PS 1, originally First Ward School, was built in 1892 when Long Island City was actually an independent city. The building’s 35 classrooms were supplemented with a new wing in 1905, which added 21 classrooms. New York City still owns the building.
The square tower at the building’s southwest corner originally had a clock and bell. The school closed in 1962; in 1978 the NYC Institute of Contemporary Art reopened the building as “Project Studios One” gallery and studio space. The Museum of Modern Art took over the museum (via merger) in 2000. MoMA appended a cast concrete entrance building to the site’s northeast corner in 2011.
The restored red brick and terra cotta structure is a joy to look at, but the concrete addition seems to shout, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
PS 1 Vital Statistics
- Location: 46-01 21st Street at 46th Avenue/ 22-25 Jackson Avenue (addition)
- Year completed: 1892; expanded 1905; altered 1978, 1997, 2011
- Architect: Shael Shapiro (1976); Frederick Fisher (1997); Andrew Berman (addition, 2011)
- Floors: 4
- Style: Romanesque Revival; Brutalist addition
PS 1 Recommended Reading
- Wikipedia entry
- MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) PS1 website
- Andrew Berman (entrance building architect) website