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City Ready to Demolish Landmark P.S. 31 in The Bronx

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[All [photos via Welcome2theBronx]

According to Welcome2theBronx, the city is all set to demolish the Mott Haven landmark P.S. 31. The threat of demolition has been a long time coming, despite the best efforts of New York preservationists, who argue that the gorgeous 116-year-old building is worth rescuing from ruined obscurity, and the fact that reports have deemed the historic structure "salvageable."


P.S. 31 was built in 1899 in the "Collegiate Gothic" style by the innovative municipal architect C. B. J. Snyder, who also designed a huge number of other schools during his tenure as the city's Superintendent of School Buildings. Long referred to as "The Castle on the Concourse" for its commanding presence in the Mott Haven neighborhood, the school was granted landmark status in 1986, before its closure in 1997. Since then, it's fallen into extreme disrepair and is consistently threatened with destruction, with little to no effort made on the part of the city to restore the building to its former dignity. The building has long been seen as a battleground site for Bronx residents and preservation advocates across the city.

In June 2013, the city argued that P.S. 31 was a "public hazard" and couldn't withstand any more storms, but two years later, the building remains standing and in virtually the same condition. Engineers hired by nonprofit SoBRO argued that "although structurally unsound, the building is salvageable," to such a degree that even Goldman Sachs has expressed interest in investing in the restoration process.

The question, then, of why the building has been left by the city to rot remains unanswered.

"This would never happen in Manhattan or Brooklyn or elsewhere in the City of New York," Ed García Conde of Welcome2theBronx sharply points out. "Why should we allow this to happen in The Bronx?"

A petition to save P.S. 31 is currently circulating.
· City Set to Demolish 'The Castle on The Concourse' PS 31 Despite Engineering Reports Stating That It's Salvageable [Welcome2theBronx]
· Petition: Protect The Landmarked PS 31 Save It From Demolition [Change.org]
· All P.S. 31 coverage [Curbed]