Friday, January 8, 2010

School for Boys at the State Institute for Feeble-Minded Children

In 1876, the state of New York was making significant changes to their Institute for Feeble Minded Children (Previously known as the New York State Asylum for Idiots and later known as the Syracuse Developmental Center), its first home and school for children with developmental disabilities.  J. L. Silsbee was retained by the state as the Institute's architect for a school for boys and continued as their architect to complete other property assessments and improvements at the Syracuse campus as well as other locations in the state.  Once located atop a hill adjacent to Burnet Park in Syracuse, the boy's school was the first major addition to the campus since it was first established there in 1854.

The sprawling structure consisted of large kitchen and cafeteria, living areas and classrooms for the male population of the Institute.  It was a Victorian Gothic style building, a style for which Silsbee had become very popular.  It was constructed of red brick with polychrome brick and stone accents and wood cupola and porches.
From the Immigration to the United States digital collection,
Open Collections Program, Harvard University Library

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