9. Special Mention, Oldest Public Elementary School in NYC: P.S. 34, 1867

p-s-34-greenpoint-oldest-public-school-samuel-b-leonard-brooklyn-nycThe red brick facade of P.S. 234, New York City’s oldest public elementary school.

Many may not know that Greenpoint, Brooklyn is home to the oldest public elementary school in New York City: P.S. 34. Designed by Samuel B. Leonard and built in 1867, the imposing, red brick building is hard to miss, and the P.S. 34 administration take pride in overseeing “the oldest continuously operating elementary school in Brooklyn.”

The building itself was used as a hospital during the Civil War, so that the former wards became the current classrooms. The Romanesque Revival building is a New York City Landmark today, and its establishment was part of the nineteenth-century drive for public education in Brooklyn, which shaped the neighborhood significantly.