Franklin K. Lane High School
Franklin K. Lane High School, located in the Cypress Hills neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, was constructed with the assistance of federal Public Works Administration funds during the 1930s (PWA Docket No. NY 8884-R).
Short and Stanley-Brown write: “This is one of the largest and most modern schools in New York City and has been highly rated by the Municipal Art Commission. It is in a residential district.
It contains the usual administrative offices, service rooms, 84 classrooms, library, commercial museum, 4 gymnasiums, rooms for social activity, homemaking, artcraft, 8 drawing rooms, a swimming pool, and an auditorium. The student capacity is 1,700. The construction is fireproof. Marble and Caen stone are used in the lobby and auditorium.
The building is 362 feet long by 284 feet wide, with a basement, four stories and penthouse, and is 82 feet high. It was completed in March 1938 at a construction cost of $3,274,867 and a project cost of $3,421,830.”
The school has had a tumultuous history. In the 1970s, the school was sued for racial imbalance and poor performance. After these issues were addressed by redistricting and redesign, the school saw a huge turnaround and was cited in national studies for its successes. By the early 2000s, however, the school’s quality had once again decline and violence had become a serious problem. The school was phased out between 2007 and 2012. The high school has since been divided into several “theme-based small learning communities”: The Academy of Innovative Technology, The Brooklyn Lab School, Cypress Hill Prep Academy, The Urban Assembly School for Collaborative Healthcare, and Multicultural High School.
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C.W. Short and R. Stanley-Brown. "Public Buildings: A Survey of Architecture of Projects Constructed by Federal and Other Governmental Bodies Between the Years 1933 and 1939 with the Assistance of the Public Works Administration." (1939).
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My sister had to attend that horrible school during the time 3 of the “students” lit a teacher on fire….. !!! It was just terrible for her. One “kid” picked her up and threw her into the wall….that was it…..my family was done with that disgusting place. I hope that place was finally demolished into a heap of rubble !!
I attended Franklin K. Lane H.S. from 1980-1983 and it was the worst experience of my teenage Highschool life. So much discrimination. We could clearly see designated entrances for whites and one for Hispanics and African Americans. Gangs were never held accountable for their actions. My life was threatened and not one staff member did anything to help. I had a dear friend sneak me out of the school and I walked home. I made the decision at age 17 to leave the school legally. I did all my research(back then we used the resources of our public libraries):). Once I was out, I quickly checked out the newspaper adds and registered to take my G.E.D. and got me a job while I attended free workshops to learn office administration. Landed my first office job at age 20 as a data entry clerk. I’m sure if I would have been given the opportunity to attend a good H.S. I would have had a brighter future. This schools biggest issue back in the 80’s was their unwillingness to hire young teachers. Every teacher I had was from when the school originally opened I swear..LOL! I had one science teacher who was young and his best asset was he made his teachings interactive. He captured our interest and no one cut that class. So many uninspiring teachers that only sat and lectured to the point of boredom. The clear eyes guy commercial reminded me of my history teacher. I don’t regret my decision to leave the school..it literally saved my life, but what I do regret is the decision made to place me in that school preventing me the opportunity to graduate with a Highschool Diploma. Such is life!
In 1963-1966 I attended and graduated from this school at that time I have great memories of teachers and shop classes and that pool. And chores. And a beautiful cafeteria. For me a great experience. Thank you Lane.