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Designed by Irvington architect Alfred J. Manning and constructed by local builder James Parr in 1898, the Washington Irving High School is notable for its turn-of-the-century Elizabethan architecture. Locally, the school represents the population growth and prosperity of Tarrytown at the end of the 19th century and the subsequent expansion of the school system. It accommodated up to 584 students from grades one through twelve. The school functioned for over six decades until it was closed in 1979 and converted into condominiums.

Building, Sky, Tree, Neighbourhood

Plant, Building, Window, Tree

Washington Irving High School was built on the site of the old Van Tassel house, which is believed to be the farmhouse described by Washington Irving in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The school is located on a highly visible site near the Main Street and Broadway intersection of the village. It was named after Irving, who was one of Tarrytown’s most famous citizens. The two and a half story building features a raised granite foundation, brick exterior walls, terra cotta detailing, and Tudor-arched windows.

Once completed, the school was considered one of the most modern of its kind in Westchester County. It consisted of six classrooms, a library, the principal’s office, and a meeting room on the first floor, as well as six more classrooms and an assembly room on the second floor. Additional amenities include chemistry and physics laboratories, separate lavatories for teachers and students, gymnasiums for boys and girls, and the newest heating and ventilating systems.

When a new, larger high school was built in 1925, the former Washington Irving High School was renamed the Pierson School and operated as an elementary school until 1979. The building was converted into residential apartments; the complex is now named Landmark Condominiums.

Mascia, Sara. “Historical Society Landmark Recognition in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow.” The Chronicle, April 2001.

National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks Program Records. “New York SP Irving, Washington, High School,” April 26, 1984.

Williams, Gray. “Washington Irving High School.” Essay. In Picturing Our Past: National Register Sites in Westchester County, 396–97. Elmsford, NY: Westchester County Historical Society, 2003.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

O'Brien, A. Washington Irving High School. 1984. Photograph. National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks Program Records.