A Full-Service Historic Preservation Consulting Firm serving all of New York State and the Greater Northeast

Depew High School

Classroom Before Rehab
Auditorium Before Rehab
Hallway Before Rehab
Hallway During Rehab

Depew High School

591 Terrace Boulevard, Depew, NY

  • Date Built: 1914-1927
  • Total QREs: $7,456,000
  • Total HTCs: $3,728,000, Federal; $3,728,000 State.

Preservation Studios’ Role:

Preservation Studios completed the Part One, Two, and Three of the Historic Preservation Certification Applications as well as the National Register nomination.


Designed by architect Edgar E. Joralemon, the Depew High School was constructed in 1914 in a modest, stripped-down Neoclassical style, with later additions made in 1927 by architect Frank Spangenberg. The original 1914 block features a plan unique to schools designed by Joralemon, who later became the architect of many schools throughout the state of New York. In 1927, Depew High School was expanded eight bays in depth to the south. This addition created space for two more classrooms, a stair, and bathrooms on each floor on both the east and west sides; it also expanded the gymnasium space on the ground floor. The current massing, then, comprises the 1914 three-story, rectangular block at the front and the 1927 three-story rear wings with a single story spanning between them. The 1920’s era expansions were executed in manner sensitive to the building, leaving the original Joralemon plan still legible

Cosmetic updates have been made to the interior finishes, typical of active, functional schools, but the school building retains its historic plan, room configurations, and a sufficient level of exterior and interior historic features to understand it as an early twentieth century school. Notably, most of its original wood built-ins remain in a very good state of repair. Like many schools seeking to improve energy efficiency during the energy crisis of the 1970s, the original windows were replaced in 1975 and 1980, but the original windows are well documented in photographs. The building has been in constant use as a school building and then administrative offices until 2012 and is, inside and out, in very good repair.

The school will be rehabilitated into new apartments, historic features will be preserved throughout, and the full volume of the auditorium will remain intact. Dropped ceilings are being removed from hallways and the original plaster ceilings are being revealed and restored.

Related Works