St. Luke’s School, Greenwich Village, NYC

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St. Luke’s School is a rather plain complex, circa 1950-53, but is severe enough to look 40s. The two-story brick building runs along Greenwich Street at the back of the St. Luke’s in the Fields property. At the corner of Greenwich and Christopher Streets, there is a rounded corner with a prominent central window and topped by a band of limestone and a cross. Other than that the detailing is minimal.

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The architect was Thomas M. Bell, now not much known, but during his career he designed several church buildings including the St. Thomas Choir School on West 58th Street with architect Percival Goodman, more known for his synagogues than churches. The job here could possibly been his given his link with Trinity Church. Thomas was an associate architect in the office of Hobart Upjohn, the son of noted architect Richard Upjohn Jr. and grandson of famed architect Richard Upjohn. Thomas was affiliated with Trinity Church as consulting architect after Hobart Upjohn’s retirement in the mid-1940s. Given that St. Luke’s in the Fields property was owned by Trinity Church, the architect for the new school would have been decided on by its governing body.

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Today there are big plans for the school site with a massive new building on an empty lot to the south and an addition on top of the school. The Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the changes as the school and entire church complex are in a historic district, but the school will still be altered.

Sources: https://www.trinitywallstreet.org/about/history/guide-to-archives/finance

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