectural details, but the interiors are top residential (Inkwell - Compass) These schools are rich in original architectural details, but the interiors are top residential (Inkwell - Compass)
The first day of school in New York City is Thursday, September 7, and back-to-school season has been on the minds of many parents and students in recent weeks. However, some developers and designers have their eye on schools all year long. School buildings are often located in highly coveted neighborhoods and date back to the late nineteenth to early twentieth century. While the interiors may be unfit for an academic environment anymore, developers and designers find that these serve as excellent bones for a residential setting. The result is expansive apartments with high ceilings located in a historic setting, if not a historic district where Landmarks Preservation Commission ("Landmarks") approval is required for the conversion.

Below, see the most masterful transformations of city schools into luxurious residences with high-end finishes and amenities. A small handful of units are on the market, but between the in-demand addresses, eye-catching architecture, top-of-the-line interiors, and rich histories, it's no surprise that availabilities in these buildings are few and far between.

Built in 1887 | Converted in 1981
No current availabilities

29-King-Street-1 29 King Street (CORE Group Marketing)
New development is going up all over Hudson Square, but this Queen Anne-style building dates back to 1886, when it was built as a grammar school. Nearly 100 years later, the New York City Board of Education auctioned off Public School 8 and The Brodsky Organization bought it. In the present day, apartments show signs of their classroom pasts with soaring ceilings and oversized picture windows. They come outfitted with modern appliances, LED lighting, and generous closet space, but not at the expense of historic elements like exposed brick and oak floors. See further details here.

34 Prince Street
Built in 1835 | Converted in 2018
1 availability for $8,995,000

34-Prince-Street-01 Residences at Prince (CityRealty)
On what is now one of Nolita's trendiest shopping streets, two red brick Federal-style buildings dating back to before the Civil War served as the convent of the Basilica of St. Patrick's Cathedral and the Cathedral School, where Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese was reportedly a student. The school closed in 2010; a few years later, an exclusive boutique condominium opened with airy interiors to contrast with the beautifully preserved facade.

34-Prince-Street-02 Residences at Prince, #2A (Time Equities Inc.)
From the Listing: A corner triplex with five bedrooms, four baths, powder room, a windowed eat-in kitchen, two working fireplaces, and a small garden. The grand parlor-floor living room incorporates seven windows on three sides with views directly facing Old St. Patrick's Cathedral. See floor plan and full details here.

448 West 37th Street
Built in 1914 | Converted in 1982
2 availabilities from $1,495,000

448-West-37th-Street-1 The Glass Farmhouse (Compass)
A few short blocks from Hudson Yards, the High Line, and Hudson River Park, this brick and limestone school building was converted to condominiums with 12' ceilings, light-filled living space, and open skyline views. Industrial details are also on display in the lobby, and the building is crowned with a landscaped roof deck.

448-West-37th-Street-1 The Glass Farmhouse, #12F (Compass)
From the listing: This unique and voluminous loft spans over 1,500 square feet and has over 12-foot ceilings. The six double-height windows are south facing with open city views and sight lines west to the Hudson River, providing ample light throughout the day and beautiful sunsets. Additionally, there is an ample-sized primary bedroom, a newly renovated kitchen, and a bathroom. The previous owner, a prominent photographer, used the space as a live-work space, utilizing the apartment’s light and space. The mixed-use designation is a truly rare feature that the next owner can also enjoy. See floor plan and full details here.

520 West 45th Street
Built in 1905 | Converted in 2016
1 availability for $2,195,000

520-West-45th-Street Inkwell (Compass)
When P.S. 51 was originally built at the beginning of the 20th century, it was said to be one of the first New York City schools to serve its students lunch. More than a century later, the Beaux Arts building would be another trend-setter as it got converted from a school to a condominium. A number of features were incorporated into the apartments in the process: Chalkboards have been placed next to the entrance and can be used as grocery lists, cubbies are ideal for storage, and certain units feature rolling ladders for storage. See full details here.

520-West-45th-Street-02 Inkwell, #2A (Brown Harris Stevens)
From the Listing: This gorgeous 1,401-square-foot home with two bedrooms and two baths boasts soaring 13’ ceilings, enormous new casement windows and tranquil tree-lined views from every room! The loft-like great room has ample space for living and dining, and the spectacular chef’s kitchen features soapstone slab counters, roasted oak cabinetry, and Viking appliances including an under-counter wine refrigerator, apron-front farmhouse sink with disposal, vented hood, custom Watermark faucet and magnificent custom lighting by AvroKO. The generously proportioned primary bedroom has a full height walk-in closet and en-suite bathroom with Calacatta Gold marble top double vanity, Watermark fixtures, custom blackened steel framed medicine cabinets, a linen closet, radiant heat floors and a large walk in glass shower. See floor plan and full details here.

310 East 46th Street
Built in 1929 | Converted in 1979
12 availabilities from $535,000

310-East-46th-Street-01 Turtle Bay Towers (Compass)
Turtle Bay Towers dates back to 1929, when it was built as a design school. When it was converted to residential use, the careful restoration and conversion was honored with the First Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects. A 24-hour doorman and live-in superintendent are on staff, and amenities include a renovated lobby, storage for rent, a bike room, a parking garage, and a rooftop terrace.

