Public School 6, Yonkers

Public School 6, one of our favorite ruins in Yonkers, is again slated for the wrecking ball. A plan to raze it several years ago and to construct a Walgreens on the site dissipated and the chosen developer was later implicated in some political scandal. Colin Gustafson of the Journal News reported yesterday that a new plan is in the works to demolish School 6 and build two apartment buildings on the site.

Displaced tenants from nearby Cottage Place may have the chance to move into these new buildings when that housing project is torn down. The City of Yonkers is aiming to demolish its mid-century public housing projects and replace them with modern apartments and townhouses. Mulford Gardens was the first such housing project to be demolished; it came down in 2009.

Yonkers architect C.C. Chipman designed Public School 6, which was built in the 1890s. It closed in 1986 after the City of Yonkers was found guilty of segregating its public schools by clustering low-income housing in one part of the city. Students from southwest Yonkers were then to be bussed to other schools throughout the city in a plan to rework the school system. School 6 was declared to be “located on a difficult site, is antiquated (in part) beyond cost-effective rehabilitation, and the need to acquire adjacent sites poses likely time and cost constraints.” Thus it was not be part of the new plan and it closed.

School 6 in Yonkers sat abandoned and neglected since it closed. Its roof began to cave in during the 20o0s, resulting in a partial roof collapse around early 2007. All photos of School 6 shown here were taken March 3, 2007.

A bonus photo today is a ghost sign on an adjacent apartment building on Ashburton Avenue, for Barton Chapin Real Estate and Insurance.

Other decommissioned schools throughout the Hudson Valley found new life in the second half of the 20th century as apartments, offices and day care centers. Unfortunately the same was not done for School 6. It certainly would have served any of those purposes well.

Bonus #2:

Yonkers doesn’t have the only abandoned Public School 6 in the Hudson Valley. Here is School 6, another nice piece of architecture, in Newburgh.

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38 Responses to Public School 6, Yonkers

  1. Pete Maxwell says:

    My parents, my siblings, and I all graduated from P.S. 6. It’s sad to see the old Alma Mater in such sad shape.

    • HV-Rob says:

      Hi Pete,

      Thanks for your note – sorry you’ve got to see your old school decay like this. I didn’t go to any schools half as interesting as P.S. 6. Really too bad it is going to be demolished. If you have any old photos or yearbook shots of the school, I’d be glad to post them here.


  2. Daniel Mackay says:

    The proposed demolition at this site just received $30m in state funding in today’s (12/8/2011) regional economic development council funding awards.

  3. Robert says:

    It would be nice to make the site a community center for the kids of Yonkers, if I had the money thats what I would do with it. They wonder why the streets are filled with violence. Because our children have nothing to do and no where to go. SMH. How much would it take to bring that building back to life, for the community.

  4. Rick Hayward says:

    I was born 1956 in Yonkers and lived there till 1975. Wish they would see the beauty in these old buildings and maybe fix them up instead of tearing them down.

  5. Steven Bowers says:

    I went to Kindergarten at PS 6 before going to St Joseph’s on Ashburton.

    • Anthony Norwood says:

      I also went to school six. I went there from kindergarden to sixth grade. Ms. Lightsey was my favorite teacher. So, so sad what has happened to this school..

  6. nino says:

    This is the school that the inventor of FM radio went to Edwin armstrong. They should preserve it.

  7. Ted Rosenthal says:

    I graduated from PS 6 in the summer of 1940. They played a song popular at that time: I’ll be with you in apple blossom time. I visited Yonkers about 20 years ago from my home in Los Angeles. I was sad to see the condition of the school and the area in general.

  8. Paul Gorfinkel says:

    I graduated PS #6 in 1965, then went on to Hawthorne JHS and Yonkers HS. I live in Long Island now, but I like to pass by PS #6 every few years to see what remains of it. I passed by yesterday, June 9, 2013, and was flabbergasted to see it totally razed, and grass growing in part of the area where the building stood. There’s a high wooden fence around the site, but there are cracks in the fence. I guess I won’t be seeing my principal Mr. Radko there anymore.

    • Marge Paradis says:

      I was born in 1958 in Yonkers. I too graduated from School 6. I with you there Paul, none of us will not be seeing Mr. Radko there anymore.

  9. HV-Rob says:

    Thanks for the update, Paul.

  10. Sean Xu says:

    We are the subcontractor for the work. I am designing a treatment system for the groundwater we will be pumping from this site. Work will start in July, 2013.

  11. Alan Foldes says:

    Went to school 6 from 1942 to 1948.

    What a shame.

  12. wayne Heinrichs says:

    I started kindergarten At ps 6 in 1963, back when the annex was new and modern. I visited Yonkers after 40 years, and wow, what a difference. My street is totally different ( Quincy Place) And my beloved ps 6 is gone. I remember my teacher, Mrs Ward teaching us Halloween songs and our ABCS, and right from wrong. What aloss, good bye old school.

  13. Richard Parliament says:

    Started kindergarten in 1966 thru. 3rd. Really sad. They tore down the Library in Getty Square, why not P.S. 6?

