In Gotham Town there stands a school . . .that has just turned 225.
When pondering a city’s history, one often creates something of timeline in the mind—noting first the battles and conquests, the storied leaders, the gradual rising of buildings, the varied means of transportation, the belching smokestacks of industry, the complex layering of society.
What might go un-noted in such a run-through is the profound impact of education on the shaping of a city, and certainly in the case of New York City, there is a vibrant storyline in the small schools that rose, often against the odds, to educate the city’s children . . . its future leaders and innovators.
One such school is Friends Seminary, a Quaker school, which stands today, in its 225th year, as the oldest continuous co-educational school in New York City. It’s campus, a symbiosis of historic buildings and 21st century design, sits adjacent to Stuyvesant Square Park in Manhattan…at once a quiet oasis in the bustle of the city and a resonant center of learning.
Founded in 1786 with a $10,000 bequest by Robert Murray, a Quaker and prominent shipping merchant, the Friends Institute, later Friends Seminary, opened its doors with the radical idea that boys and girls deserve the same educational opportunities….