310-East-46th-Street-01 Turtle Bay Towers, #11A (Douglas Elliman)
From the Listing: This home is spacious and uniquely-designed, with soaring 12’5" ceilings, strip hardwood floors in the living area, bedroom and kitchen, and large west-facing windows. The smart design features open living/dining for entertaining, and a galley-style kitchen with marble countertops, tiled backsplash, and stainless steel appliances. The primary bedroom is generously-sized, plus up the staircase sits a loft for use as a guest bedroom or office. See floor plan and full details here.

351 East 51st Street
Built in 1893 | Converted in 2000
5 availabilities from $2,495,000

351-East-51st-Street The Beekman Regent (The Corcoran Group)
The Beekman Regent, originally Primary School No. 35, is listed on the National Register of Historic Place and was the 2002 winner of the Mercedes Benz Property Award for "Finest New Redevelopment in the World." One look at its many setbacks and design reminiscent of The Dakota is enough to show how it won.

351-East-51st-Street-1 The Beekman Regent, #PH7B (Douglas Elliman)
From the listing:After you enter the home through your semi-private landing, you are greeted with a gracious foyer. This 4-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom home features a wood-burning fireplace, two private terraces and gorgeous views from every room. The foyer leads to the oversized corner living room with southern and eastern exposure. The sweeping city and river views are framed perfectly by the oversized floor-to-ceiling windows, and the soaring 10’8" ceilings add to the open and airy feeling of the space. This home perfectly blends pre-war charm, with modern-day sophistication featuring wainscotting, herringbone hard-wood flooring and beautiful molding throughout. See floor plan and full details here.

Built in 1893 | Completion estimated for 2025
No current availabilities

160-West-74th-Street-01 Calhoun School (Cushman & Wakefield)
The Lamb & Rich-designed building at 160 West 74th Street got its start in 1893 as Mademoiselle Veltin's Day School for Girls, and attracted as much attention for its fireproof structure as its progressive curriculum that proved in high demand (h/t Daytonian in Manhattan). The girls' school was sold to boys' school De La Salle Institute in 1924, and the massive structure was partially converted to an apartment building in the 1960s. The coed Calhoun School moved in around 1990; however, following their 2022 merger with the Metropolitan Montessori School, they put the Upper West Side building on the market. Earlier this summer, developer Bayrock Capital bought the building for $14 million and announced plans to convert it to residences.

Built in 1908 | Converted in 2018
4 availabilities from $7,995,000

555-West-End-Avenue 555 West End Avenue (Rendering credit of Hayes Davidson)
Ever since this Upper West Side Catholic school was built at the beginning of the 20th century, residents and visitors have marveled at the carved stone façade elements, parapets, filigreed windows, limestone window bays, and turrets among the eye-catching details of the English collegiate and Gothic style design of William A. Boring's design. Cary Tamarkin, a contemporary architecture luminary, restored these elements while adding a discreet penthouse and making minor alterations, all with Landmarks' blessing.

555-West-End-Avenue-1 555 West End Avenue, #THELIBRARY (Sotheby's International Realty)
From the listing:The only new condominium in NYC with 18½ foot ceilings in a 42-foot long Great Room, with towering arched windows, “The Library” (2W) has 5 bedrooms, 5 en suite baths and a powder room. With a private landing and 3,463 square feet on two levels, the Library is one of 13 extraordinary, one-of-a-kind residences in Tamarkin Co.'s conversion of this landmarked former school. The kitchen features solid white fumed oak cabinets crafted by Christopher Peacock, with fluted glass cabinet fronts and Nanz hardware, and is open to the 37-foot Great Room providing a relaxed living and dining environment. See floor plan and full details here.

309 East 108th Street
Built in 1889 | Converted in 1987
1 availability for $849,000

309-East-108th-Street-01 Magnolia Mansion (Sotheby's International Realty)
Nearly 100 years after it was built as a school, the building at 309 East 108th Street was converted to The Magnolia Mansion Lofts, a condominium with a full-time superintendent, modern infrastructure, and common outdoor space. However, original features like a grand entry and statement columns have been beautifully restored.

East Harlem condos Magnolia Mansion, #5F (Sotheby's International Realty)
From the Listing: This sunny and spacious Duplex Loft at the Magnolia Mansion Lofts offers 14-foot high ceilings, north facing over-sized windows, washer/dryer in unit, hardwood floors and over 1,250 square feet +/- of functional living space. The loft is turnkey, fully renovated with new bathroom finishes and kitchen finishes and appliances. The foyer offers a generous size room suitable for library or home office placement. The first floor features a grand living room, open kitchen, full bathroom and four large north-facing windows. The open social kitchen looks onto an expansive living and dining area ideal for entertaining. The primary and guest bedrooms are situated on the second floor as well as the primary bathroom and a washer/dryer. See floor plan and full details here.

