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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name St. Columbia School
Reference Number 15000853
State New York
County Schenectady
Town Schenectady
Street Address 400 Craig Street
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 12/1/2015
Areas of Significance Education, Architecture
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St. Columba School in Schenectady, NY, is an intact example of an early twentieth-century school that is locally significant under criterion A in the area of education because of its association with the twentiethcentury growth of local parochial schools in the Diocese of Albany. The diocese's Catholic schools were seen as a means of protecting the Catholic faith and preserving the cultural heritage upon which the area's immigrant parishes were founded. The school served as a unifying force for Schenectady's Irish population, the city's oldest immigrant group, which by the 1920s was dispersed throughout the city. The school also drew students from the mix of Italians and Poles in the immediate Hamilton Hill neighborhood. In addition, St. Columba School is significant under criterion C in the area of architecture because it exemplifies the standardized school design of its era. Specifically, the 1923 building's reinforced concrete construction, spacious lofty classrooms, and expansive banks of windows illustrate concerns and standards related to fireproofing and safety, as well as optimal ventilation, heating, and lighting to promote a healthy learning environment. Noted Albany architects Walter H. van Guysling and M.L. and H.G. Emery designed St. Columba School following these standards. The building's construction date of 1923 to the beginning of the area's population decline in 1960 serves as its period of significance.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria