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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)


These schools are rich in original architectural details, but the interiors are top residential (PS 90 in Harlem) These schools are rich in original architectural details, but the interiors are top residential (PS 90 in Harlem)
On Monday, September 13, classes are set to begin in New York's public schools with students returning to campus after a year of remote learning. In addition to such safety measures as mask requirements, health forms, new air purifiers, enhanced cleaning protocols, and a supply of PPE, the city is requiring all adults working in the school system to be vaccinated. While there is no student vaccine mandate, Mayor de Blasio noted that 65 percent of 12 to 17-year-olds in New York City have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

Back-to-school season has been on the minds of many parents and students in recent weeks, but 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.

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.

The Glass Farmhouse, Midtown West

448 West 37th Street
Built in 1914 | Converted in 1982
2 availabilities from $1.4 million

448-West-37th-Street-1 All images of The Glass Farmhouse via Compass
448-West-37th-Street-1 All images of The Glass Farmhouse #11C via Serhant
A few short blocks from Hudson Yards, this brick and limestone loft building was converted to condominiums with 12' ceilings, light-filled living space, and open skyline views.

From the listing: Currently configured as a 1 bedroom plus one office and 2 full bathrooms this move in ready home features soaring 12-foot-high ceilings, oversized 8-foot-tall north and east facing windows allowing plenty of natural light all day long and picture perfect views of the most iconic NYC buildings such as the Empire State and New Yorker. The extra-large bedroom features plenty of closet space and a en-suite bathroom with deep soaking tub. The home office can also be used as a guest room and is conveniently located next to the guest bathroom which has a large walk-in shower. See floor plan and full details here.

The Beekman Regent, Midtown East

351 East 51st Street
Built in 1893 | Converted in 2000
5 availabilities from $1.7 million

351-East-51st-Street The Beekman Regent via Corcoran
351-East-51st-Street-1 All images of The Beekman Regent #11B via Berkshire Hathaway
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.

From the listing: The well-designed layout features winged bedrooms, separated by a large great room, framed with herringbone floors throughout, oversized windows with scintillating city views capturing East River and Four Freedom Park. Special features include an open kitchen, Central HVAC, in-unit washer/dryer, designer outfitted closets offering an abundance of storage space, and extensive picture framed windows throughout. When entering the apartment, the foyer leads into the fully renovated open concept kitchen with stone countertops and backsplash, customized ceiling height cabinetry providing ample storage space, recessed ceiling lighting, designer appliances offering Sub-Zero refrigerator, Miele dishwasher, Thermador gas range, double under-mounted stainless steel sinks with tiled kitchen flooring. See floor plan and full details here.

Built in 1908 | Converted in 2018
7 availabilities from $7.5 million

555-West-End-Avenue 555 West End Avenue (Rendering credit of Hayes Davidson
555-West-End-Avenue-1 All images of 555 West End Avenue via Sotheby's
555-West-End-Avenue-2 Kitchen
555-West-End-Avenue-3 Master bath
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.

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.

PS90, Harlem

220 West 148th Street
Built in 1905 | Converted in 2009
1 availability for $1.15 million

220-West-148th-Street-1 All images of PS90 via 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."

From the listing: Spectacular corner apartment in the award winning PS 90 Condominium faces south and west with soaring 12-foot ceilings and enormous cathedral-style windows that look all the way to midtown and over the courtyard garden and onto the beautiful details of the gothic exterior across the way. This huge one-bedroom home easily converts to two bedrooms. It contains DuChateau European oak wide-plank LEED Certified floors throughout, with a herring-bone pattern in the living room. The wide and long entry gallery is the ideal place to display art. The stunning kitchen, perfect for entertaining, is open both to the dining area and the loft living room and has Italian Stevali walnut-toned cabinetry, KitchenAid stainless steel appliances, quartzite countertops and backsplash, Hansgrohe faucets and halogen recessed lighting. See floor plan and full details here.