220 West 148th Street
Built in 1905 | Converted in 2009
2 availabilities from $1,095,000

220-West-148th-Street-1 PS90 (Compass)
Originally a public elementary school, PS90 graduated to a highly desirable doorman condominium. Its elaborately ornamented terra cotta and limestone exterior was carefully restored to its original detail, but the interiors had to be torn out and replaced. Nevertheless, the school's grand proportions can be seen in spacious rooms, high ceilings, and oversized windows. In 2011, it received a Lucy G. Moses Award, also known as "the Oscars of preservation."

220-West-148th-Street-02 PS90, #2C (The Corcoran Group)
From the listing: Massive 1,500-square-foot loft-like 2-bedroom, 2-bath home with soaring 12-foot ceilings, two exposures and double height windows at the famed PS90 Condominium. This stunning apartment features wide-plank herringbone oak floors, a Bosch washer/dryer, central a/c and endless closet space. The layout is gracious with an expansive entry gallery, dining area and open kitchen featuring Italian Stevali cabinetry, Caesarstone countertops and stainless steel appliances. The primary bedroom gives way to a four fixture en-suite primary bath with soaking tub, separate shower stall and Palmira stone tile. See floor plan and full details here.

279 Sterling Place
Built in 1893 | Converted in 2006
No current availabilities

279-Sterling-Place 279 Sterling Place (Compass)
Public School 9 Annex may have been built out of the necessity to relieve overcrowding at the school across the street, but the result is a Romanesque Revival building that would become a New York City landmark and entrant on the National Historic Registry. See full details here.

44 Cheever Place
Built in 1922 | Converted in 1986
No current availabilities

44-Cheever-Place-01 The Cobble Hill School Condo (Compass)
In the boundaries of the Cobble Hill Historic District, a schoolhouse was converted to a boutique condominium to accommodate the growing demand for housing. All apartments feature soaring ceilings and loft-like interiors, and amenities include a laundry room, assigned storage units, bike room, and on-site parking. See full details here.

Built in 1901 | Converted in 1984
No current availabilities

174-Pacific-Street 174 Pacific Street (Brown Harris Stevens)
Cobble Hill's onetime P.S. 78 gets an A in renovations! It is now a New York City Landmark with gated parking, and offering excellent access to Trader Joe's, popular restaurants, and top shopping. See full details here.

371 Madison Street
Built in 1908 | Converted in 2014
No current availabilities

371-Madison-Street The School House (Modern Spaces)
371-Madison-Street Swimming pool
371-Madison-Street Courtyard
The Lower East Side is one of New York's most vibrant neighborhoods, but this prewar school has been converted to loft-like apartments that act as light-filled oases from the hustle and bustle. It has a full-time doorman, and building amenities include a fitness center, near-Olympic-sized pool, laundry room, on-site parking, bike room, screening room, and courtyard. See further details here.

340 East 117th Street
Built in 1906 | Converted in 2020
4 availabilities from $2,960/month

340-East-117th-Street-01 East River Lofts (Living R.E. Group)
East River Lofts is the residential conversion of the former P.S. 85 in East Harlem. A brick and glass addition designed by Issac & Stern Architects has been seamlessly incorporated into the original school, and all sections had new casement windows installed. Amenities include virtual doorman service, bike room, package room, fitness center, lounge, and roof decks with sweeping city views.

340-East-117th-Street-02 East River Lofts, #5F (Living New York)
From the Listing: One-bedroom loft is filled with light from oversized windows. The open, windowed kitchen features granite countertops, custom cabinetry and self-closing drawers, and top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances. Additional features include a king-sized bedroom, a marble bathroom, abundant closet space, and an in-unit washer/dryer. The building features a doorman, two landscaped roof decks with views of the city's skyline, a state-of-the-art fitness center and thoughtfully designed lounge. See floor plan and full details here.

526 West 146th Street
Built in 1902 | Converted in 2016
No current availabilities

526-West-146th-Street The Residences at PS186 (Dattner Architects)
At the beginning of the 20th century, this Neoclassical school building was designed by New York City Chief C.B.J. Snyder. Over 100 years later, after the structure had fallen into significant disrepair, Dattner Architects took on the task of preserving its historic exteriors and converting the interiors to community space for the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem and affordable apartments. The units boast 14' ceilings, and residential amenities include a video intercom, laundry room, community room, bike room, and the services of a live-in superintendent. See further details here.

Built in 1906 | Converted in 2016
3 availabilities from $3,200/month

17-Monitor-Street 17 Monitor Street (Nooklyn)
A short distance from the L train, the St. Cecilia Catholic School has been converted to a modern "residential retreat" while honoring its prewar architecture. Amenities include a gym, laundry room, game room, lounge, bike storage, private parking, a common courtyard, and a roof deck with skyline views.

17-Monitor-Street-02 17 Monitor Street, #3O (Nooklyn)
From the listing: You don’t see a place like this everyday; original details kept in this one-of-a-kind converted luxury school building off the Graham L train. Designer details, vaulted casement windows, stone countertops and stainless steal appliances. Five-minute walk to McGolrick Park and an awesome Sunday morning farmers market, not to mention all the great bars and restaurants in the area. See further details here.

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