P. S. 37 Futures Academy
295 Carlton St., Buffalo, NY

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Art Deco style

Futures Academy

Side entrance:

Bas-relief foliated panel

Art Deco style spandrel panel

Art Deco style geometric and stylized ornamentation

Art Deco style geometric, stylized capital

Art Deco style geometric, stylized parapet and frieze





Daniel G. McNeil

Date of Initial Construction


Historical and Architectural Importance

The building is a fine example of the Art Deco style exhibiting the characteristic vertical emphasis, strips of windows with decorated spandrel panels and low relief stylized decoration.

The school building is one of two Buffalo public schools, the other being Public School No. 203, that demonstrates full use of the Art Deco style, with Public School Nos. 4, 82 and 301 containing the style to the entrance bays.

Daniel G. McNeil is the architect. Mr. McNeil came to Buffalo from Watertown in 1918 and joined the John W. Cowper Co. as architect. He later joined George Townsend and formed a firm that endured for several years. He served as head architect for the Board of Education for thirteen years, directing the design and construction of public schools no. 18, 33, 37, 64, 67, 82 and Kensington High School. In 1951 he joined the firm Fenno and Reynolds.

Public School No. 37 was organized in 1881 in a one story frame building at Williamsville Road and Genesee Street. In 1885, a two story brick structure belonging to District No. 15, .at the corner of Peach and Carlton Streets was enlarged and occupied by Public School No. 37. From 1917-1920 alterations were made to the structure that included the addition of a large assembly hall.

In 1926 Public Schools No. 37, 41 and 47 were combined and renamed East Central Pre-vocational Group. The school offered students commercial courses in business, typing, bookkeeping, accounting, banking and office management.

The present structure was erected from funds appropriated by the Public Works Administration, making it the first local structure of its kind to be built under such a procedure. The "flexible type" building allows classrooms to be made smaller or larger as pupil enrollment and class size deem necessary. The school, when opened, provided rooms for elementary grades and Girl's Continuation School.

Interrelationship of Building and Surroundings

The school building is located on the south side of Carlton Street between Orange and Peach Streets. The east side residential neighborhood, known as the Fruit Belt, is composed of one and one half story workman cottages and empty lots.

Other Notable Features of Building and Site

The school building is a three story, thirteen bay, brick structure with projecting end bays. The E-shape plan with flat roof features the Art Deco style. The symmetrical front (north) facade is divided horizontally by a stone band course at the basement and third floor level. Three story fluted stone pilaster strips flank window bays with low relief Ionic capitals in the band above the piers.

A brick parapet with stone band marks the roof line. The structure has a high stone basement level with buff colored brick facing the principal elevations.

The first floor center bay features a projecting stone entrance with end piers and stylized foliate relief carving in the spandrel area. The recessed double doors have a transom decorated with wrought iron grill work.

Window fenestration consists of three story vertical bands enframing straight headed 4/4 light windows with second and third floor bronze spandrel areas decorated with a chevron pattern. Dentils cap third floor windows.

The projecting end bays have brick patterned quoins with a three story center panel composed of rows of triangular shaped bricks.

Building Materials

Stone, Brick, Concrete

Structural System

Steel Frame.


Building-Structure Inventory Form - 1979 and 1984; Buffalo Times, January 19, 1902, November 14, 1926; Courier Express, June 23, 1934, February 7, 1935, August 23, 1933.

Photos and their arrangement ?2007 Chuck LaChiusa
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