Public School 9 Annex, Prospect Heights

279 Sterling Place
Built in 1893 | Converted in 2006
1 availability for $1.4 million

279-Sterling-Place 279 Sterling Place via 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.

From the listing: Let there be light! 279 Sterling Place #1C strikes an exquisite balance between old and new: a clean, modern loft in a landmark converted schoolhouse. Inside, this stunning duplex has been completely reimagined by L/AND/A (Light and Air) Architects, and the work lives up to the firm's name. Light streams through the 10-foot windows of the immense living room with all its old partitions removed to increase the sense of volume. While it maintains pre-war details like exposed brick and hardwood floors, the innovative design allows light to filter through the entire apartment and maximizes usable space with a central armature that contains built-in bookshelves, a coat closet, a powder room, a washer/dryer, and the brand-new kitchen. See floor plan and full details here.

Inkwell, Midtown West

520 West 45th Street
Built in 1905 | Converted in 2016
3 availabilities from $2.3 million

520-West-45th-Street All images of Inkwell via 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.

From the listing: All at once welcoming and comfortable, the 24-foot wide living/dining room features 13' ceilings and towering multi-panel state-of-the-art windows, flooding the apartment with natural light. The seller specially designed and installed an expansive built-in which seamlessly matches the rich wood of the apartment and provides an enormous amount of extra storage. Designed for easy living and gracious entertaining, the chef's kitchen is open and outfitted with a large pantry for additional storage and convenience. It features a massive center island with a soapstone slab counter and ample work space, and boasts a Viking appliance suite, wine cellar, deep farmhouse sink, Watermark faucet and disposal. The large primary bedroom is ensuite and includes a custom-designed walk-in closet and blackout shades. See floor plan and full details here.

174 Pacific Street, Cobble Hill

Built in 1901 | Converted in 1984
1 availability for $1.7 million

174-Pacific-Street 174 Pacific Street via Brown Harris Stevens
174-Pacific-Street-1 Interiors via 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.

From the listing: Dramatic sun filled loft living room with dining area has 14-foot ceilings, wood burning fireplace, central air, original hardwood floors, exposed brick wall and double height windows. The windowed eat-in kitchen has lots of cabinet storage, quarts counter tops, exposed brick back splash, stainless steel appliances and deep sink, plus a breakfast island with storage. Large main bedroom has amazing 14-foot ceiling, closet storage, mezzanine storage, exposed brick wall and amazing light. See floor plan and full details here.

East River Lofts, East Harlem

340 East 117th Street
Built in 1906 | Converted in 2020
1 availability for $2,362/month

340-East-117th-Street-01 All images of East River Lofts via 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. Leasing is underway with two months free on a 14-month lease.

From the listing: One-bedroom, one-bath features sunny windows, hardwood floors, abundant closet space, and in-unit washer/dryer. The kitchen is outfitted with granite countertops, custom cabinetry, self-closing drawers, and top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances. See floor plan and full details here.
340-East-117th-Street-06 Photography via CityRealty

17 Monitor Street, Greenpoint

Built in 1906 | Converted in 2016
1 availability for $3,500/month

17-Monitor-Street All images of 17 Monitor Street via Watermark Capital Group
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.

From the listing: A stunning two bedroom located in the amazing 17 Monitor building off the Graham L. High ceilings, incredible light, top of the line amenities throughout. 5-minute walk to McGolrick Park and farmers market! The building is gorgeous with a fully equipped gym, laundry room, and entertainment room plus, package delivery room and a crazy-beautiful roof that looks out onto the skyline of Manhattan. See further details here.

29 King Street, Soho

Built in 1887 | Converted in 1981
No current availabilities

29-King-Street-1 All images of 29 King Street via CORE
29-King-Street Great Room
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.

The School House, Lower East Side

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

371-Madison-Street All images of The School House via 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.

The Residences at PS186, Hamilton Heights

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

526-West-146th-Street The Residences at PS186 via Dattner Architects
via 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.

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