PS 59, The Beekman Hill International School

New York, NY

In September 2008 the P.S 59 opened for the first day of school in a building that had been an abandoned nurse’s residence just 19 months prior.

PS 59 is the first public school in New York City to achieve compliance with the sustainable design standards mandated by the City Council for all public construction. The design radically transformed a 90-year old residential building into a neighborhood elementary school, maintaining the building’s historic architectural character while announcing the school’s presence with a striking intervention crowning the building’s roofline. EE&K’s design also created a new Community Place in this Upper Eastside neighborhood.

EE&K guided an unusual public-private partnership between World-Wide Properties, and the NYC School Construction Authority from initial feasibility through to completion. The challenge of transforming an abandoned nurse’s residence into a new elementary school was all the more remarkable given the 19-month period between the initial feasibility studies to opening day.