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East Irvington School was constructed in 1891 in the Colonial Revival style that was popular American from 1880-1950. The school was built to accommodate the influx of Irish immigrants into the community. This large brick building has been one of the most prominent structures in the small community of East Irvington. In 1983 it was converted into a condominium complex.

East Irvington School

East Irvington School

East Irvington School is a former public school building that was constructed in 1891 in the Colonial Revival Style. The Hudson River towns were initially settled by the Dutch during the 1650s, then the British and then during the mid-1800s, a great number of Irish immigrants came to escape hunger and disease in Ireland. Some of these settled in Irvington and their community was dubbed “little Dublin.” Many of these Irish residents worked on the New York and Hudson River Railroad, the Old Croton Aqueduct, and on the river docks and estates of Irvington. A school building was needed for the growing population of children and reflected the broad consensus at the end of the 19th century that education was essential in preparing young people to become productive citizens. 

The school was originally built as a “common school.” A common school was a public school that taught from kindergarten to an eighth-grade level and consisted of only had one to two rooms and taught multiple grade levels at the same time. High schools were mainly private academies. Eventually, both middle and high schools in larger communities were developed into individual grades with instruction designed for different grade levels. Gymnasiums and libraries added resulting in more community activities being held in schools.

Initially, the East Irvington school only had one story and four classrooms, each of these classrooms had two grades. The school also had a kitchen, basement, and a room that was a combination of a lunchroom and recreation area. In 1925 a second story was added to the school building, the second floor held four more classrooms. By the 1950s, the school was used for kindergarten, first, and second grade. In 1955 it became a full grade school until 1972 it was closed because the town was to establishing a more modern centralized school system. In 1983, the school was converted into condominium apartments.

This school building serves as a historical reminder of the evolution of Irvington's public school system and the neighborhood of "little Dublin."

1.Parks, Alicia. "The Irish Immigrant Experience." Pennsylvania Legacies 14, no. 2 (2014): 34-35. Accessed September 23, 2020. doi:10.5215/pennlega.14.2.0034.

2.Knight, Edgar W. "The Evolving and Expanding Common School." The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 265 (1949): 92-100. Accessed September 22, 2020.

3.National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form, East Irvington School, October 6, 1983 Westchester County Historical Society Archive, Accessed September 17, 2020.

4.Williams, Gray. Picturing Our Past: National Register Sites in Westchester County. Elmsford, New York. Westchester Historical County Historical Society , 2003.

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