  14. Alexis says:

    I would love to apply for an apartment once this is built. How would I go about doing so?

  15. Michael Thomas says:

    Recently took some photos of the new apartments being built. It looks as if the arched entrance to the school is being preserved in the new construction.
    I was there only for the 6th grade & graduated in 1958. On to Longfellow then Gorton & finally Hackley in Tarrytown before Princeton & Columbia Law School.
    Fond memories!

  16. Peter Ricci says:

    I went to this school from 1957-1960. I remember playing dodge ball in the gym which was located in the basement. Every spring they use to have competition in different games and all the students would participate by forming two teams, the Gold Team and the Blue Team.
    I remember Mrs. Marhes (not sure about the spelling) my 6th grade Teacher.

  17. Caroline says:

    I graduated in ’56. I learned more about reading, writing and ‘ritmetic at this school than college graduates know these days.

  18. donald kizer says:

    I went there for second and third grade. 1964 and 1965. I had the lead in Dr Fixes tiy hospital
    Do anyone remember Mrs Venagas?

  19. Ray Tkacz says:

    Mrs Crier, 4th grade,’61. Mrs Donahue, 5th grade, 62. Mrs. Scotto, 6th grade, 63. Loved them all, loved PS #6 and loved growing up in Schlobohm. Hope they come up with a time machine someday to go back to such a wonderful place that Yonkers was. RIP #6, Cottage Gardens, Longfellow JHS and the all shops and stores on Ashburton Ave. where you could live and die without ever having to leave because of everything that was once there.

  20. Baa says:


    Does anyone know where schools 1,2, and 3 were? I do believe the Yonkers schools were all numbered. I believe I came across something that said School 1 was where Runyon Heights housing projects is now. As for 2 & 3 I don’t know. I know PS 4 was near Yonkers avenue, and was torn down to make low-income housing. Like so many historic buildings Yonkers did nothing to preserve them. Thanks for preserving the memories of old Yonkers everyone. And thank you for your great work Rob.

  21. philip tannous says:

    I am confused here. I went to ps 12 on ashburton ave and this school looks just like it, is it the same school? I been away from Yonkers since 1980

  22. Diana Hess says:

    Went to P.S.6 for kindergarten, Mrs. Ward, and 1st grade Miss Barnes in the annex, then went to p.s.12, but due to crowding, was sent back to p.s. 6 for 6th grade. Miss Moore, whose classroom was on the 3rd floor with the most beautiful view of the Hudson River. So sad these beautiful historic buildings are not preserved.

  23. Sherrie Hardin says:

    Not sure if this is the school No 6 (then known as John M. Mason school) on Ashburton, but if it was, my great grandfather, Thomas May born in 1870, went to school there. In his obituary it mentions the school.

    My family also lived on Mulford Street. All the buildings were razed to make Mulford Gardens.

  24. keith jones says:

    I along with many of my life-long friends lived in Cottage Place Gardens which was adjacent to School #6. The school was a huge part of our lives as well as CPG. Down the hill from P.S.6 was a church that was turned into the Getty Square Neighborhood Center(GSNC),which became our home away from home. This center combined with school 6 kept us out of trouble,focused on school, and provided us with a safe haven when we needed it. It formed our lives and guided us in the most positive way. I can’t begin to say how much both these institutions meant to me, personally. School 6 was one of our playgrounds after school as well as GSNC, the basketball court at Commerce H.S. on North Broadway, the creek behind Schlobaum houses and other historical sites in and around Yonkers. But I digress. P.S. 6 is where I was a junior safety officer,won the foul shot contest, and played Scrooge in” A Christmas Carol” for a couple of years, as well as learning how to play the trumpet(wish I had followed-up with that). I hate to see it go but hope it provides much needed housing for people in dire need of it. God bless you School#6. I ,personally, will never and can’t ever forget you. I can’t go without mentioning the most important educator that has ever been a part of my life, Mrs. Cryer. Thanks for whacking me across the knuckles with that ruler and sending me home crying to my parents who sent me back to school to apologize for whatever minor indiscretion I was guilty of. Life lesson in there somewhere.

  25. David Morrison says:

    My father, George McNeil Morrison, graduated from John M. Mason School (later to be named School #6) in a commencement exercise held on June 22, 1920. He lived less than a block away at 12 Ashburton Place which ran perpendicular to Ashburton Avenue. Ashburton Place could be easily seen from the school and my father said that he was never able to play hooky because he would be easily spotted down the block. I still have the Commencement Exercise Program. In a recent visit to the area, I was happy to see that the apartment building on the former site of School #6 has architectural details incorporated into it that resemble the old school building. How nice to see. Also, it was nice to see that plaque on the building which honored Edwin Howard Armstrong, the inventor of FM radio who graduated from School #6 in 1905.

    • Ivana says:

      It was so lovely to read all your memories and comments on this websote with out realising it you all memorialized each person who ever visited and loved this school. It was an honor to try apply for this building. In the future if I apply again(if I can find an application) and if I ever did get an apartment it would be wonderful to be sit and have dinner with you all. So much history here and I love it. I hope Yonkers preserves more instead of destroying.

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