High School – Jamestown NY


Federal Public Works Administration Docket No. NY 2754 entailed the construction of two school buildings in Jamestown, New York: the new Jamestown High School and the Industrial Arts Building nearby.

“In 1935 a new Jamestown High School opened for classes. Financed in part by the Public Works Administration, it is an Art Deco school that occupies the site of the Jamestown Union School and Collegiate Institute on East Second Street. Plans for a new high school had been considered as early as 1920 but problems with cost and siting kept the project from proceeding. The architectural firm of Beck and Tinkham prepared the plans for the main building, and Oliver Johnson designed the industrial arts building, located at the southeast of the main building, in 1934. The general contract was given to the John W. Cowper Company of Buffalo. The high school received additions in 1967 and 1986. Art Deco elements used in the design of the building include low relief, geometrical motifs; parallel vertical lines; stepped pilasters; and grooved, block style, lettering.” (Historic Overview)

According to PWA documents:
“These buildings replace the the Collegiate Institute and Union School … the new buildings have 45% greater capacity than the old.”

“The Auditorium, which is in the High School Building, seats 1600, is acoustically designed, and has a large fully equipped stage. It has a moving picture booth, radio amplifying system and theatre lighting. A large gymnasium is placed directly below the auditorium.”

“The buildings were substantially completed on March 31, 1937. The Public Works Administration assisted by a loan and a 30% grant. Total construction cost was $1,264,200 and the total project cost was $1,394,900.”

Source notes

Historic Overview:

National Archives Record Group 135-SAR:
Prints: Photographs rejected for use in the Photographic Report to the President: “Survey of the Architecture of Completed Projects of the PWA, 1939”;
Box 14: New York State; Folder 1: Schools.

Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on July 30, 2014.

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Location Info

350 E 2nd St.
Jamestown, NY 14701

Coordinates: 42.096280, -79.235990

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