30 Years of Graduating Classes from the New Building

Left: Battery Park City pre-development; Right: The building at 345 Chambers Street under construction

This past school year marked the 30th anniversary of Stuyvesant’s move from the old building on E 15th Street to its new campus on Chambers Street. 

In the 1980s, Principal Abraham “Abe” Baumel, along with a group of students, parents, and alumni, formed the Stuyvesant Coalition to consider the needs of their growing school community. They went through numerous ideas for improving the facilities at the old building on E 15th Street, which housed Stuyvesant students from 1907 to 1992. Emblematic of the Industrial Age, the school building designed by C. B. J. Snyder included marvelous machines, wood shops, and metalworking shops. As the Superintendent of School Buildings, Snyder viewed school buildings as civic monuments for a better society and designed them with grandeur. Alas, though the building was advanced for its time, no one expected Stuyvesant to remain there for the next 85 years, and no amount of renovation could change the fact that the building housed nearly double its 1,500-person capacity.

The Stuyvesant Coalition soon recognized that the only alternative was to move to a new site. In their search, they came across the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA), who offered Stuyvesant a 1.5-acre lot on Chambers Street. Back then, Battery Park City, built on the landfill from the World Trade Center construction site, was still relatively underdeveloped. The offered space was generous, but the Coalition was worried about the location of the site west of a busy, multilane highway (West Street). Principal Baumel and the Coalition, including the Volckhausen family, pressed hard for the construction of a pedestrian bridge over the highway and only agreed to the move when the BPCA promised to fund the construction of the TriBeCa Bridge. 

The building at 345 Chambers Street under construction